Peter Rhodes on a dry January, the campaign to scrap borders and when the BBC said Nigel Farage was right
AH, the dazzling precision of the computer age. This week's long-range forecast from the Met Office includes: " Monday January 21 - Sunday February 3 - Probably, but not definitely, becoming colder." I shall probably, but not definitely, turn up the boiler.
MONDAY'S docu-drama Brexit: The Uncivil War (C4) was generally balanced. However, it repeated the claim, repeated by bitter remoaners, that the idea of Turkey joining the EU was a monstrous lie invented by the Leave campaign. Looking at hard-line Turkey today with dissenters behind bars, it is easy to believe it will never be admitted into a civilised club like the EU. But things looked very different a few years ago.
ON March 17, 2016, four months before the Referendum, BBC News published "Reality Check: How soon can Turkey join the EU?" It concluded that the process would be long and technical - "but the UK government's formal position is to support Turkey joining the EU and over the years it has sounded enthusiastic." The BBC report went on to inform us that although Turkey's accession was not on the agenda yet, "Nigel Farage is right to say Turkey is lined up to join the EU one day." The prospect of Turkey in the EU was not some Brexit lie. It was based on what our own politicians and our state broadcasting service were telling us.
THE angry response to Home Secretary Sajid Javid's suspicions about some "asylum seekers" in rubber dinghies gladdens the heart of a much wider campaign to abolish the very notion of illegal immigration, which is increasingly referred to as "irregular migration." As far as some activists are concerned, in movements with names such as No Borders and No-One Is Illegal, we are all citizens of the world with an equal right to settle wherever we choose. To them, any notion of borders, any "hostile environment" for queue jumpers or people-smuggling clients is racism. And before you denounce this zero-border philosophy as sheer madness, remember that in a single year veganism has gone from being a dotty fringe fixation to a seriously debated lifestyle. When moods change, they can change dramatically. As anyone in a rubber dinghy knows, there is a tide in the affairs of men. . . .
STILL struggling with your booze-free January? Columnist Rod Liddle stresses the need for balance in his work: "Two or three glasses and the prose is full of life and there are jokes. More than that and the Independent Press Standards Organisation tends to get involved." As far as I am aware Ipso is not greatly impressed with any excuse involving the word "legless."
ON the subject of intoxication, a very sober-sounding expert on alcohol popped up on the radio to inform the nation that booze generally takes between 10 and 90 minutes to take effect. Makes you wonder how much genuine, dedicated research she had done. Ten minutes for booze to work? There's a lady who's never had a pan-galactic gargle blaster.