I can remember with shuddering horror the days when the telephone service in this country was still nationalised, a vast, inefficient state monopoly which could keep you waiting 18 months for a new telephone line, never seemed to keep its public call boxes working and took weeks to respond to a complaint. Then along came Mrs Thatcher and privatisation.
THE ONLY beneficiary of the mess in the Tory Party is Sir Keir Starmer. Labour barely even has to oppose at the moment: it is sufficient for it to just sit and laugh as a once great party becomes an undisciplined rabble. I remember the last time that happened and the result was a record Labour landslide. Is that what the idiots want?
HAPPY Jubilee! As I write we are only halfway through the celebrations but I hope and trust everything will go to plan, Harry and Meghan won't rudely upstage Her Majesty and everyone, especially the Queen, will have a wonderful party. Because it's about bloody time!
Two cheers... make that three if he pulls this off - for Andy Cooke, our new chief inspector of constabulary. Mr Cooke, who used to run Merseyside Police, has issued explicit instructions to officers up and down this crime-benighted isle of ours.
THE HALF-TERM plot against Boris Johnson involving Tory MPs queuing to stick a knife in his back has run into trouble after one of its leading lights admitted he aims to drag Britain back into the EU's single market.
THE opening days of this unique Platinum Jubilee have produced two dramatically contrasting images. Yesterday, the moving service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral was made all the more poignant by the absence of the central, cherished figure to whom it was dedicated.
THE height of the Blitz in 1940, Lord Beaverbrook, the mercurial owner of the Daily Express, turned to his legendary editor Arthur Christiansen and extolled the British public's resilience in the face of Nazi Germany's bombing campaign: "Did you ever know such a magnificent people?
IT MUST surely be a principle of a free society that no citizen has any form of criminal record which does not result either from a conviction in a court of law or from the acceptance of an automatic fixed penalty.
THE sense of excitement is mounting. As the Platinum Jubilee comes near, a mood of joyous patriotism is sweeping our land. The unique nature of this milestone means the celebrations to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne will create a magnificent spirit of unity throughout Britain.
The cost-of-living crisis is not confined to Britain . It is not going to be resolved by the government alone. We have been through a pandemic followed by a war and could not reasonably expect to escape adverse consequences and now all of us have a part to play.
COUPLE goals is the Instagram-friendly phrase lavished on those celebrity couples who are thought aspirational. Occasionally, the other half and I are thrilled recipients of this glowing accolade. Rather than fling it in the direction of smooching celebrities, though, I'd like to express my boundless admiration for the relationship of Ukraine's courageous President Volodymyr Zelensky and his equally brave wife Olena Zelenska.
The Platinum Jubilee is a unique milestone in the story of our nation. Already a mood of anticipation is spreading as the public prepares to celebrate this special occasion and express thanks to the Queen for her 70 years of dedicated service.
VICTORIA Beckham is about as thin as you can be and still have the strength to walk, but her surprising announcement this week that 'skinny is over' is welcome, since the fashion industry's fixation with size is the source of so much unhappiness for women, and anxiety for mothers of daughters.
COMPARE and contrast. Two police officers armed with nothing more than a truncheon, a can of spray and a chair storm into a church to confront a murderous terrorist who has just callously stabbed to death a politician.
IT seems that "scamming" - fraud and embezzlement of other people's bank accounts by deception - is now Britain's most widespread crime. It outclasses burglary, pocket picking and mugging put together. If I raise it in this column it is because a little old lady living down my lane nearly fell for such a "scam" and lost her life savings.
THE conquest of inflation was one of Margaret Thatcher's central missions when she became Prime Minister at the end of the 1970s. She had seen how soaring prices wrecked jobs, businesses, savings and living standards. With her usual clarity, she said, "The lesson is clear. Inflation devalues us all."
Levi Bellfield is serving a whole life term for the murder of three people, including a child of 13, and the attempted murder of another and now wishes to get married to someone who has been visiting him.
ANOTHER day, another "smart" motorway smash-up. The latest came when the much-vaunted SVD cameras apparently failed to register a broken-down lorry on a stretch of the M3, its former safe hard shoulder now a lethal live lane.
CAN YOU believe the shambles our House of Commons has turned into? It's so absurd I keep expecting the Prime Minister to don a red coat and top hat as he introduces the next act in the parliamentary circus.
IT'S NOT the sort of question where you might need to phone a friend or even ask the audience. Faced with domestic problems that mirror the 2008 financial crash and have grim echoes of rampant inflation in the 1980s, ask yourself: if you were running the country, where would you rather be?
From soaring inflation to government debt, the economic problems that face this country are serious enough. But now another form of trouble is looming. Across the rail industry, unions are threatening a wave of strikes that could bring Britain to a halt. The potential for a summer of chaos reflects a new militancy in response to plans for a major overhaul of the transport network.