We had a close call yesterday. Driving south on the A1 in Northumberland, in a line of traffic heading directly into the low, bright mid-morning sun, we had reached the Haggerston Castle caravan park when we were forced to pull over and come to an almost complete halt, by two fast moving vehicles with emergency lights ablaze; they were acting as outriders for two long-loaders, also travelling at an unsafe speed, and laden with huge pre-fabricated steel structures which were considerably more than half the width of the single carriageway. No way should that convoy have been using that road, in any conditions. They represented multiple fatalities waiting to happen.
The incident underlined something on which Eileen had just remarked. Large stretches of the A1 between Edinburgh and Newcastle are no longer fit for purpose and have not been for many years. It’s ironic, is it not, that while Cameron, the former Chancellor Alastair Darling, and their cronies are trying to persuade us that we’re ‘Better Together’, the same men have shown no interest in providing a decent road to link the two capital cities.
In common with my correspondent George (see below) I’ve just learned that Ripper Street is being canned by the BBC, because of poor ratings. And I am having a Howard Beale moment.
Does that mean that everything our hugely expensive public service broadcaster does with its annual taxpayer-funded budget of £5 billion, including its much-trumpeted ‘Original British Drama’, is being measured against brain-dead pap like I’m A Celebrity Get me Out of Here? Seems so.
Every household in Britain contributes £145 a year towards the BBC, in the expectation of quality programming. Nobody is forced to watch Jungle Jim on a Sunday evening, yet those who are daft enough to make that choice seem to have been given a right of veto over those of us who prefer entertainment that requires even a small degree of thought. It’s not right, and it can’t be allowed to stand.
How can so much smug arrogance be crammed into one human being?
So we switch off the heating, switch on the electric blanket and stay in bed all day?
Outstanding Ripper Street episode last night, marred only by the casting of Paul Kaye, the guy from those awful Victor Chandler ads, as Gabriel Cain, the crazed villain. All the way through I waited for him to ask for odds on Sergeant Drake surviving to next week.
Man U could still use him.
It’s December and so QJ’s Mo-vember moustache is no more, and my Just Giving page is closed. Thanks to everyone who sponsored my whiskers, and contributed a nice sum to Marie Curie.
I might have kept them for a few weeks longer, but last Friday someone told me that I looked like Hulk Hogan.