Why is Ken taking a hard line with Peter on the subject of fatherhood and responsibility? My guess is that Barlow Senior is having a little deja vu (surely there's an ointment for that? - ed), a deja vu which dates back a few decades.
Back in the 70s, Ken was a single father too, faced with the daunting prospect of raising twins (Peter & Susan) after his wife died in an unfortunate hairdryer accident (It was the 70's, after all. I think Duran Duran almost drowned in a vat of mousse). Admittedly, those were different times, but Ken was still faced with a tough decision and he chose to send the kids to live with his wife's parents in Scotland (I know a nice lad from there, name's Tony I believe - ed).
Ken? Well, he stayed on the street, led a merry bachelor life, bedded and wedded a bevy of ladies (ask Blanche for details). But I think he still lives with the regret of not being a better father and perhaps that's what motivates him to take on his paternal and grandfatherly duties with such gusto these days. So, when he sees Peter ready to do a runner back to Portsmouth ("I'm not cut out to be a dad," explains Peter), Ken sees a part of himself from 30 years ago.
Perhaps that's why Ken loses it and starts pulling the bag out Peter's hands, telling him to face up to his responsibilities. It's probably something Ken wishes he had done all those years ago and I think he's probably speaking to himself -- as much as anyone else.
As for Blanche, well, as always she has the best line about Peter's behaviour, "...he's never out of that fridge, I think he might have a tape worm."
Small wonder that Peter was back in the Rovers 30 minutes later, having a drink with a comely young woman. What was her name again? Oh yeah, Leanne Battersby. That'll work out nicely.
Shots from the hip... thanks for your comments. Much appreciated. Don't forget that the countdown is on for the time change. As of Monday, August 31, Corrie moves to 6.30pm on weekdays. Please check your local listings and remember to reserve the services of a local teenager to change the settings on your VCR (or in my case the wax cylinder recording system).