Sunday, February 08, 2009

Always look on the bright side ...

SO, WE can’t all be suffering bankruptcy and redundancies in this recession, so which businesses aren’t suffering from the economic downturn? Allow me to suggest a few.

Condom manufacturers, for obvious reasons, as people stay in instead of braving the Arctic weather and stupid restaurant prices (and seek to avoid the expensive consequences of their cavorting). Camping sites and camping suppliers, as that holiday villa in Tuscany turns into a holiday field near Torquay.

Accountants and insolvency experts, obviously; JobCentre staff, bailiffs and funeral directors, likewise. Plumbers, because it’s cold; sparkies, because the burst pipe has wrecked the electrics; plasterers, because the burst pipe has brought the ceiling down; mechanics, because we’re all holding onto our cars for longer; divorce lawyers, because there’s nothing more likely to cause a row than money – or, more probably – the lack of it.

Greggs will be doing OK, pasties being the food of the starving masses; pawn shops should be cashing in; Butlin’s bookings will be up and Pontin’s have just announced 2,000 new jobs. Blockbusters and Dominoes will be packed out.

Barbers should be doing all right and retailers of cheap suits, shirts and ties should see sales rise as we all dress up a bit for the office, anxious to look like professionals as the cost-cutting management casts its beady eye over us. Cobblers will be busy re-soling, life coaches will be busy … err … coaching; Christmas clubs will be rolling in cash and tobacco smugglers will be coining it.

And Sky telly will be sitting pretty: it’s almost the last luxury to go, just before quilted toilet paper.

So when you look at it, that’s a fairly significant slice of the service industry economy. Millions of workers bringing in billions of pounds. So where’s the crisis?

Call me a cynic, but I think that far too many companies are taking advantage of the hysteria being whipped up by the media – mainly the BBC – to shaft loyal employees in pursuit of a fast buck and easy profits. And those left behind feel that they have to bow to management’s demands and do the jobs of two people or risk joining the “right-sizing” exercise. Just a thought, like.

I WATCHED a dreadful television programme this week in which 20 boys and girls, aged from 8-12, were left to their own devises in separate houses without any adult supervision.

The boys spent the first day having water fights, the second day drawing up rules about water fights, and the third day crying for their mums because they couldn’t even work out how to put hot water in a Pot Noodle.

The girls, by contrast, decorated their house, cooked themselves some food, and quickly formed themselves into cliques and got involved in the most horrendous kind of psychological bullying you’re ever likely to see. The deadlier of the species, as they say…

IF YOU’RE not a great flier, you wouldn’t have wanted to be on the flight from Moscow to New York that was reported in The Independent this week. Under the headline ‘This is your pilot slurring’ it tells how an Aeroflot pilot made a welcome announcement to passengers that was so garbled that it was impossible to tell what language he was speaking. They became so scared that a group of passengers demanded to see the man at the controls to check whether or not he was drunk.

The pilot refused to leave the cockpit to reassure the passengers, who were told by the crew they should either stop complaining or get off the plane. The Moscow Times, which had a reporter on board the plane, claimed that an Aeroflot representative boarded the aircraft and told the passengers it wasn't a big deal if the pilot was drunk.

“Really, all he has to do is press a button and the plane flies itself,” the representative allegedly said. “The worst that could happen is he'll trip over something in the cockpit.”

So, that’s all right then …

ARE WE returning to the days of the East German Stasi, when children would spy on their own parents and report them to the security services? I only ask because Carol Thatcher has been temporarily banned by the BBC for a throwaway comment she made in a private, off-air, conversation

Now I don’t agree necessarily with her terminology; it was a little insensitive, at the very least. But what has it come to when ordinary citizens – as she was once she was off screen - are hauled up before some kind of judge and jury for conversational remarks?

You may not have noticed, but we are in the teeth of a monumental economic crisis; wildcat strikes caused by the employment of foreign labour are playing straight into the hands of the BNP; Iran has just launched its first satellite, a possible precursor to a nuclear threat; and Ken Barlow is about to jump into bed with Stephanie Beacham. And all we can worry about is a silly comment from a gregarious woman whose background can hardly be described as streetwise? It’s enough to make a golliwog laugh.

I KNEW that Obama bloke was a wrong ‘un. Only two weeks after becoming President, he’s already going on television to admit “I screwed up” after appointing two cabinet members who then turned out to have forgotten to pay their taxes.

I knew he would be disappointing, but I didn't expect him to cock up this early. Bring back that nice George Bush.

SAW Lenny Henry on that Comic Relief programme the other night. I tell you what, he must be so glad that famine and war zones exist otherwise he’d be selling diamante brooches on QVC. Or crappy motels for shiny-suited sales reps who eat Ginsters’ pasties in their Vauxhall Vectras.


Anonymous Dewn Franch said...

Lenny Henry = Fot Galliwag.
Lenny Henry = briefly amusing David Bellamy impersonator on Tiswas/OTT 30 years ago.
Lenny Henry = deeply unfunny hasbeen.
Lenny Henry = notorious chubbychaser.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Walter Wall-Carpeting said...

Might explain Jo Brand's grassing up of Thatcher Minor. Perhaps she fancies her "slim" chances with Lenny by emphasing her PC credentials.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Brand; that will be the same Jo Brand who makes offensive and sexist "jokes" about men. I don't care because she is a) unfunny, b) on too late for people to bother watching her on repeats on Dave and c) has enough problems of her own the odious fat cow. Surely some double standards there, to match the double chins?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Black Dog said...

The girls, by contrast, decorated their house, cooked themselves some food, and quickly formed themselves into cliques and got involved in the most horrendous kind of psychological bullying you’re ever likely to see. The deadlier of the species, as they say… - Bazza

They're getting in practice for when they're older. Women play a game we don't even know the rules of. Wasn't it Nietsche who said that if there were only 3 women left in the world, two of them would immediate convene a court martial against the third?

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a gregarious woman"
Egregious, surely?

1:59 AM  
Blogger Dogman said...

Thank christ it aint just me who thinks Lenny Feckin Henry is the most unfunny bloke ever to have graced our screens. How did he get on TV anyway, apart from shagging famous fat birds? or did he do that after he was famous?

2:04 AM  

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