PETER RHODES: An EU scam, online product reviews and the …

IN an idle moment last week I described my epic gutter-fixing project at Chateau Rhodes and said: “I can’t remember when I last did 20 yards of anything.” A reader has calculated the combined length of this column, as if each line were added together to make a chain, and reckons it works out at 22 yards per week. Whether my arguments hold as much water as the gutters is for others to judge. THANKS for your memories of dodgy subtitles on television news reports.

The technology does not seem to get better. One reader recalls “Cold Daddy” for Colonel Gadaffi, and “I ritz eye,” the words allegedly uttered by a resigning politician. Last week’s Storm Ophelia was “feely.”

FOOTAGE of an angry quad-bike rider driving into a group of anti-hunt campaigners in Leicestershire has gone viral. What surprised me was not the attack itself but the response of the Great British Public to it. In the online debates I saw, the vast majority were not only supportive of Quad Bike Man but seemed to believe that anyone is entitled to use such force to remove trespassers from their land.

I doubt that; the law has always taken a dim view of citizens whacking each other. People wandering on to farms are an occupational hazard but most farmers restrict themselves to inquiring whether the offenders know where they are going, adjusting the volume to fit the circumstances. In my experience of living in the countryside, a third of the wanderers you encounter are foreign tourists, another third have genuinely not seen the “private” signs and the other third are the ones who know their rights and have marched defiantly past the signs.

They are best ignored. IN a row over smelly manure in Shropshire, a reader says he was puzzled by a report on the council’s alleged failure “to take account of the impact of spreading manure from the farm on the residents of Bridgnorth.” THANKS for your tales of reviewing goods bought online.

One lady, invited to review a light bulb wrote dryly: “It’s a light bulb and it works.” She then received an email from the seller, offering a partial refund if she would take down her “negative” review. I REFERRED recently to those Remoaner politicians who believe the European Union needs fixing – but can only be reformed from within. So how’s the old internal-reform programme going?

Has there been much progress on turning the EU from a cash-haemorrhaging gusher into a lean, mean management machine? Not much. In the 10 years from 2007 to the present, the EU budget has risen from 117.5 to 157.9 billion euros.

TALKING of which, a reader alerts us to an email scam. It purports to come from a financial institution of the EU in Brussels and urges us to register for the “severance payment” due to all UK citizens when we leave the EU. We are asked to send bank details and a payment of ?19.99.

Bin it.

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