The views expressed in Readers’ Rants are those of the individual writers and not of Perspective magazine.
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RANT OF THE MONTH
Let’s get physical
I enjoyed the article on romance in the office (Perspective, July). I’ve been yearning to get out of my stale flat and meet lots of PHYSICAL people. I wish I’d worked in the office days that Rowan Pelling describes: getting tactile at an office party and then feeling sheepish in an editorial meeting the next day. It sounds so exciting! Moving from my desk to the sofa to scroll through the unlimited virtual people on dating apps isn’t quite the same. There are no adverse side effects to a naughty kiss on a Thursday evening with someone you will never see again.
Jenny Chancellor, Aberystwyth
The artist formerly known as Prince Harry
Prince Harry, the high achieving, woke military man has got a book deal. I would have thought that having been sent to one of the world’s most expensive schools, this would be the ideal time for Harry to put his royal quill to paper and show off a tricolon or a fancy bit of alliteration.
No, he requires the services of a ghostwriter to type up his experiences for him. And I distinctly remember him saying that he’d prefer it if everyone kept their noses out of his business, but now he’s actually forcing his “business” on our noses! The lack of self-awareness is utterly astonishing. Is it meant to be a cathartic exercise or an easy way to make a few million dollars? I hope he relishes the ironies of his life as much as the rest of us do.
Allison Price, Dewsbury
Mother Nature’s warning
Make the time to sit back with a hot drink (an arsenic-laced coffee will do) and think about what we humans have done to this amazing planet. The only planet in our entire galaxy that is known to provide the perfect elements to sustain life: oxygen, sunlight, water, minerals, and a perfect temperature. Without them Earth would be like every other planet we know about: dead. In 2018 I started to hear more people say, “the world has gone crazy.” Thinking about it in 2021, these words are becoming more frequent. They crop up not just with friends but in business meetings and at corporate events. It may have had something to do with the sequence of events leading up to 2019.
In August 2018, Korea experienced flash floods never seen before, killing 151 people and destroying over 800 buildings. In India in the
same month, they experienced biblical floods, with a death toll double that of Korea, killing over 360 people. Before you think natural disasters could not get any worse, Indonesia had an earthquake registering 7.5 on the Richter scale, leaving 330,000 people homeless and 2783 dead. December 2019 saw even more devastation with the fires in Australia, burning more than 186,000 square kilometres of vegetation, killing unthinkable quantities of wildlife.
These disasters are only a handful from 2018/2019. Were these warnings from Mother Nature? It was around the same time in December 2019 that the first case of Covid was reported to the World Health Organisation. Before we knew it, Covid cases were popping up all over the world causing panic and chaos. Governments and businesses put plans in place to stop the spread, but the Covid waves just kept coming as if it was pounding us into submission or trying to knock some sense into us. While you finish off your hot drink, just think, is it a coincidence that the one perfect planet is also the planet that has a virus able to take
that away from you?
Chloe Belton, Billingshurst
I really look forward to the sixteen-day period of the Olympics. I find myself immersed in sports I’d never even imagined. I walked into the mixed triathlon the other day and kept thinking it was the last leg of the relay – firstly because I didn’t realise it was a relay and then didn’t realise there were four members on each time – and thoroughly enjoyed the contest. Seeing GB come out top was scintillating, and a treat to watch athletes swim, run and cycle. I’m not sure about other viewers, but I really looked forward to the transition from each discipline: quickly strapping on a helmet and leaping onto the bike which had their shoes strapped in; or the jump off the bike and into a pair of trainers. They make F1 pit stops look pretty dull!
Fraser Buchanan, Dundee
Simon Heffer’s relentless digs at Boris and Gavin Williamson last month (Perspective, July) was highly entertaining. The article was aimed at Williamson but Boris was caught up in the action. At the weekend I heard he is expecting his seventh child. I think it’s incredibly selfish. First, when the baby is 20, Boris will be 77; secondly, to fight climate change we need to consume less and to do that, we need to have fewer children. I feel for Carrie who is caught up in all this. She has every right to have children but it irritates me when I read about Boris’ lack of self-control: babies left, right and centre, attempts at avoiding self-isolation and his attempts at having his Downing Street home expensively refurbished with someone else’s money. What sort of leader is he? He sets no example at all!
Teddy Wong, by email
Does anyone give a damn whether or not we can travel abroad on holiday? All this nonsense about amber, green and red countries is driving me mad. It’s clear: don’t go. The system doesn’t seem to work and those who do go on holiday get caught out with a lot of quarantine at both ends. How hard is it to enjoy the beaches and landscape of the UK? We’ve had very hot days, we have nice views and we all speak the same bloody lingo – what’s not to like? When people tell me they “just have to get away”, I think they have no backbone whatsoever. It’s not difficult to enjoy what this country has to offer. It makes reading the news so tiresome; I want to read about Party policy on national issues, not about our wet citizens who can’t handle occasional rain and temperatures in the mid-20s.
Harry Fennells, Ipswich
It’s pleasing to hear that Latin will be taught at 40 state schools from next year. I studied Latin at school and university and have always
thought it a very useful foundational language. It taught me about syntax and structure and provided a useful basis from which to learn
vocabulary in other Romance languages. You’d be surprised how many words still have the same meanings as a “dead” language. The other appealing aspect to it is that most texts schoolchildren will read tend to revolve around fighting of some sort, whether it be a gladiator fight or a Roman conquest. These scenes are exciting and make the text gripping. When I learnt French, there weren’t any stories; just endless sentences about people called Amélie or Pierre doing menial things. You need something to get the imagination going!
James Bardern, Newtonards
GB News is taking away good journalists with the stability of a well-paid job. This UK version of Fox News reels them in with the promise that their coverage will at the very least be objective. What a waste! It’s a tough world out there and journalists need all the money they can get, but please, stay away from GB News. Watching Andrew Neil, Nigel Farage and their cast of white middle aged
reporters sitting smugly is abhorrent. Our best journalists should be saved up for a proper reporting job, not this farce.
Mariam Khan, Leeds
Smokers’ sweet smells
Several counties are hoping to be smoke-free by 2025. It’s ridiculous. Everyone is free to smoke in the same way that they are free to drink. Banning people from smoking outside will be a significant loss to the cornucopia of odours that improves my day. I don’t smoke but I do appreciate the smell of a cigarette far more than the sickly smell that vapers produce. Smoking gives you cancer, but surely the small doses that we come into contact with on the pavement and outside the pub aren’t going to do any harm?
Leslie Thompson, London