Peter Rhodes on Kremlin double-speak and the passing of a much-loved actor

So farewell, Frank Williams, who played the vicar in Dad's Army and has died at 90. My eye fell on a snippet in his obituary concerning his father, a Welsh draper. His name was William Williams, but everyone called him Twice.

Frank Williams in Dad's Army
Frank Williams in Dad's Army

Two definitions from the Book of Great Kremlin Lies. A car-bomb in the occupied Ukraine city of Kherson killed a single person, a hated Russian-appointed official. This is described in Moscow as “a terrorist act.” The invasion of Ukraine, wrecking countless towns and cities, killing tens of thousands and creating 10 million refugees, is described in Moscow as “a special military operation.” The other way around, surely?

According to the latest figures, the average Brit drinks less than 12 litres of alcohol per year. Pull the other one. I have just followed the recycling lorry on its route along streets lined with boxes overflowing with empty beer, wine and spirits bottles and cans. Someone's getting my share.

I bet we were all shocked at the images of synchronised swimmer Anita Alvarez fainting, sinking to the bottom of the pool and being dramatically rescued by her coach. But the really shocking part is that it is the second time it's happened. Alvaraz, 25, fainted last year during an Olympic qualifying event. Call me an old spoilsport but if you have a tendency to faint while swimming, isn't it nature's way of telling you to try a drier sport?

In the wake of last week's Tory-humbling by-elections, pressure is growing for a new voting system to replace Britain's “first past the post” system. Oh, dear. We have passed this way before. It's only 12 years since we trooped dutifully into the polling stations to vote on a plan to introduce proportional representation. The change was rejected by a thumping 69 per cent. Do we really want to go through all that again?

The problem with the Brits is that while we may be reluctant voters, we will put an X in the box if we suspect the only people who want change are the ones who can't win under the existing rules and are a little too hungry for power.

One of the many groups to threaten industrial action describe themselves as criminal barristers. Yes, it's always struck me as a curious job title.

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