Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on military spending, motoring misery and a wonderful adieu to Endeavour

Motoring misery corner. One of the glossy weekend magazines included a guide to which electric car (EV) you should buy right now.


It recommended the Peugeot 208 at £31,345, the Kia Nero at £33,079 and the Fiat 500 at £28,195. All those sums were preceded by the weasel word “from” which of course means “more than.”

With eye-watering prices like this, can anyone see how British drivers, over the next few years, are going to give up petrol or diesel cars and and join the electric revolution? Especially when you factor in the almost-daily reports of glitches in the EV system such as the national shortage of rechargers and the pathetic range of cars. None of the models I looked at has a range of more than 285 miles.

Piling on the agony is this week's report of British caravan-site owners who simply don't have the capacity to re-charge customers' EVs for the trip home. One claims his entire park would have to be dug up and the supply from the grid quadrupled to meet his visitors' needs.

You may consider EVs a great leap into the future but at this rate they look more like a step back to the 1930s when only two sorts of people drove cars - the rich, and the very rich.

When Whitehall this week announces an extra £5 billion for the military, do not assume it will all be spent on tanks, warplanes and fighting ships. A vast slice of the armed forces' budget goes on accommodation for service personnel and their families. A new report reveals that 600 of these homes fail to meet the criteria for “decent” and 8,000 repairs are urgently needed. So how much of that £5 billion will go straight to Screwfix?

I may have been underwhelmed by the penultimate episode of Endeavour (ITV) but the final episode, Exeunt, was a gem, right up there for poignancy-power with the stunning finales of Blackadder and Upstart Crow. Anton Lesser, no longer in uniform as Chief Supt Bright but speaking as an actor for all actors, delivered Shakespeare's matchless adieu from The Tempest, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” Perfect.