Peter Rhodes on contempt for politicians, pointless space research and the grim, green future for our great-grandchildren

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Shame of the frequent flyer

IF you believe all the headlines you read, Britain is today the laughing stock of the world and has been humbled and humiliated by the Brexit farce. And yet I don't feel any of those things. For me, the overriding sentiment of the past few days has been gratitude for the patience and understanding shown by the officials and leaders of the other 27 EU states, coupled with my growing contempt for our own lot.

THE Government and House of Commons were given a simple instruction by the British people, to get us out of the EU. Some chose to do the exact opposite. The arrogance of some of them is quite astonishing. Few MPs are brilliant intellectuals and some have never had anything most of us would recognise as a proper job. Yet the moment they get MP after their name they suddenly consider themselves to be great experts on international trade and global finance, and far, far wiser than the people who elected them.

WE should make it a rule that no-one is selected as a parliamentary candidate unless he or she can answer "yes" to this question: "Would you, under any circumstances, ever accept that your constituents may know better than you do?"

BECAUSE we oldies gobbled up so much coal, gas and oil in the last century, the next few generations will have to reduce their carbon footprints to about one-sixth of ours in order to stop the planet overheating, according to new data from analysts Carbon Brief. So how will the folk of the 22nd Century enjoy a spartan, ultra-green lifestyle with no cars, no meat and flights strictly rationed? They will probably regard today's burger-chomping, petrol-burning, globetrotting humans in much the way that we regard slave traders, drug runners or paedophiles. Yes, kids. Your great-grandfather was something called a "frequent flier." The dirty beast ...

IN a galaxy far, far away, scientists have found and photographed a black hole. Cue great excitement from the world's media who duly reported that this hole "measures 40 billion km across, is 500 million trillion km away and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun." Note the questionable use of the present tense.

THE reality is that this black hole is (or possibly was) 55 million light years away which means what we see now is an image 55 million years old. The black hole may no longer exist. For all we know, it may have imploded, exploded or morphed into a branch of Morrisons. It has absolutely no relevance to our lives and the further into deep space we probe, the more utterly pointless it all becomes.

THANKS to the media overkill, you may have missed the news, on the day the black-hole scientists whooped and applauded their achievement, that three babies have died of a blood infection at a Glasgow hospital. That should not happen. A scientific breakthrough 55 million light years away is all very well but we could use a few closer to home.

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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