Rhodes on rainy battles, the art of placemaking and turning war-hero girls into women

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Angela Rayner – had a basinful?
Angela Rayner – had a basinful?

According to a Western defence official quoted in the Times, evidence from Ukraine suggests “the Russians did not like fighting in the rain”. How unlike the British attitude, drilled into every officer cadet at Sandhurst, that all the great battles are fought in the rain, uphill and at a join in the map.

Businesswoman, The Apprentice winner and GB News presenter Michelle Dewberrry is proud of her East Yorkshire accent but admits it can cause difficulties. As with a recent report she presented on a new mine which would be producing coking coal. Or as she put it, kurking curl.

Our changing language. A controversial project called Secured by Design gives police the right to remove park benches and block footpaths to deter crime. An architect commenting on the scheme says it is “diametrically opposed to good placemaking”. Placemaking. I bet you can get a degree in it.

How Sunday newspapers work. If you are unfortunate enough to get monstered in a story this Sunday, be aware that they are probably saving an even juicier story for next Sunday, as Angela Rayner is discovering. I have a lot of time (in a respectful, gender-blind and non-threatening manner, naturally) for Rayner. She is a fiery, passionate, grassroots politician and Parliament needs more like her. The question is how many people like her are prepared to put up with the poisonous, posturing, back-stabbing culture of the Commons or the endless micro-examination by social media and the Press that go with a politician's job. I suspect over the past fortnight Angela Rayner has had what we of the proletariat call a basinful.

BBC Radio 4 is paying tribute to the female pilots who delivered warplanes to RAF bases during the Second World War. The programme is entitled Spitfire Women which may be in line with BBC policy but would have been regarded as a very odd term in the 1940s. They were proud to be known as Spitfire Girls.

Good to know that some of their charges are still flying. A few days ago at a lake near Northampton, I heard the unmistakable throb of a Merlin engine, looked up and saw a Spitfire, elegant as a ballerina against the clouds. Has any creation ever looked so beautiful yet caused such mayhem?

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News