GIRL power is back.

I take my hat off to those visionaries behind one of the great public make-overs.

While we celebrate the centenary of the suffragette movement, acknowledge the on-going Me Too campaign and celebrate the come-back or farewell tour of the Spice Girls, Girl Guides in 2018 are a motivational force for good.

As a youngster I was never drawn to the Boy Scouts like one of my siblings.

It was the uniform that put me off and, besides, I was always tying myself up in knots in other ways.

But I admired those dib dib dibbers who took the pledge as I respected the female version - the Girl Guides.

Both were created by Lord Baden Powell the latter run by his sister.

Granted, times weren't so pressurised for our youth back then but the GGs were eager to rise to the challenge of making the world a better place.

Yesterday it was revealed that anti-depressants are being prescribed to more under-18s (especially the under 12s) at the highest level.

A depressing 15 per cent increase is a shocking indication of the pressures on such vulnerable age groups.

Like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides are organisations with something to offer society.

Members will now be rewarded for commitment to projects that reflect the modern age - an effective antidote to today's social-media obsessed world.

Merit badges are available for such wide-ranging subjects as: mindfulness; attending festivals; joining in peaceful protests and environmental work such as saving water which will come in very handy during our current unexpected heatwaves.

There are now more than 800 upbeat badges to aim for.

This idea should be used in all our schools.

One leading light said that they would help create 'human notice boards.' 

The badges certainly look better than tattoos.

I support any concept that sees youngsters wear their hearts and their arts on their sleeves.


CUE, theme music from Channel 4 news for an announcement: "Liverpool has been rejected as the location for its new base outside London." 

With Trump-like twitching, Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson took to Twitter to thump out the word 'Hypocrites' in response to these deluded decision-makers.

As his Hollywood dream faded like the credits on his TV screen, it seems we won't be getting a creative hub either.

But Joe shouldn't look back in anger, we have huge film studios to look forward to and our writers like Jimmy McGovern can be based anywhere.

One of the main reasons given for the unhappy ending of the Liverpool bid is transport 'connectivity.'

The North-South divide rail-wise has always been off-track.

Happily, MPs travelling the country on publicity-seeking 'stay-cations' will experience what we commuters have had to put up with for years in the name of business and pleasure.

This failed C4 bid reminds me of another monumental media loss when I was the first journalist to interview Richard and Judy pulling out of their Liverpool-based This Morning show.

They shone from the Albert Dock from 1988 to 1996.

The reason given was that politicians and celebrities would rather pop into a London studio than travel 'up north.' 

Connectivity Part Two - the series is now the inevitable sequel.


NOW over to C5 .. Welcome to the 'misery channel.'

If you want to see a potted, on-screen state of the nation tune in, take a look at one day’s schedule last week quite typical of their fly-on-the-wall, grim reality output: Police interceptors; Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords; Inside the Murder Prison and Autopsy.

I recall the last words of Adam Faith - '60s singer, actor and perceptive TV critic.

On his deathbed in 2003, he allegedly declared: "Channel 5 is **** isn’t it?

"The **** they put on. It's a waste of space." Like Adam I swear I'm losing faith, too.


GOOD knights Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney genuinely care about their audiences putting on a value-for-money concert.

Well done to Rod for having an outspoken 'go' at Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, who simply don't communicate to the fans who put them up on the pop pedestal in the first place.

Having seen Mr Morrison on stage many times I agree with Rod.

I felt like holding up a placard saying "Van ... Have I told you lately - you’re downright rude?" 

So it's hats off to Harry Styles with his solo career.

On stage the One Direction star gives 100 per cent for his fans.

Off stage, he has raised nearly a million pounds for charities with some proceeds from ticket sales.

He is putting something back in the industry that made him rich and famous.

Let's hope role models like Harry are coming back into fashion.

Give the man a Girl Guide badge


WHAT'S in a name?

Ask our former foreign secretary Mr Johnson.

I knew him back in 1984 when I studied in the city of dreaming spires.

He was a leading light in the Oxford Union with his feisty speeches.

As we all take a well-earned break from Brexit debating with MPs taking their summer recess, I will share this revelation with Inferno readers from the Oxford Book of Christian names.

The Dulux Dog look-a-like and suitably dogged MP will be back in the headlines soon.

The name Boris means 'fight.' 


And finally ...

Motorists are being urged to check their eyesight.

The DVLA has launched its awareness campaign asking drivers to test whether they can read a number plate from 20 metres away.

Ah, I remember it well on my many driving tests.

On the last one I was asked this question by the examiner.

I squinted and asked: "What car?' 

It didn't bode well.

Peter Grant