Nothing much has happened. There’s a new crew presenting Top Gear, not that I watched it – challenging Fiona Bruce and antiques? Who do you think I am? There’s hardly any programmes about antiques on the BBC, certainly no more than two a day. I wonder we have any antiques left in the country, and how long we are meant to suffer the stupidity of shows such as Antiques Roadshow where an ‘expert’ teams up with a ‘celebrity’ as they tour the country to find antiques in a selection of junk shops. When I worked in the antique trade it was the other way round. We went to auctions to buy stuff that we then sold to shops.
You can see the weakness in the programme as the poor shopkeeper is forced to give a discount to this motley TV crew (are they the ones paid over £150,000? I hope not), usually knocking off half the price. Whenever I’ve tried to do the same the shopkeeper has usually turned grumpy. Continuing this facade the get their loot to an auction, which has very few potential customers so that often means that they sell at a loss. It’s at that point I realise they are spending the BBC Licence fee on this daily diet of rubbish, and start to fume.
The BBC remain scared of this government. The Culture Secretary, Whittingdale, clearly has an Australian friend who’s keen to knock the BBC off its perch. I can’t understand this insane belief that somehow a company intent on making a profit for its shareholders, above all else, can do a better job than other systems – for example; the present BBC being a better idea than allowing an ancient Aussie dominate our media even more, even though he’s now receiving regular injections of a youth hormone from another wife (is that the right way round?)
There’s a terrible suspicion that, for some reason, this government are intent on destroying the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. All they talk about is finding foreign investors, and now we find that much of London is owned by these foreigners, most of whom have the places as an investment, and just leave them empty. Yet we have a housing crisis. Where are all the new immigrants going to live?
Biggest shock for me this week is that we are buying new tanks. That’s a shock for several reasons. Are we about to invade somewhere? That’s what tanks do. They help us to dominate local areas, usually by blowing the opposition apart, then breaking down. Sometimes (invariably) that’s the other way round.
Is that why we are not making these tanks ourselves? Can’t trust the Welsh to produce steel . No expertise left in Birmingham or Sheffield? Who knows. Probably has something to do with price and Gideon (our Chancellor of the Exchequer) believing it is cheaper to get the steel needed for these tanks from Sweden, and then employ the Spanish to build the tanks. It’s madness. Penny-pinching stupidity. Hope they ealise it’s all decimal over there. I once supplied loads of ductwork to a government establishment whose planners had not moved from Imperial to Metric – every duct was a little short. We made a fortune from the variations to that contract.
It’s not long since I helped UK businesses to sell stuff to Spain. They were always excited when we turned up with a new machine – and they would buy. Usually they bought one. At the next exhibition they would arrive with a new piece of kit. Looking closely we could see it was based upon our own product, the one that had appeared at an earlier show. Their version was cheaper, of course, but usually poorly made.
It’s why I remain single. To be good at something you have to keep trying, I think I’ve given up. Great Britain kept trying, and we were Great. Drive down to the Chinese-owned port at Felixstowe and you’ll see a notice emblazoned over a bridge saying ‘Port of Britain’. The Chinese recognise our worth.