Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on a big barrier, mounting migration and a catapult marksman

A massive renewable-energy tidal barrier linking Norfolk and Lincolnshire could allegedly produce enough electricity to serve 600,000 homes. At first sight, this looks a massive achievement. And then you recall that net migration into Britain is fast approaching one million a year.


The stark truth is that if we entirely surrounded Britain with tidal barriers, doubled the number of wind farms and buried the green belt beneath acres of solar farms, we still could not provide enough power for a population growing at this rate.

In the meantime, where are the newcomers even supposed to live?

I loved the story of the American teenager Owen Burns who, seeing a youth trying to abduct his little sister, let fly with his catapult. The would-be kidnapper fled, injured, and the little girl was safe. Complimented on his marksmanship, Owen who usually practises on drinks containers, said modestly: “I was lucky. He’s a big target, not like one Pepsi can.”

Strange how so many British reports of the incident simply repeated the American term “slingshot.” As generations of William Browns can confirm, it's a catapult.

William Brown? Ask your grandad.

Oh, dear. What a very stupid Home Secretary we appear to have. Whatever possessed Suella Braverman, slapped with a speeding ticket, to ask her aides and officials if there was any way of avoiding the normal process of being fined or taking a driver-awareness course? If we are not all equal before the law then the game is up and the UK is a morally bankrupt banana republic.

However (I bet you guessed there was a “however” coming), Braverman presumably assumed, as any minister might assume, that when you ask for advice from paid officials, they will not instantly blab everything to the media in order to cause you maximum political embarrassment.

There is a suspicion that a so-called “Blob” of officials in Whitehall is simply out for as many Tory scalps as it can get in the lead-up to the next General Election. If that's the case, and the supposedly impartial Sir Humphreys are playing politics, it should worry us a damn sight more than one silly minister's speeding fine.