When I question so much of what is being dictated to us by government, and by industry. Harriet Harman, on a television interview, was praising the fact that the Labour Party now has as many women in the Cabinet as there were men. I can’t see the logic of this. Equality under these circumstances is nothing to do with the sex of the people involved. It is their experience, their ability and their wisdom that is important, not the fact that they’re there to make up the numbers. When I worked as an engineer every year I would get graduates coming from the University to join my group. These young men had been trained to design some of the most advanced structures, I suspect because the lecturers were tired of the same old grind. The problem was that these young men were not trained in the basics and that is what I had to do. I therefore question whether the younger MPs. with their shining degrees in Political Science have sufficient experience to warrant a seat on the Front Bench.
It’s only a couple of years ago that we were being lambasted on every side to save the world, and some of the requirements that were placed upon us in order to do so, were nothing short of ridiculous. Now it seems, that the world has got to look after itself. But it is still being mismanaged by industry. In Northern Ireland we have a county which is well known for its production of fine apples, and yet we in NI are importing apples by air from New Zealand thus using up our fossil fuels. By the same token, how long is it since you had a tomato that really tasted like a proper tomato, grown in this country picked and sold once it was still in its prime, instead of imported rubbish as hard as a stone? Also it is bad before it has ever ripened. I would have thought that we could have had tunnel culture in some of the set-aside land to bring on tomatoes which are essential for our diet, and our pleasure. Surely with the financial situation that we have, I would have thought that we can be very much as we were away back after the last war ,when everything was grown at home, you got it at the right time in the season and it was fresh, and what is more it was cheap. I’m not an economist, but I just don’t understand why stuff that we can produce in this country is being brought in from abroad, in a lot of instances by air.
My generation, and the one following me will remember the Buy British Caption that was on practically everything after WW2, to help bolster our economy and it worked. Today we are importing stuff from abroad, probably made by cheap labour, with the result that the standard shops that we used to rely on can no longer compete and we’re getting the modern version of Woolworths, in every supermarket. The supermarket did away with the family grocer, and now the same thing is happening with the shops that sell the items that we only buy rarely. We are no longer having choice, which we had in the old days going from shop to shop, our taste is limited to what the supermarkets decide they are going to offer. It is our fault, we chose to shop in the Supermarket, in preference to the old-fashioned privately owned shops. So now we all dress alike, and a lot of us eat alike, and I suggest that this latter is why obesity is becoming a problem.
We used to be able to buy things like rice in large packets that were virtually anonymous. Now if you want to buy rice, it comes in a tiny bag, which has printing on every facet, telling you the nutritional values. how to make this that and the other, and we’re paying for this little tiny packet that will only provide two meals for four, so we are having to shop more regularly at the behest of the supermarket.
When I was a boy running errands, I found that the shopkeeper in our local grocer’s stocked things that my mother bought regularly and as a result other people tried them when they saw them on the shelf. Today you can’t be sure that the supermarket will continue to stock something that you like, if it is not sufficiently popular it will disappear from the shelf.