Edi­tor’s Com­ment

Cotswold Life - - NEWS - MIKE LOWE, mike.lowe@archant.co.uk Fol­low Mike on Twit­ter: @cot­slifeed­i­tor

THE idea that the gov­ern­ment might be able to stock­pile food and other es­sen­tials in the event of a No Deal Brexit was so ris­i­ble that I didn’t think any­one would take it se­ri­ously. Just about every busi­ness in this coun­try op­er­ates a ‘Just In Time’ strat­egy (not least the mo­tor man­u­fac­tur­ers who would see pro­duc­tion grind to a halt if a truck­load of nuts and bolts didn’t turn up on time) and food sup­pli­ers sim­ply don’t have the stor­age ca­pac­ity to keep more than a few pal­lets of tinned pilchards in stock. And then there’s the ques­tion of sea­son­abil­ity. If im­ports be­come prob­lem­atic, then we’ll have to live on an Olde English diet of turnips, cab­bage and sprouts from Novem­ber through to March.

How­ever, no-one seems to have ex­plained this to 300 Guardian read­ers who re­sponded to a en­quiry as to how they might be pre­par­ing for this im­mi­nent Ar­maged­don. Now it was ob­vi­ous that some of its wor­thier, holier-than-thou read­ers would em­brace nuts and sack­cloth at the drop of a mac­ro­bi­otic yo­ghurt pot, but I was sur­prised at the num­ber al­ready in­vest­ing in ‘Brexit Sup­plies’. One chap has bought shelv­ing racks and plas­tic stor­age boxes for his garage and is dou­bling up on non-per­ish­able and long-dated stuff every time he goes shop­ping. An­other is buy­ing yeast and flour and is “en­deav­our­ing to learn to bake bread”. (It’s not that hard, mate.) A third has run a power ca­ble down the back gar­den to the shed where a small chest freezer is full of mack­erel and spinach. (An un­in­ter­rupted power sup­ply? Are you sure? A diet of mack­erel and spinach? Are you sure?)

The shop­ping lists of th­ese sur­prise sur­vival­ists are as you would ex­pect. There are the usual veg­eta­bles, pulses, tinned tuna, rice, pasta, curry paste, wa­ter chest­nuts, herbs and spices and, com­pletely out of char­ac­ter, cans of spaghetti hoops – al­though no-one seems to be stock­ing up on shot­gun car­tridges for when hordes of wild Welsh­men come ma­raud­ing across the Sev­ern.

In­spired by this for­ward plan­ning, I thought I’d bet­ter come up with my own list of essen­tial shop­ping ahead of our im­mi­nent iso­la­tion. Here’s an ex­tract, Gen­er­a­tion Game con­veyor belt-style: Pow­dered egg, Calor gas, malt loaf, matches, pro­cessed peas, a wind turbine, Pot Noo­dles, longlife cus­tard, sem­a­phore flags, Fray Ben­tos pies, eight pints of A+ blood, bil­liard chalk, Branston pickle, an­tibi­otics, long johns, prof­iteroles, a pair of waders, tinned sponge pud­dings, barbed wire, so­lar pan­els, pack­ets of Smash, a foot pump, choco­late di­ges­tives, Izal toi­let pa­per, home brew kit, a mop, Jeyes Fluid, diesel, a gi­ant Toblerone, a bear trap and a pig.

I think that should just about cover it.

YOU would have thought that a use­ful com­pan­ion in the com­ing Apoc­a­lypse would be a Girl Guide with an arm­ful of badges and a tal­ent for fire-light­ing, cook­ing and knots. Sadly it seems that some of th­ese skills might now be lost in the cud­dly-feely world we still live in. A to­tal of 72 new badges have been in­tro­duced in a shake-up in­tended to help girls and young women “take on the world”. (I do won­der if we’re get­ting a bit ob­sessed with pro­mot­ing th­ese poor frag­ile be­ings whether they like it or not. Most of the women I know are for­mi­da­ble forces who cer­tainly don’t need a leg up when it comes to es­tab­lish­ing their place in so­ci­ety, and would give you a painful Chi­nese burn if you sug­gested that they did.)

Any­way, the host­ess badge has been re­tired, and badges for mind­ful­ness and vlog­ging (muck­ing about on the in­ter­net) in­tro­duced. Brown­ies can now col­lect an avi­a­tion badge, al­though why you would want to let an eight-year-old fly a plane is be­yond me, and Rangers can col­lect a badge for fes­ti­val-go­ing, which will surely in­clude lessons on bal­anc­ing on a fit young man’s shoul­ders and block­ing ev­ery­one else’s view. Per­haps even more alarm­ing is the mixol­ogy badge for Guides. I’m sure a Porn Star Mar­tini will be quite wel­come when I’m hud­dled down in my No Deal Brexit bunker. I’m just not sure that I want a 14-yearold child mak­ing it.

“If you’ve eaten the last of the Spam, Brenda, there’s go­ing to be hell to pay...”

This month’s cover im­age: Late sum­mer sun­rise at Cotswold Wa­ter Park, by Anna Stowe Land­scapes Uk/alamy Stock Photo

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