So much for me taking a break.
A few points have driven to be surprised, puzzled and exasparated in equal measure. I shall cover them below in the vain hope that some common thread unites them.
Firstly, I’ve just finished watching the final part of this week’s running Torchwood mini-series on Nanny Beeb. I was surprised that a programme with such a subversive story was aired on the channel. However I thought the ending was a little lame, and the message was clear.
For those who didn’t see it, the story as it unfolded surrounded the arrival of the ’456′, an alien race who had visited Earth in the 60′s and sneaked off with a dozen kids. Now they were back, demanding 10% of the planet’s juvenile population. It transpired the aliens used the kids as a narcotic and they released a virus into Thames House to show what would happen if the Earth’s authorities didn’t comply. Of course the politicos and military after seconds of soul searching decided to comply. Our heroes in Torchwood had managed to covertly film the negotiations with the 456 and the Cobra meetings and threatened to go public. But they didn’t. As the army kicked in doors and pinned angry parents to the floor as they spirited their kids away, the message was clear:
Don’t even try and resist. There’s no point, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Nice. They could have done a lot better.
Secondly, there was an item on Nanny Beeb’s news bulletin that followed about the recession, and it featured some stats about a brewery in Bedford, I forget which one. They make something like 40 million pints of beer a year, selling pretty much all of it in the UK, but their sales are falling and they could be in trouble.
Hang on. Aren’t we being told that we’re all drinking far too much? You can’t step out of your front door without tripping over some 5 year old binge drinker, drunk and pissed up on booze.* What gives?
They must be buying it all from supermarkets, because a can of own-brand lager is about 0.003p and a bottle of water is £47. Or is it?
I’ve been checking the online big 4 supermarket websites, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Ocado/Waitrose. Let’s see what a can of middle of the road own brand costs compared to a bottle of own brand still water.
Sainsbury Crown Lager – £1.14 p/litre. Sainsbury Caledonian Still Water – 47p p/litre.
Tesco Lager – £1.15 p/litre. Tesco Perthshire Mountain Still Water – 50p p/litre.
ASDA Pilsner – £1.54 p/litre. ASDA Eden Falls Still Water – 45p p/litre.
Waitrose Spanish Cerveza Lager – £2.28 p/litre Waitrose Scottish National Still Water – 55p p/litre.
So let’s forget all this guff about beer being cheaper than water shall we? Ahh, but Wolfers, these kids are getting smashed on alchopops. OK, let’s look at those prices, shall we (I’ll take Smirnoff Ice, as not all retailers do own brands, but where they do, their equivalent’s price will be included in brackets)?
Sainsbury – Smirnoff Ice – £3.08 p/litre (£2.50 p/litre).
Tesco – Smirnoff Ice – £3.82 p/litre (£2.24 p/litre).
ASDA – Smirnoff Ice – £3.82 p/litre.
Ocado – Smirnoff Ice – £3.23 p/litre.
The whole thing is bollocks anway. People who are thirsty wouldn’t go, ‘hmmm that cheap can of beer will rehydrate me a great deal better than this bottle of water’. Yes, the beer is cheaper in the supermarket than at the pub, but that doesn’t matter either, as all the pubs are closing.
So, in conclusion, pubs are closing, breweries are shitting themselves and beer and alchopops are more expensive than water. Yet still we’re supposed to believe that drinking is on the increase? Piss off. This isn’t about health, it is about us being browbeaten at every opportunity, to condition us into thinking we need looking after. We don’t. Fuck right off, and leave us the fuck alone. Got it?
Finally. It also seems that protests are continuing about the election in Iran. I don’t get it. It seems to me that the President can’t even take a fart without the Ayatollah giving the order. The difference between I’madinnerjacket and the other bloke, Moussaka or whatever his name is, is like the difference between a glass of milk, and a glass of milk in a different style of glass.
Now Iran’s Guardian Council had a pretence of a re-count. I don’t understand why. The President will do what he’s bloody told, so it doesn’t matter who has the job. However, if you convince the electorate that it does matter, then at least put the bloke in that they choose. It may not make any difference, but it will at least keep the public sweet.
By saying ‘screw you’ to the Iranian public, the Guardian Council is now really running the risk of seeing the ‘Ceacescu Moment‘, that’s the bit where the bloke in charge stands in front of the big ground, not understanding why they’re booing, waving pitch-forks and nooses and the like, while the guys in uniform standing behind suddenly make a dash for the helicopters.
Perhaps they don’t realise what happens when the largest portion of the population says ‘enough, you’re leaving.’ Or perhaps they do and think they can use it to off the Ayatollah and take control themselves, but that’s a hell of a risk. Why bring about confrontation when it isn’t needed?
Ah, and there’s the common thread. I’ve just written about them all. Seamless, wasn’t it?
*With humble thanks to the God that is Chris Morris.