Peter Rhodes on Partygate, turkeys and vegans who sometimes eat meat

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Just hanging around
Just hanging around

From the Guardian website: “Going vegan this year was one of the best decisions of my life.” This proves the old joke. Q: How can you tell if someone is a vegan? A: You don't have to - they'll tell you.

There follows a sparky debate involving vegans and non-vegans and also some meat-nibbling Guardianistas who consider themselves vegans and hate being lectured by “purist” vegans. “If you are 90 per cent vegan/vegetarian, then you are doing a lot of good for both yourself and the planet,” explains one.

So is it possible to be a vegan whose every tenth meal is a bacon butty? What a tangled web.

Me? I'm vegan between meals.

Mind you, there was one recent news item that must have made a few of us poultry eaters think twice. A turkey producer on Farming Today (Radio 4) described how his turkeys are killed and then hung – with the guts in – for a week before being eviscerated. There is a national shortage of food-processing workers. I'm not surprised.

Even at this jolly, festive and goodwillish time of year there are some selfish blighters about. News reaches me of a pub with a beer garden whose landlady, in order to attract outdoor diners during the Covid crisis, lends them hot-water bottles and blankets. Within days, one of her blankets had been stolen.

The Partygate scandal, fuelled by pictures of Boris and his crew supping wine and eating cheese in the Downing Street garden, will doubtless rattle on into the New Year. But who knows what new turns it may take?

In my experience of politicians, the Tories are not unique when it comes to having fun. All political parties have their share of boozers, back-slappers and party animals. If the Tories were partying in Downing Street then it's a fair bet that Labour, Lib-Dems and the rest were clinking the occasional glass, too. We have already heard of some MPs attending huge funerals despite the lockdown rules limiting numbers. So what else has been going on? And how long before more damning photos emerge?

There is a particularly evil mutation of Sod's Law which governs household appliances. The last time it struck, just as we were leaving for a summer holiday, the top came off our kitchen tap. This time, two days before Christmas, the bathroom light fitting packed up. Oh, comfort and joy.

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