If I were an MP who had played by the rules, and I’m sure that would apply to those who had only recently joined the Parliamentary system, I would be a little bit peeved that the PM’s broad brush had tarred me with the same epithets that applied to the wrongdoers. Just for amusement, let us assess the likelihood of an MP being bent, it requires one to take the whole population, deduct those under 25 years of age and those over 70. This would leave us with about 25 million, of whom only those with sufficient education, sufficient ambition, who are articulate, moderately extrovert, and have an interest in politics generally were chosen, I would suggest that this would leave maybe 6 million who would qualify, but there are only 600 plus seats. So those whom we have selected have a one in 10,000 chance of being an MP. It therefore seems highly improbable that one of the criteria which has not been mentioned, dishonesty, is so prevalent in this class of people, as to apply, as the Prime Minister suggests, to everybody in that 6m. We knew we had open government because they told us we had, but we never imagined it as open as it would appear, with daily exposes, some inaccurate. It makes one wonder just how really open, ‘open’ is, and should we worry?
FOOD. Sophie and I have never really joined the 21st-century, especially where it comes to food. We are still firmly fixed in the aspic of Edwardian culture that requires food to be ample, tasty and made of fresh ingredients. It is interesting to consider the effect that the electric refrigerator has, decade by decade, changed the eating habits of modern day Britain. I have said before that in that period up to the 50s, people shopped almost on a daily basis, in consequence and by necessity, ate the food when it was fresh. We are now in an era where it is necessary to put a ‘use by’ date on practically everything in the food line, because it could lie in the fridge, for long enough.
Because we are now very old and to some extent infirm, we are constantly being persuaded by our family to use pre-cooked meals, with carry-outs in preference to cooking our meals, which entails additional washing-up. Unfortunately the majority of these meals that are on offer, in boxes that imply that there is twice as much food in the box as there is in fact, are not to our taste. Our problem is that our food has always been wholesome, and flavoursome, and above all simple. So when I buy something as simple as an Irish stew in a box, I am more than a little surprised to discover that one of the ingredients is chilli. In actual fact I find that that is an ingredient that seems to be de rigueur in an awful lot of the boxed food. I believe that TV chefs, with their competitive environment, are responsible for this and the introduction of so much overseas cuisine as part of the British diet, because they are forever seeking to be original.
There is no shadow of doubt that the young people today who actually cook, are more adventurous in their cooking than our generation ever was. With us it was a case that what was good enough for Grandpa is good enough for me, and I am afraid no one will beat this doctrine out of Sophie and me.