Peter Rhodes on treason, crossbows and a perfect movie moment

At the time, we didn't hear much about the intrusion at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day. There was no appeal for witnesses and no harm was done. Nothing to see here, folks.

Now will they ban them?
Now will they ban them?

The alleged intruder has now been charged under the Treason Act “with intent to injure or alarm” Her Majesty with a crossbow. All will be revealed in time but I would stake a small bet on one outcome.

I have been banging on for years about the madness of crossbows being on sale to any UK citizen aged over 18. These are not toys but deadly weapons which have been used in a number of killings. Until now, our esteemed lawmakers in Whitehall have done damn-all to deal with this menace. They seem untroubled by ordinary citizens or cats, dogs and swans being maimed or killed by crossbow bolts. Now that the monarch herself has come perilously close to such a weapon, don't be surprised if a ban is imposed. All victims of crime are equal but some are definitely more equal than others.

The Daily Mail, the bible of the Tories, declares of Liz Truss: “She has the boldness, vision and strength of conviction to build on what Boris began.” Does anyone really believe that? Or is the Mail, and thousands of Tory party members really thinking: “She's a bit of a turkey but we're stuck with her”?

We do not expect our political leaders to be Olympic athletes or Hollywood stars but we do expect some style and a certain bearing. The French media have gleefully focused on Truss's “wooden delivery” and “facial grimaces.” Can anyone see her becoming a great stateswoman? She has zero gravitas, and the air of a geography teacher losing control of her class. She flip-flops on policy. She is openly mocked in the Kremlin. I fear she will be surgically dismembered by Keir Starmer in her first Prime Minister's Questions.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the death of Bernard Cribbins prompted me to watch him in the 1970 version of The Railway Children on iPlayer. What a fine film it is. I can't think of a more moving scene in British cinema than Bobbie (Jenny Agutter) seeing her long-lost father emerging from the railway steam and exclaiming: “Daddy! My Daddy!” A perfect moment.

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