Rhodes on a new coin, an illegal gizmo and modern etiquette at a food bank

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Tesla - quick getaway?
Tesla - quick getaway?

Tesla owners have been warned that their electric cars can be opened from up to 25 yards away by an illegal radio gizmo which can “capture” the door-lock signal. More than 70 per cent of cars stolen in the UK are never recovered. We have a three-fold problem. Firstly, too many smart gizmos. Secondly, not enough smart cops. Thirdly, far too many smart crooks.

Our changing language. Downing Street released a statement on Boris Johnson congratulating the new Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, on his election victory. It reads: “The prime minister told the new Australian leader that he wanted to congratulate him fulsomely on the big moment.” Fulsomely? I think not.

Despite much misuse, fulsome does not mean full. It means, as one dictionary explains: “Cloying or causing surfeit, nauseous, offensive, gross, rank, disgustingly fawning.” It is a strange word for any politician to use, especially one like Boris who was educated at Eton and Oxford. If he can't speak the Queen's English, what hope for anybody, innit?

What's the best way to behave at the opening of a new food bank? This crucial issue of 21st century etiquette arose after Tories in Dartford were allegedly seen smiling and laughing as they cut the ribbon to open another food bank. One Tweeter demanded: “Why do Tories see food banks as a perfect photo op?”

Maybe a graveyard scowl would have been more appropriate, or possibly a stern commitment to eliminate the need for such places. But food banks are essentially a symbol of goodness, a voluntary recycling of nourishment from those with plenty to those with none. They satisfy not only the socialist diktat of “from each according to his means to each according to his needs” but also David Cameron's Tory vision of “Big Society”. And if politicians are pilloried for laughing at the official opening of food banks, imagine the fury if they dared to laugh at the closure of one.

What's the best way to preserve your thinning locks? Get yourself immortalised in currency. The new £5 coin struck to mark Prince William's 40th birthday shows him with rather more hair than we have seen of late. (Notice how this item has entirely avoided the term “hair apparent”? )

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