Peter Rhodes on waiting for Shakespeare, dreaming about Boris and why councillors carry wooden spoons

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Kathryn Wilder as Judith Shakespeare and Kenneth Branagh as William Shakespeare in All Is True

THE prospect of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister, with Amber Rudd as his deputy was punted this week as a "dream ticket." Seriously, if you have dreams about this sort of thing, see your doctor.

FIRST it was a Second Referendum. Then the marketing people got to work and rebranded it as the People's Vote. Next, it became the Confirmatory Vote. And yesterday, for the first time, I heard it referred to by the slick, user-friendly initials, PV. But whatever they call it, the nature of the beast is unchanged. It is, and always has been, the means by which years of democratic debate and the wishes of 17.4 million people can be kicked down the drain by those arrogant and unshifting Remainer MPs who, no matter what their constituents want, have decided that Brexit must be killed off. They are reaching their end game. They may yet win. And even if they lose in Parliament, they will probably return to the courts with some bizarre new legal challenge because it simply never occurs to them that they might be on the losing side and those frightful, ghastly Brexiters might win. PV? PO.

I SPENT the first night on my new (by which I mean, very old) boat. It was a fairly sleepless exercise, thanks to the constant yapping of a dog on a caravan site nearby. God knows what it must have been like in the next-door caravan. Don't campsites have rules about such things?

JUST bumped into a local councillor on his rounds, stuffing election envelopes into letterboxes. He complained that the springs on some modern anti-draught letterboxes are so powerful, that he used to bleed for his party on a regular basis. Then he realised why each of his fellow party workers was carrying not only bundles of leaflets but a wooden spoon.

AND off to the pensioners' matinee to see All Is True, Kenneth Branagh's movie about the final years of Shakespeare. It runs for 1hr 40mins, which means a two-hour parking ticket at the pay-and-display with plenty of time to spare. Except that we had not allowed for 30 wretched and utterly pointless minutes of cinema advertising. There were 15 of us wrinklies in the auditorium, all at an age where a packet of mints is a serious and considered purchase. Who in their right minds thinks we are going to be persuaded to buy a £40,000 electric-hybrid SUV while waiting for that nice Mr Branagh? We had to rush out to feed the parking meter, missing the opening scenes.

THE film itself? Not bad, if a bit dark (all is candles) and rather slow. Odd, too, that Shakespeare's home, New Place is a remote country manor when, as any tourist will tell you, it's actually smack in the middle of Stratford. One reviewer trilled: "Warwickshire never looked so beautiful." That's because it was filmed in Buckinghamshire.

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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