The following paragraphs contain some mention of Brexit (sorry about that), more advice on a pub chain to shun, and a top tip on when to change channels.
I was already never going into a Wetherspoons pub again, and now I am never for bloody sure going into a Wetherspoons pub again. This is thanks to a curious pamphlet that dropped through the door yesterday, bearing the deeply questionable title Wetherspoonsnews.
This publication from Tim Martin, the beery baron of the hard Brexit, claims it is “read by 2 million customers”. Oh, yeah – and this little blog is read by (summons a figure out of thin air) thousands of loyal readers; or possibly one or two.
It’s a very curious publication. Scrappy stories about alcohol, like labels come away from the bottle, dropped into a toxic puddle of blind Brexit propaganda. Obviously, some people believe in Brexit and can’t wait for it to happen; others think it’s the biggest mistake this country has made in decades (that box got my tick, in case you’re wondering or are no longer capable of fully paying attention, and who could blame you).
I don’t wish to pass on much of what Martin has to say/rant/dribble, but the front page has a teaser headline: “How the metropolitan elite tried to con the British public about the need to ‘deal’ with the EU…”
As you can see, Martin has been going around the old Ukip bins and foraging for leftovers. Who might be a member of this elite? If you think that a multi-millionaire pub owner who wants the hardest Brexit while paying his staff low wages counts, you won’t be alone.
The way Martin uses his cut-price pub chain as a vehicle to push his right-wing politics strikes me as distasteful, and I will happily pay a bit more for a better pint in a pub that doesn’t echo to his rants.
Advice doing the rounds on Twitter includes sending this publication back as ‘unsolicited mail’ FOC to their headquarters and Wetherspoons foots the bill, or shredding it and dropping the spaghetti pile in a Wetherspoons pub. You can also follow Spoons Workers Against Brexit on Twitter, which I just did (thanks to Nick Love for pointing me in that direction).
Last night I was in the car when those fearsome words came on the radio… “And now the Moral Maze.” I wonder how many crashes have been caused by hearing that?
I stuck with this edition about the “moral duty of MPs” towards Brexit, at least for a few minutes. This was thanks to Paddy O’Connell being the guest presenter. One of the best broadcasters around, but even his verbal dexterity cannot distract us from the horrors of Melanie Phillips.
As soon as Phillips completely ignored what one of the MP witnesses had to say, butting in with “we’re not interested in hearing that”, and forcing the argument in her desired direction, I pressed the button marked three. God but that woman is annoying – a female riposte to the human skin rash that is Piers Morgan.
Ah, that’s better. On BBC Radio Three there was a concert. I arrived at the interval to hear a spot of Elgar, and that always calms the shredded nerves, and then it was on with Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. I only caught a bit the Purcell, but it was much more uplifting than Melanie Phillips.
A new classical radio station, Scala, is arriving soon, aimed at younger listeners (or maybe those who pretend to be younger than they are). The station hopes to attract the under-35s who are said to be turning to classical music as an escape “from the noise of modern life”, according to a headline in the Guardian (which often rattles to the noise of modern life, but never mind).
Shutting out that noise with classical music sounds like the better sort of idea.