Monday, 27 December 2010


This is about laying the ghost of John Humphreys, icon of negativism and whingeing, a born-again Victor Meldrew, the dreary voice of constant dissatisfaction. Occasionally though, just occasionally, a letter of complaint cheers one up. Here’s an extract of one written to NTL – it went on in similar vein for pages:-

“British Telecom – w*****s though they are - shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy.”

It’s been the endless quest of the miserable, negative and of course the media to prove how limitlessly inadequate we in the UK are. Take the weather for example? Useless, hopeless, shameful compared with the continent. Hmmm!!

Here’s a letter from a Dutch lady in Tuesday’s Times describing her recent drive to Britain:

“The roads were appalling in Holland, pretty bad in Belgium- particularly the enormous potholes on the motorway – and not much better in France….. (arriving in Britain) I was pleasantly surprised to have a smooth journey on three motorways without a lane closure in sight. On the other hand my eldest son is stuck in a motel in Germany as conditions are impossible on the autobahn, and my husband spent four hours travelling 20 miles as the Dutch trains went, once again, into meltdown.”

A very Happy Christmas to everyone who thinks on balance everything in Britain is in pretty good nick from the NHS to the gritting system to the academic achievements of our young people to attitudes to work, life, family and friends. And a particularly stupendous New Year to all those actually looking forward to 2011.

To the rest of you and to you John Humphreys, especially, bah humbug and though it grieves me to say it….good luck in that puss filled mire.

1 comment:

Roger Alexander said...

Richard, you are so right. We arrived in the South of France on our BA flight arriving some 15 minutes early. We met some German neighbours who had " escaped" from Berlin where they said the airport was closed, the metro was closed and the buses weren't running. It was, they complained, the same last year and asked why no one in Germany was capable of making things work.

Our media can't always get it right but some perspective would be welcome.

Happy New Year to a Britain where sometimes things work and sometimes they don't but, hey, we don't claim to be perfect unlike some media pundits.