Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews – I'm considerably poorer than yo, Rishi, a high-energy phone call, and why Wolves can't win when it comes to ticket prices

'Father's Day gifting' was the opening line on a press release from a major retailer this week. Which went straight into the waste basket.

Jeff Shi – can't win

Why do people – and PR types in particular – find it necessary to torture our language in this way? The word is 'giving'.

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Our sympathies to Rishi Sunak, who 'famously' had to manage without Sky television while growing up. Well, at the risk of sounding a bit 'Four Yorkshiremen', I don't have Sky TV now, either. Never have done. Nor Netflix. Nor have I eaten a Pret sandwich.

Still, what you never 'ave, you never miss. And I'd have a great sob story if I ever went on X Factor.

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Of course, what Mr Sunak should have said was: "We didn't really go without much, but we weren't rich either. My parents were just ordinary people, working long hours to give us the best start in life, who prioritised giving us a good education over luxuries such as satellite TV."

If he said that, he would have received a far more sympathetic hearing from the millions of ordinary aspirational working folk facing similar dilemmas.

You might not think it from the standard of political discourse these days, but not everyone is a class warrior.

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During the course of writing this column, I had a very strange telephone conversation with "Chris from the Energy Advice Centre," who began the call by jabbering at some length about 'The Property'.

"Which property," I asked, when he eventually paused for breath. Not an unreasonable question, given that he had called a work number.

"That's great, I'm talking to the right person," replied Chris, as he cheerfully waxed lyrical about the joys of loft insulation.

Nor did my attempt to explain to Chris that he had called the editorial department of a newspaper – and that loft insulation wasn't really my area – put him off his stride.

Chris: "Do you have a traditional loftspace?"

Me: "Dunno, I operate out of an eighth-floor office, there's one more floor above, then a roof covered with satellite dishes to supply the computer network."

Chris: "That's great. Now can I just ask, are you aged between 40 and 85?"

I wonder what qualifications you need to work for the the Energy Advice Centre. Apart from being a good listener, obviously.

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Now the dust has settled a little on the row over the eye-watering price hikes for Wolves season tickets, I'm going to put on my (claret and blue) tin hat, and stick my head above the parapet.

Of course it's asking a lot for fans to stump up vast price hikes in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, but the club are in a no-win position.

Wolves did remarkably well to finish as high has they did last season, having been forced to sell their star players. If they make a faltering start next season, and find themselves at the wrong end of the table come Christmas, how long before the same fans demand the chairman splashes the cash?

It's like politics. Everybody wants the Government to spend more money on this, that and the other. Just not their money.