Mark Andrews: They don't like it up 'em
Read today's column from Mark Andrews.
WHAT’S troubling you at the moment? Crime? Our creaking transport system? The fact that our politicians are still debating Brexit three years after they asked us to vote on it? Well television executive Daisy Goodwin believes the danger is much more profound. Dad’s Army. Miss Goodwin reckons the endless repeats of the classic sitcom is brainwashing the public into supporting Brexit, and has asked for the Beeb to stop showing it. “It’s influencing the nation’s state of mind,” she says. “That plucky little arrow from the title sequence being pushed back across the Channel by three swastikas seems to have inspired the Brexit Party’s own logo.” Typifying the classic metropolitan mindset, she bemoaned the fact that the gentle, feelgood sitcom attracted ‘ten times as many viewers as Newsnight’. And there is a very good reason for this. It is what the public wants.
BY the way, in her glittering career Miss Goodwin has produced and edited such gems as How Clean is Your House?, Jamie’s Kitchen, Pulling, Supersizer, and Grow Your Own Drugs, as well as writing that terribly dull costume drama about Queen Victoria. I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to her that the reason Dad’s Army is still a staple of our television channels after half a century is not because Britain is a nation of Little Englanders. It is because there is nothing else worth watching on TV.
INDEED if any further proof were needed that there is nothing on TV any more, how about Boris Johnson’s surreal claim that he spends his spare time making model buses out of old wine crates? Well I’m sure it beats Love Island. Maybe it explains his apparent popularity with the opposite sex. ‘Do you want to come back to my place to see my buses made out of wine boxes?,’ what girl could refuse?
Cynics might wonder it was all a cunning ploy, to distract the public from scrutinising his answers to the questions about the serious stuff, like how he is going to govern the country. A good thing I don’t do cynicism, then. But perhaps the real burning question we should all be asking is how much wine does the Johnson household actually consume to support this strange hobby? It sure explains those late-night bust-ups.
MEANWHILE, Mr Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds has broken her silence since their little domestic difficulties, taking to Twitter to highlight her concerns about, er, plastic waste. “Recycling will not solve the problem,” she wrote. “The only way to turn the tide on plastic pollution is to reduce the amount of plastic we use.” I wonder if that’s what they were arguing about: “You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything, you just go to the supermarket and buy avocados wrapped in cling-film.”
OVER in the other leadership contest which nobody is talking about, Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has issued a grovelling apology for suggesting his party encourages tactical voting to ‘decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge’, should the master bus-maker call a snap general election. No sooner was the ink dry on Davey’s column in The Times than his opponent, Jo Swinson, criticised his ‘graphic, violent imagery’. Really, is there anything you can say these days without somebody taking offence? Some people really need to get over themselves. It says something about the state of politics today when even a party with just 12 MPs manages to end up at one another’s throats. In a non-violent, figure-of-speech sort of way, obviously.