Peter Rhodes on gender wars, jabs and a stern message for the eco-wreckers

And off to the doctor's, this time for the shingles jab. Having studiously avoided injections for at least 50 years, I have now decided, post-Covid, to have anything the NHS is chucking our way. So sharpen up those syringes and call me Pincushion Pete.

Mel Gibson in Braveheart.
Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

This latest jab is offered chiefly to folk in their 70s. I know a little about shingles. I saw my father suffer with two doses of it which caused him extreme pain. An old and dear friend lost part of her vision when shingles got into her eye.

Anyway, before the nurse had even delivered my shingles jab, she was singing the praises of the NHS pneumonia injection. I may book it for next month. At our age you don't want too much excitement at once.

London and Edinburgh are shaping up for a spat that was destined to erupt as soon as the Scottish Parliament passed a Bill that the Westminster Parliament couldn't stomach. The chosen battlefield is, of all things, the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. I wonder how many Scots would prefer to be fighting this battle over an issue that united all of Scotland; the gender-reform proposals are as divisive north of the border as they are down here. Call me an old romantic but I suspect that when William Wallace painted his face blue and yelled “Freedom!” what he had in mind was possibly not the freedom for a man to become a woman simply by saying he's a woman.

How to tell when an eco-guerilla is lying? They use the term “getting our message across.” Dismayed at new police powers to break up demos before they become a nuisance, apologists for the gantry-climbers and hand-gluers insist they are merely “getting our message across.” Bunkum.

If you have a message, the internet can spread it faster than at any time in history. The likes of Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil have nothing to say that hasn't been said a thousand times before. Their aim is not to inform but to disrupt and, with a startling arrogance, to take over the lives of other people. Well, the people have had enough. Got the message?

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