I’m sitting by the fireplace with a glass of the Co-Op’s excellent Tillington Hills cider beside me. As everyone must know, this past weekend has been the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I’m not about to get sniffy about it, although I have to admit I did think the BBC’s coverage was pisspoor. That wonderful parade of boats along the Thames was an excuse for the usual Beeb slebs to talk about nothing of any significance – whereas I’d have liked to have known about the boats: what were they, and why were they selected? Etc. On this morning’s Radio 4 Today programme the Beeb couldn’t produce anyone to defend their position (how pathetic is that??), but someone did manage to suggest that the lack of any substance, humour or merit in their coverage was all in the name of ‘inclusiveness’. Another BBC Birtspeak word, I fear, for ‘dumbing-down’.
No, the Jubilee weekend was great, despite the rain and the BBC. I bought veg plants in the village and smelled wonderful flowers in the village church. On Saturday Maisie and I enjoyed a barbeque using Lincolnshire lumpwood charcoal (from the Co-Op, of course), not to mention superb Lincs. sausages (from the village butcher) and our own lamb chops. Then we watched the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane fly back from London en route to RAF Coningsby, a few miles north of us, where the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is based. This morning it was the turn of the DC-3 Dakota, which flew directly above our garden. Bliss!
Everyone knows that command economies don’t work. Soviet-style Communism proved that beyond any doubt. But there has to be a more moderate alternative than the equally old-fashioned laissez-faire capitalism beloved of the Tory Party. In a world that is becoming senselessly corporate, seemingly for its own sake, I raise my foaming glass of apple loveliness to certain forward-thinkers of earlier times, who had the good sense to realise that free enterprise can have more rewarding objectives than the mere pursuit of greed, pure and simple. So let’s hear it for John Lewis and the Co-Op. Maybe they, and others like them, offer us a sane way out of the loathsome worlds of high finance and corporate conformity that threaten to engulf not just the media, but everything else besides. Those thrusting towers out there in Canary Warf symbolise a new kind of Hell. No, from where I sit in the depths of the Fens, the future can sometimes look horribly bleak…
Nothing for it: time for another sip of my Tillington Hills. Cheers!