Peter Rhodes on a promise in the Commons, a dazzling job title and a new definition of 'woman'

It must be true, we saw it in the House of Commons as the normally subdued Prime Minister put on a Very Stern Face so that everyone knew he meant business. For this was a crossroads, a milestone, a moment in history. Yes, this was the week when the Government really, really got a grip on illegal immigration. It is also the week when Santa polishes his sleigh.

A strange time for slugs
A strange time for slugs

In full-on woke mood, the Cambridge Dictionary now recognises the march of trans rights by updating its various definitions of “woman” to include anyone who “identifies as female” regardless of their sex at birth. Likewise, the dictionary's definitions of “man” now includes those who identify as male, irrespective of their birth sex.

So is that equal recognition for all? Not exactly. There is still one little extra perk for us blokes. For the dictionary offers one other meaning of “man” when it is used to describe “the human race”. Glad tidings to all men, so to speak.

Welcome back, Strike (BBC1), J K Rowling's scruffy crime-buster who proves that if you just put two random words together, you can create your own private detective. Hero of the drama is Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) whose improbable name inspired my own collection of unforgettable detective monikers. So far, I have: Adverse Camber, Sticker Foxhole, Faecal Plume and Hurst Greenshaft. My latest, daringly venturing into the world of ancient kingdoms and engineering widgets, is that great gumshoe Mercia Flange. Characters in search of a plot.

The BBC's list of 100 influential women (the list that managed to overlook Queen Elizabeth II) could have come straight out of W1A, the brilliant mockumentary comedy series spoofing the BBC management. Only 15 episodes were made, possibly because the Beeb is such a weird institution that it is almost impossible to parody. Consider that moment when Anna Rampton (Sarah Parish) was appointed as the BBC's Director of Better.

I was reminded of her promotion this week while reading a report concerning a senior executive. He rejoices in the title of BBC Director of Nations. What a great job description. Anyone else thinking of Ozymandias, King of Kings?

Mid-December. Outside temperature well below zero. Slug on my kitchen floor. How?

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