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Peter Rhodes on a seasonal mystery, soft justice and why Diane Abbott – for once – is right

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

It's a big-country thing.

Daffs already?

ASKING the question: "What season is it?" a Daily Telegraph reader says her garden still has clematis, roses and carnations in full flower. Meanwhile at Chateau Rhodes, our daffs are coming up. It must be global blooming.

I NEVER thought I'd write these words but Diane Abbott is right. The latest police tactic of knocking moped thieves off their machines may be hugely entertaining but, as Abbott says, police are not above the law. Officers justify bouncing these thugs over the kerb by claiming that, if police did not intervene, the public would be at risk from the speeding machines. A smart lawyer might suggest that if the police did nothing, Chummy would ride home at a safe and sensible speed. And while senior officers and politicians are queuing up to praise the police, they would vanish like the morning mist if some 16-year-old rider ended up as a bedridden, and much-photographed, vegetable.

THE unpalatable truth is that robust policing does not work in a country obsessed with human rights, saddled with a massive no-win, no-fee compensation industry and served by judges who always seem to take the villain's side.

THE latest example involves the raging hooligan with the 18-inch zombie knife caught on video in Croydon this year as he tried to smash his way into a car which had hit his bike. It was a terrifying image of "Wild West" Britain, and the casual way he drew this lethal weapon was bone-chilling. Surely, even in these kid-glove times, that attack justified jail? Apparently not. The thug was let off with a suspended sentence (since referred to the Attorney General). In our breathtakingly perverse legal system, which seems to regard villains as misunderstood saints, what do you think would happen to a cop who maimed one of these little darlings in a moped chase? Jail, for sure.

THE World Tonight (Radio 4) introduced us to a succession of Luxembourgers gasping in bewilderment that any nation would even dream of leaving the EU. Luxembourg is smaller than Staffordshire with half its population yet is regarded as a proper country in the EU, sending six MEPs to the European Parliament. The EU makes Luxembourg feel big but it makes Britain feel small. And that's one reason we voted to get out. It's a big-country thing.

ANYWAY, whenever you're lost for words about Brexit, the Guardian readers' website is an inspiration. As one reader puts it: "People are waking up to the Tories bourgeois delusions that satiate the neoliberal capitalist system." Damn right, comrade. Now, tidy your room.

ADMITTEDLY, online opinion polls can be misleading and the results they show may apply only for a split-second. Even so, my dips into one poll on whether to accept or reject Theresa's Brexit deal were fascinating. When I first looked, the support for Accept was at a dismal 17 per cent. Four days later, Accept had risen to 31 per cent. A statistical blip? We'll see.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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