Sunday, 27 June 2010
A Day in the Life
It's onto the web and the on line version of the Mail on Sunday. This is a bit of a secret passion of mine - my friends (who only read the Guardian or the Independent) would disown me if they knew. I rationalise this passion by arguing that only reading those journals that pander and reinforce your own prejudices is stifling. You need to have your default position challenged! Possibly reading the Mail on Sunday isn't that challenging but it's better than the Daily Express.
What story to make fun of? Any one of the many celeb pieces - it's a fault in me that I can't understand the fascination with these people. Why, for example, is Vernon Kay such a regular feature. What is it about him that is so fascinating; other than he's well over 6 foot and is rumoured to wear a "syrup fig" (A little detour here: there's a computer program that will give you the Cockney slang equivalent to hundreds of phrases).
In today's rag, Vernon turning up at the BBC in a new motor is an excuse for the paper to rehash last March's "scoop" of his saucy text to a "Page 3 girl". We get all the details again with pics of his distraught demure wife and the saucy recipient of the text in a boob dropping outfit. Keep it up Vernon and the Mail.
However, the main story in the Mail on Sunday today is that "EU to ban selling eggs by the dozen: Shopkeepers' fury as they are told all food must be weighed and sold by the kilo."
This is great. The headline immediately conjures up a picture of the hapless shopper trying the place 6 eggs in a bag to weight them. What a nonsense. Typical European nosy bodies and time waster! screams the Mail. Although the article helpfully points out that before the war eggs were sold from trays on shop counters and carried home in paper bags.
Ironically for a paper that is so hot on all things traditional it has to explain to its readers why eggs are sold by the dozen and half-dozen in the first place. "Eggs have traditionally been sold by the dozen or half-dozen, because the old imperial measurements such as inches or pennies were calculated in groups of 12." Clearly its readership is either too young to have experienced pre decimal days or are too old to remember.
What's proposed is that rather than a box of six or twelve eggs having "6" or "12" printed on the box, the weight of those eggs will be shown instead. Frankly, if this is a serious proposal the EU deserve all the rotten eggs that will be hurled at them.
It isn't a major infringement of our sovereignty but I'd hope we could persuade the EU that the UK retaining its quirky traditions doesn't seriously jeapodise the free movement of trade across the Community.
However, according to the Mail, this huge affront to national sovereignty is going to be the first major test of the Prime Minister's pre -election pledge to stand up for Britain's interests in the EU. I don't think so.