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Peter Rhodes on Boris's promise, non-existent NHS patients and getting smug over summer

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Speaking directly? (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

AND now, a not terribly difficult prediction which should worry us. The job of Tory leader and prime minister will be won by somebody promising faithfully to get us out of the EU by October 31. A few days after getting the job, he tosses his blond mop and declares solemnly that, cripes, he can't actually get us out by October 31, and maybe never. So did he ever honestly think Brexit was possible? Or was he just prepared to say anything in order to become prime minister? My crystal ball grows dim . . .

IF you think that's unkind on Boris, have a look at the cover of the current Private Eye magazine. On the day that Boris declared he would not "veil" his speech but would "speak directly," the Eye spoke very directly about him, if only in jest, by calling him a s**t.

NOW that Auntie Beeb is preparing to scrap the free TV licence for most over-75s, the nation erupts in fury. As well it might. Unlike almost any other commercial arrangement, failing to buy a valid TV licence is not a civil issue but a criminal offence, which means little old ladies and D-Day heroes could end up in jail. So there has never been a better time than this week to admit that the TV licence is an outdated, iniquitous imposition and should be scrapped entirely.

THINGS you don't expect to type in June: I've just got the coal in.

THIS horribly unseasonal week of floods, wind, hail, thunder and chilblains was the week we tried to book in Devon about nine months ago. But we were pipped to our favourite holiday cottage by somebody else and spent a few days trying to be magnanimous. Anyway, they got the lousy week and we're off next week which looks much brighter. Smug doesn't begin to describe it.

ACCORDING to official figures, there are three million more patients registered with GPs than the entire population of the UK. No surprises there, then. Doctors' incomes are based on the number of patients they have on their books, so where's the incentive to trim the list? Some GPs claim they have no way of knowing if a patient has died or left the area. Maybe not. But who knows what a rigorous updating of the register might reveal?

FOR example, if the GPs had a long, hard look at their old, yellowing lists and came across patients such as: "Obadiah Gruntfuttock: given several leeches for ye screaming flux," or "Patience Golightly: given large phial of laudenum for Mafeking hysteria," it might be worth at least dropping them a letter.

THE dodgy patient statistics remind me of the curious fact that while about four million British people claim to be keen anglers, only about one million angling licences are sold each year. Fishy.

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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