I know I keep banging on about the good old days (boring, boring), but the world really is in a sorry state and it just gets worse and worse.
When I was young, there was no shortage of institutions with impeccable reputations. Organisations we could look up to and respect for their integrity – the banks, building societies, retail chains, local authorities, the railway and many more. Yes, even the railway, with its helpful station masters, porters and understandable tariffs.
Where have they all gone – these paragons of yesteryear? Up in a puff of indifference, sleaze, greed and corruption I fear. Big is no longer beautiful.
Long gone are the days when the customer was always right, value for money and service were essential ingredients of every purchase – with a friendly greeting for everyone from the switchboard operator upwards.
What’s a switchboard operator? Younger readers might well ask! Of course there were the crooks, the spivs and the rogue traders. But they were the exceptions – individuals who found it easier to make an illegitimate bob or two than an honest copper. And there’s another story!
At the top of that heap of respectability, trust and responsibility, must surely have been dear old Auntie Beeb, once known throughout the world as one of our greatest, most admired and envied institutions; reporter of the truth and upholder of standards.
But where is Aunties’ reputation now? Last week we learned of tax avoidance on a vast scale, allegations of paedophiliac cover-ups over decades and all this on top of political bias, bigotry and a penchant for misguided liberalism. Impartiality and objectivity? How quaint, just forget it!
So who can we trust these days? Local tradesmen it seems. The letter of appreciation from Mike and Gwynneth Butler (Letters last week) to the four tradesmen they “won” for the day in a raffle in aid of Air Ambulance, is testimony to the fact that you can still get reliable service with a smile – if you think local.
Well done Dean Holmes, Graham Brown, Adi Bruce and Jamie Maddison. Thank goodness help is still at hand for us oldies.
And thank goodness for the return of nice to see you Strictly and mysterious Merlin – something to look forward to at the winter weekends.
Seeing Victoria perform reminds me, I’m not sure whether it’s called the Pendleton effect or the Wiggins effect – it doesn’t really matter they are both heroes on two wheels and I gather, have been responsible for a huge upsurge in sales of bicycles.
As an ex-cyclist myself – pretty keen but not exactly in the same league I hasten to say – I’m all in favour of this popular pastime.
But road conditions have changed dramatically since my wheelie days and putting on a shiny suit and a funny hat does not make you an Olympian, or give you special powers.
Regrettably I’ve met quite a few on the road recently who apparently think otherwise!