A Senior Moment: We, and our councils, need to support businesses

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I wonder, am I the only wrinkly who doesn’t relish the return of the so-called Holy Grail of comedy – the Python pranksters of the 70s?

I must admit I was never much of a fan of their ‘brave new world’ bravado and as for ‘pioneers of the permissive society’, stuffy I may be but I rather think it did more harm than good.

But I was a huge fan of John Cleese with his Fawlty Towers series and would far rather remember him as he was. I recall a recording session many years ago when he voiced a series of radio commercials.

Half way through the session he repeatedly fluffed a line and in frustration, suddenly stood up and did his funny walk all round the studio – I swear he climbed up the wall at one point.

It was hilarious and we were all in fits of laughter. That’s how I remember him and I would hate to see him falling off the perch – if you’ll forgive the ‘dead parrot’ pun!

And I see an oldie has courageously spoken out against the home of the Monty Python circus – that mighty organisation we all fund handsomely, the BBC.

The highly respected broadcaster has voiced criticism of this media monolith which I’m sure many of my generation share and needs to be addressed by those in positions of influence.

In my youth, I regarded it was a bastion of British values but over the years I have seen Auntie Beeb become – to use David Dimbleby’s words, “too powerful for its own good.”

Speaking on 5Live recently he said he was “rueful” he wasn’t asked to front the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

Doubtless the suits at Broadcasting House will accuse him of sour grapes, even though millions of viewers wholeheartedly agree with him!

And the fact remains, over the years accusations of bias have become too vociferous to be ignored.

Perhaps we need another Leveson inquiry? It would make a welcome change from press-bashing!

On the local scene, it’s good to see so many shopkeepers all over the region getting into the spirit of shopping locally (Mercury November 22), ranging from loyalty cards, shopping trails, hidden snowmen, Christmas markets, late night openings and festive events - to twinkling lights and tasty treats. What I didn’t see is any mention of concessions from local authorities.

When are our council suited Scrooges going to ease the plight of hard-pressed shopkeepers with a couple of weeks free parking, that would surely bring in more punters? And a rate/rent holiday might be helpful too - not to mention boosting retailers’ morale!

These days internet shopping is all the rage, but unless you’re a whizz on the PC, watch out the scammers are about, trying to pick a pocket or two – thousands that is! Last week I experienced three - authentic-sounding, on-line attempts to gain information. On investigation they proved to be lies, more lies and damn lies!

More anon – watch this space.