Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on Trump's appeal, demos in stadiums and statues designed to be dunked

It is a golden rule of conspiracy theories that the more they are debunked, the stronger they become. For example, if you believe there is a sinister liberal conspiracy to steal election victory from Donald Trump and scupper his chances of contesting the 2024 poll, you will not feel horror, dismay or even disappointment when your hero is branded a sex pest in court.

The unstoppable Donald Trump

No, sir. What you will see is them damn Commies trying to bring down the greatest US president of all time. If Donald Trump bought an assault rifle and massacred an entire primary school, he would still get the Republícan nomination, while infesting his nation with his bonkers brand of the truth. Make America Ga-ga Again.

As the fallout still swirls from the Coronation arrests, is it time to debate the nature and purpose of roads? In provincial English towns, roads are still used for their original purpose. They are asphalt arteries, facilitating the flow of individuals and commerce. By contrast, the streets of London have become one gigantic stage on which a range of angry and entitled people can strut and fret and act out their own little dramas involving oil or insulation or sacking the King. It is mayhem. It is nonsense.

The way forward? Just as football has evolved from unruly street punch-ups to an organised game played in purpose-built places, so political demonstrations should be removed from the streets and into designated stadiums where the angry brigade could make as much noise as they want without irritating the public. We could even provide them with recyclable statues they could either deface or chuck in a purpose-built harbour: Churchill, Farage, J K Rowling, etc. Demos without disruption. Or would that spoil the fun?

The more they replay the arrests on TV, the more we witness the tiny number of protesters compared with the hundreds of thousands of royalists. There was a time, in the 1870s, when Republicanism was a serious threat to the British Establishment but the people stayed loyal to Victoria. As the old adage went: “There will never be a workers' revolution in England because the proletariat would desert the barricades to wave at the Queen passing by.”