Peter Rhodes on a prince's problem, a traumatic hunt and how to tell Left from Right

Time may reveal why it took so long to recover Nicola Bulley's body. But I am reminded of a chat I had many years ago with a member of a sub-aqua club which occasionally helped the police recover stolen property, and even bodies, from rivers, canals and reservoirs.

Harrowing work.
Harrowing work.

He said many of their dives were in water as thick as soup, with visibility almost zero. As a rule they found things by touch, not by sight. It must have been a harrowing business.

Add a tidal river to the equation, as in Lancashire, with currents sweeping back and forth, and you may begin to understand how a recovery operation, seemingly so straightforward from the armchair where you do your pontificating, is so complex and frustrating in real life.

Long before Putin invaded Ukraine I suggested it would be wise for Britain to make friends with Russia. The Russian people, that is, not their leader. But as this wretched war approaches its first anniversary, a number of well-informed sources tell us that 70 per cent of Russians support this war. So it's not Putin's war. It is Russia's war - and the ceasefire may be as far away as ever..

Are you left-wing, right-wing or somewhere in the middle? A research unit within the counter-terrorism outfit Prevent has suggested a list of books, films and TV programmes which it associates with far-right sympathies. The list includes House of Cards, Michael Portillo's railway series, One Foot in the Grave, the Dambusters and the complete works of William Shakespeare.

All valuable research, I am sure. However, it is impossible to investigate the far Left or the far Right without knowing what these terms mean and, crucially, where the centre ground is. A survey with perhaps 10 or 20 searching questions on your views on everything from foxhunting to Brexit, Corbyn to Thatcher, could be put to every adult in the country. Aggregating the results would reveal the balance point, the dead centre of British political belief. I suspect it would be a lot further to the right than we think and I would emerge as a dangerously woolly liberal.

Meanwhile, a domestic crisis. Prince Andrew is apparently worried that he may not be able to live in a £30 million house. I know exactly how he feels.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News