Make mine not a Wetherspoons or a Dyson…

Exterior forces and prejudices can influence our consumer choices. We don’t need a new vacuum cleaner right now; but if we did it wouldn’t be a Dyson on point of principle. And I don’t fancy a pint right now as at time of writing, it’s 11am; but if I did, I wouldn’t go into a Wetherspoons pub.

If we did need a vacuum cleaner, it would be another Miele as the first one lasted for years and years, and the second one is perhaps two years old (brand new in Miele terms).

If I did need a pint right now, I’d avoid Wetherspoons. This is partly because those pubs are like McDonald’s versions of proper pubs – cheap, yes, but kind of depressing. Mostly, though, it’s because of Tim Martin, the Brexit-bonkers boss of Wetherspoons, who is on a nationwide tour of his pubs to lecture the locals about the wonderfulness of Brexit. And you wouldn’t want to bump into him.

Before setting off on that desultory tour, Martin swapped English sparkling wine for Champagne in his pubs, and cleared all the French brandy from the shelves, replacing those neighbourly bottles with brandy from the US and Australia.

French brandy, you might have noticed, is made in France, that country just across the Channel, and therefore it doesn’t have far to travel. The US is 3,000 miles away at the closest coast, and Australia is nearly 10,000 miles away, so those non-EU bottles travel a hell of a long way just to satisfy the Brexit-besotted Tim Martin.

Now to Sir James Dyson, knighted presumably for causes to general British irritation (or is it just me?). Dyson finds himself in the news for saying that he plans to move his headquarters to Singapore, after spending ages banging on about the advantages Brexit offers to Britain. He maintains that this move has nothing to do with Brexit, but that didn’t silence the any-old-irony merchants of Twitter, who dusted off assorted disparaging puns connected to sucking.

Dyson maintains that the move is symbolic and that the company will continue to employ 4,000 people in Britain. Well, something that is symbolic can still suck. And Dyson sucks harder than his vacuum cleaners.

That’s why I won’t buy one of his clever-seeming machines. Besides, and this isn’t at all scientific, but on a trip to the tip once, Dysons that presumably no longer sucked where lined up in the electrical goods graveyard. Perhaps there had been a good offer on and everyone bought a Dyson and the same time and the all went suckless at the same moment; or perhaps Dysons stop working more quickly than, say, a Miele.

I went online to investigate, but the only decent-looking research was hidden behind the paywall at Which? and I wasn’t going to subscribe just to see if my anti-Dyson prejudice has legs.

Wealthy business people like Martin and Dyson are listened to more than they should be. It would be much better if they just met in a Wetherspoons and swilled their opinions privately with a glass of Australian brandy. And while they’re at it, they could invite along Luke Johnson, the Brexiteer businessman whose Patisserie Valerie chain has collapsed into administration. Luke could bring the baked goods, although, on reflection, perhaps he shouldn’t take anything from his own shops, the McDonalds of the French cake world.

And if there are crumbs on the floor, Dyson can do the sucking. That’s unless he’s buggered off to Singapore already.


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