Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on slavery, mail trains and the seductive lure of life in the Lords

Clickety-clunk, clickety-clunk. That was the night mail, crossing the border. A new generation of mail trains will soon be heading from London to Glasgow, helping to meet the demands of home shopping in the internet age. It will be all-electric and, I dare say, a lot smoother than the original steam version, immortalised in that glorious 1936 documentary, Night Mail.

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Here comes the mail. Photo: PA

And yet whatever the hardware, the prospect of staff expertly sorting the mail in the wee small hours, as their travelling post office pulls up Beattock, has a romance all of its own. It's a job to be proud of. And no, you can't do it from home.

Following reports on how many households have less than £1,000 in savings, a dramatic levelling-up sounds attractive. If, in some great fairness project, Britain's total net value could be divided equally among all 60 million of us, we would all be millionaires. The snag? Within a couple of years some would be billionaires, most would be comfortably-off and some would be skint. Slippery stuff, money.