Silly survey not fit for true Brits
FRIDAY: My newspaper reports a survey of 21stcentury attitudes to British life; specifically, which traditions (tea and queueing, for instance) we think it’s time to ditch, along with Tony Blair. Incredibly, most unpopular of all is the Queen’s Christmas message. Who did they ask, Martin McGuinness? Tony Benn? Mohamed Al Fayed? Kate Middleton’s mother? Anyway, the survey’s credibility is surely undermined by its conclusion that the “British tradition” we most treasure is the beach holiday; what’s the betting the respondents were thinking more of Torremolinos than Torquay, when they considered that one? Why should anyone object to a rambling homily from a well-meaning grandmother after the fruity pud? I thought that was what Christmas was all about. SATURDAY: Everyone’s talking about the new, mobile, workstation that you can take to the office treadmill – no, literally, a real treadmill – and jog while you type. The idea, to increase fitness levels among sedentary, overweight computer workers, was reportedly tested on 14 obese women in Minnesota, but only one man. Surely they weren’t worried that the blokes, notoriously less accomplished at multi-tasking, would be unable to use a mouse and an exercise machine, let alone walk and chew gum, at the same time? They say the design incorporates a vase, cup-holder, pen-holder and paper tray. Huh, that’s all very well, but where are we going to put the doughnuts? MONDAY: The University of Cambridge is offering a four-day course to teach children good manners. Well, we already entrust the instruction of maths and physics to the experts, send the kids to football coaching and ballet class, why not extend the specialist parenting to all areas of life? Imagine all our children collectively raised by Nigella Lawson, Alan Hansen, Arlene Phillips, Adam HartDavis, Richard Hammond, Trinny and Susannah, Kim and Aggie, Kate Humble, Monty Don, Tony Robinson, Sir Alan Sugar and Sir David Attenborough. Hmmm, yes, OK, come to think of it, most of them already are – and all for the price of the licence fee. And yet Cambridge wants to charge you £850 a week. That’s beginning to look a bit steep, just for learning how to queue politely for a cup of tea.