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Peter Rhodes on a doomed baby, a hotelier's nightmare and the march of meat-free meals

By Peter Rhodes | Homepage | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

FROM the moment he was born to a troubled mother in a wretched, infection-riddled refugee camp, baby Jarrah had only a matter of weeks to live. Home Secretary Sajid Javid may have been hasty in scrapping the British citizenship of the mother, Shamima Begum, but he doesn't deserve the "moral cowardice" abuse now being heaped on him.

NOBODY involved in this tragedy, no charity, no government and no political party, had any workable plan which could have plucked this stricken baby from Syria, brought him safely to Britain and saved his life in an NHS hospital, all in a matter of a few days. That baby was doomed and all the shroud-waving and political point-scoring is frankly revolting.

ONE of the online sales hits of the past year has been a new generation of mini heaters. You may have seen them in the junk-mail brochures. Just plug them in to a standard socket and they'll belt out half a kilowatt of heat. Which sounds like good news for everybody until you see one customer's review: "Great for travelling." Slip a couple of these little gadgets in your suitcase and you can turn any B&B room into a tropical heaven. A dream for hotel guests. A nightmare for hoteliers.

THE final nail in the coffin of the British Empire and all we hold dear has been hammered home. Fray Bentos has produced a vegetarian pie. Dash it, Carruthers, it's the end of civilisation as we know it.

IN truth, the veggie / vegan lobby are pushing at an open door. Most of us are prepared to eat meat-free food, as long as it tastes like food. Twice in the space of a couple of days recently I've had vegan fake meat, once as the "mince" in a spaghetti, which was perfectly fine, and once in the form of the famous Greggs vegan sausage roll which was surprisingly good, if a tad salty. For those of us who already limit their meat eating to once a week or so, a veggie or vegan lifestyle holds no terrors. The real resistance comes from real men, angry men, who seem to regard meatless meals as an assault on their manhood. These blokes have a strangely macho relationship with meat and have convinced themselves that their super-fit, iron-hard bodies demand huge amounts of red steak to keep in perfect condition. Grrr.

IRONICALLY, we should also expect some resistance from lifelong veggies and vegans who, having devoted their lives to nut rissoles, now see ordinary people eating modern plant-based foods without properly suffering. Puritanism loses much of its appeal when everyone else becomes a puritan.

STILL on food, the Daily Telegraph wanted to convey shock and out-of-touchness at the revelation that Jacob Rees-Mogg has never visited a Nando's. However, knowing its audiencce, it had to explain this was "the restaurant chain Nando's." Come to think of it, I've never eaten at Nando's either. Nor KFC. Nor Costa. Nor Burger King. You've got to save something for the bucket list, right?

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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