Peter Rhodes on mindless activists, the ink cartridge bat and how to remember an actor


Tom Conti – Shirley Valentine Star

The actor Tom Conti can take all sorts of blows for denying the climate crisis and calling the Cop26 conference a “waste of time and money”. But was there any reaction more prickly than the three words used to describe it in a gossip column in the Daily Mail? He was introduced to readers as the “Shirley Valentine Star”. How sharper than a snake tooth, especially for a film you made 32 years ago. Especially when Conti is much better known than Emily’s drunken father in Friends.

“Your SUV is one of the second largest emitters of CO2,” says a parking ticket-style sticker that was left on the windshields of cars in Glasgow. They were planted by a group called “SUV Tires” who said the cars had been “disarmed” by lowering one or more tires. But some of the cars targeted in Glasgow were regular small-engine sedans, not SUVs.

This tells us that some Tyred of SUVs members don’t really know what a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is, and are too fat to figure it out, too. Are we not reminded of the Insulate Britain leader who cheerfully admitted that his own house was not isolated? One of the first victims of the urban rebellion appears to be brains.

I bought my new digital printer (£ 50) the first week of October and its first black ink cartridge (£ 13.35) has just run out. I have a friend who thinks it is cheaper to buy a new printer every time the cartridges expire. I haven’t made the totals yet, but £ 13.35 every five or six weeks has got to be a nice little earner for someone.

And please, before the techno bargain hunters among you write to me about how much they save by buying touch cartridges at half price or refilling empty cartridges from large ink bottles, I was there and made it. The drop-off ink appeared to be made entirely of sticky blobs, and the refill brings instant and permanent uptake to the Black Hand gang. Printing ink is like diamonds. It is forever.

Meanwhile, in Athens, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has proposed that if Britain were to return the hotly contested Elgin Marbles, the British Museum should offer some other treasures on loan. It sounds like Greeks carrying gifts. What could possibly go wrong?


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