Friday, 16 August 2013
It was the BBC's decision at 7pm during the closing moments of the last Test to switch over to the 7 pm Radio 4 News followed by "The Archers". Had I been listening at the time I'm sure I'd have stormed into BBC's HQ kidnapped the Director General and summarily executed all of the Corporation's Trustees.
How dare they! What idiot pressed the button! Talk about coitus interruptus - this was far worse. Except there wouldn't have been the embarrassment of explaining to the boss why you and the delightfully nimble new intern were hammering away in the filing room when you're meant to have been showing her the ropes (business-wise, that is).
No, there's something rotten in the state of Portland Place. Recent events at the Beeb have shaken my faith in what I had always viewed as my other parent, my other/only friend and confident. Jim Naughtie, on a recent "Today" programme, telling two of his guests to shut up! Peter Capaldi being chosen as the new Dr Who and the dreadful realisation that I've been listening to Paul Gambaccini on the Beeb for nigh on 40 years.
I had a spell of retro-rage listening to Gardeners' Question Time the other day. I'm sure had I been in the audience on that occasion Bob Flowerdew's ponytail would have been stuffed where the sun don't shine.
However, the most violent episode of retro-rage was Council related. I was walking down the street when I saw a Council refuse van, with a group of men busily emptying the neighbourhoods rubbish into the back of the van and scattering a fair amount artistically onto the surrounding pavement and street.
I don't know how I didn't ignite! The sight of the rubbish van and binmen, reminded me that our garden and kitchen waste bin was festering in the front garden having not been collected for two weeks. Despite my pleas (and those of our neighbours with highly sensitive olfactory nerves), no one came to collect it. This wasn't the first time this had happened. Oh no! Often our street scape looks uncannily like the refuse strewn streets of the great "Winter of Discontent" at the end of the 1970's.
And the Council's switched to new contractors, along with false promises of a new dawn (bin collecting-wise). Of course, it's the same poorly paid, disgruntled, living from hand to mouth, gangs of immigrants who empty the bins. The only thing they get out of a new Council contract is a new company logo to wear on their backs.
All we get is frustration, and some council offical or elected representative apologising and promising lessons have been learnt!
And as for those inelegant, ugly, space hogging, property value reducing bins the Council have lumbered us with. Well, good on you Eric for suggesting they should be hidden from view. But you didn't go far enough!
What we need is individual incineration units for each household so we can burn to buggery our household waste and heat the house. Also a super powerful compactor to squeeze all our recyclables into the tiniest possible cube which can be placed in a delightfully painted box outside the front door when the bin man calls.
The risk of increased mysterious disappearances, I think, has been exaggerated.