In My Day, Jeremy Clarkson’s handbags would have been discreetly covered up. Today, it looks like it will cost him – and the Beeb – dearly.
Not to mention all those 350 million Top Gear fans. Stupid.
On a smaller scale, Tory MP Andrew Mitchell lost his job, essentially for another handbags with one of the cops guarding the Number Ten gate (Gate-gate) where he allegedly called him a pleb.
In My Day, as a chauffeur, I drove INTO Downing Street many times, for tourists. Late night, for a couple of minutes, the cop on duty would let you park up opposite and take pictures.
Of course, In My Day the cop LOOKED like a cop – not the body-armoured, flat-hatted, machine-gun-wielding Robocops they have today.
In My Day, the banks, organisations and business systems WORKED.
And hospitals had MEDICS running around in them – plus the car parks were FREE – as was education.
Speaking of which you did not have to take out a loan to purchase a bus or train ticket – they were SUBSIDISED. And you could SMOKE on them.
As you could on planes – and you could get from the terminal entrance to wheels-up in half an hour. Now, it takes longer to make THAT short trip than Concorde took to reach AMERICA – In My Day.
THAT is caused by The New God – SECURITY. But while that is supposed to be in our interests – the WORK it gives us is unimaginable. When did you last try to open an account with ANYONE? Or transfer some money from one account to another.
And in the interests of security, the police are now authorised to distrain our goods, Tase us – even SHOOT us with impunity. The word “Nazis” comes to mind.
Thus far, I have used up around 350 words – I could add another TEN THOUSAND.
So what HAPPENED? In My Day, the future seemed so bright – not the dystopian, restrictive, neurotic, paranoid present I now find myself in.
Oh sure, the past was not THAT rosy; back then, we had institutional racism, sexism and pædophilia. Now it is not institutional anymore.
But damn, things were SIMPLER then. I have lived through childhood and adolescence (the ’50s and ’60s – Rock ‘N’ Roll, then the Beatles) young adulthood (the ’70s and ’80s – Disco, then Techno-Pop) middle age (the ’90s and ’00s – Trance, then nothing) and am now firmly entrenched in fogeydom (the ’10s – still nothing).
I have often thought that if I travelled back to my younger self and described these times – if I said people all went to work with jet-packs strapped to their backs and retired at fifty, my younger self would happily believe that.
But if I said you had to undergo a strip-search to board a plane and could not smoke in a PUB…
The only reason that people accept these indignities is they have all been introduced GRADUALLY, one at a time. Thus our lives have been made unendurable by STEALTH – like that frog on the pan.
And today’s young were BORN into this crap. They know nothing better.
But it is tough on us over-50s, who grew up in better days. Britain finally became totally intolerable in the mid-90s – so I retired to the Orient.
I DISCONNECTED – to AVOID FEELING disconnected!
I suspect most of the million signatories on that petition demanding Jeremy’s reinstatement are over 50.
Ironic, given it was HE who recently admitted that, at 54, he is now a dinosaur.
As are we all, Jeremy. As are we all…