Passing Observations 8

Vernon Coleman

1. In the 1980s the average time a cook spent preparing an evening meal was 90 minutes. By the 1990s this had fallen to 30 minutes. Today it is down to 20 minutes. But the sales of cookery books (and the popularity of TV cookery programmes) rises every year.

2. Smart meters are being promoted as `good for the environment’. In fact, they are the opposite of good. Big energy companies are now banning customers from joining their cheapest deals unless they have smart meters fitted. That suggests to me that smart meters are `good’ for big energy companies. And we already know they are good for the government – because smart meters enable the authorities to turn your supply on and off when they feel like it. Smart meters certainly aren’t much good for customers! The inconvenience and disruption simply isn’t worthwhile. The energy required to manufacture and fit these wretched things far exceeds any savings which might result.

3. If you want to save the planet then burn your rubbish. The authorities (who collect recycling) send the stuff abroad to be burnt. By burning it yourself you are cutting down on wasteful activities. Householders who burn are greener than those who don’t.

4. Banks know that crooks fit small cameras to the cash point slots. The cameras then collect pin numbers. Why don’t bank staff check the machines every hour or so – and remove any small cameras which have been fitted?

5. We feed our squirrels but they also like helping themselves to bird food. Annoyingly, they often steal the feeders. A favourite trick was to pull down a feeder and roll it around on the ground to empty it. I have stopped this by attaching feeders to the trees with the aid of karabina hooks. (I tried S hooks and these worked for a day until the squirrels mastered them.)

6. Climate change protestors who regard David Attenborough and the BBC as holy should know that in 2011, the programme Frozen Planet used footage of a polar bear birth which was actually recorded in a zoo. In 2017, Blue Planet II used footage of an iguana fleeing from snakes but the footage was stitched together from various takes. In 2018, Human Planet built a tree-house 140 feet up in the rain forest, suggesting that the Korowai people lived there. They didn’t. In Our Planet, David Attenborouh reported that walruses were plunging to the deaths after being forced to climb rocks because of climate change. However, an eminent zoologist argues that the walruses were almost certainly driven over the cliffs by polar bears. And on and on it goes. You can always rely on the BBC to manipulate evidence to suit its political purposes. (Just as it does with Brexit and the EU.) All my life there have been scares. The bomb, overpopulation and AIDS are the obvious ones. Climate change has been a recurrent scare since Victorian times. The funny thing is that the real problems are usually ignored. Today, the three which are forgotten are the shortage of water globally, the rise of infections, as antibiotics no longer work, and the running out of the oil.

7. Boys are to be given a vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer. This is a bit tough on the boys who are homosexual and unlikely to have sex with girls. I wonder what folk would say if doctors said they were giving vaccines to everyone called Smith to protect the health of everyone called Brown.

8. Trump and Johnson are popular because everyone knows all politicians are untrustworthy. So voters want a political leader who will amuse them.

9. People who give their financial details to chuggers should not be allowed to look after their own money.

10. Why don’t car manufacturers produce a simple car (like those simple phones) which have very few knobs – except lights and wipers. I can wind a window down by myself and I can adjust my own wing mirrors. The more complicated a car is, the more there is to go wrong.

11. Modern liberalism is the enemy of freedom, democracy and innovation. Millennials are over confident and under educated. They think they are liberal but they are mostly prejudiced bigots.

12. Schools now call Easter a `Spring Holiday’ and Christmas a `Winter Holiday’. And so, thanks to the politically over-correct, a Christian country slowly prepares itself for Muslim governance. (These changes were probably introduced by the same people who forced us to abandon imperial measurements in favour of metric measurements.)

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2019