Peter Rhodes on fighting obesity, becoming a one-percenter and why the Mob never burned down Downton

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Michael Buerk

A SURVEY this week reveals that to be in the top one per cent of earners in the UK, you need to earn at least £160,000. Be careful. Envy is a dangerous thing.

ON the other hand, to be in the top one per cent of earners in the entire world, you need to earn only about £30,000. Be careful. Vanity is a dangerous thing.

MICHAEL Buerk, BBC veteran and presenter of The Moral Maze (Radio 4), says obese people should be allowed to die early because their deaths would be "a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change.” Typical soft-hearted BBC liberal-lefty ditherer.

IF the deaths of fat people are such a great national benefit, why wait for them to peg out? Simply try the American way. Open thousands of gun shops, sell assault rifles to any weirdo who wants one, allow the State to rage against the obese and see how their numbers are reduced by mass shootings. When all the fatties are gone, we can start on the smokers, the alcoholics, the diabetics and anyone who dares to live past 80. And remember, it's for the greater good. Pass the ammo.

OVER the past two years in Staffordshire and the West Midlands, hundreds of drivers were caught at speeds of more than 100mph, with one hitting 150mph. Now, there's a really good case for Kalashnikovs. Bring on the roadside snipers.

I'VE just walked into town. It's a couple of miles and, until seven weeks ago I walked it every day. And then sciatica struck and I could barely hobble to the wheelie bin. There are three things I have learned about sciatica. Firstly, it is nothing to joke about. Secondly, nobody who's had it ever forgets it. Thirdly, it's only temporary, so please don't shoot us.

AFTER 250 years, Debrett's, the encyclopedia of the peerage and baronetcy, has produced its final printed version. From now on it will be available only online. I am reminded of a holiday some years ago when the only book in the cottage was a huge 1930s edition of Debrett's, packed with thousands of names of the great and not-so-good. It was a revelation. Far from being a tiny privileged elite, as you might assume, the aristocracy was a vast social and bloodline network stretching from Buckingham Palace into every parish. The aristocracy occupied tens of thousands of grand homes stuffed with millions of servants. The nobs may have lived in dread of French Revolution and Bolshevism but those cataclysms never arrived. Why not? Reading that copy of Debrett's, it struck me that if the British Mob had declared war on the Downton Abbey class and their loyal staff and supporters, they'd have had to guillotine half the population.

AND that's assuming the Mob ever got organised. I was once told there would never be a workers' revolution in Britain because the proletariat would desert the barricades to wave at the Queen passing by.

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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