Monday, 11 April 2016


Nick Robinson of the BBC Today programme discovered something that national treasure and hero Winston Churchill said:-
We cannot aim at anything less than the union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to when that Union will be achieved

Looking back is seldom as rewarding as this. This week, for instance, I was at a stately home near Daventry called Fawsley Hall at an old friend’s birthday lunch. It was a cheerful and charming event. I sat opposite two young guys who’d been 6 and 9 when I’d first met them. They were reflecting on what they supposed was a better life before their own when our world was pure and simple and kids played in the street.

Yeah. When skylarks arose exultantly the whole time and butterflies danced on the corn as high as an elephant’s eye. I roundly disabused them saying life today was much better, that standards were higher and people were smarter and nicer.

They seemed rather surprised by my enthusiasm.

As I sat there I wondered how many people of my age and beyond feel. Because, you see, I don’t really identify with a lot of them, their thoughts and behaviour.

Between 55 and 75 men drink 12% more than other adult men.
Sexually transmitted diseases have doubled amongst 50 -90 year old in the past decade
The  average man in the South can expect to live to 82 ½
He’ll have spent 17 ½ years (longer if a senior civil servant) lounging about on cruises, getting drunk, having hip replacements and creative sex.
Voting SDP so long as his wife doesn’t find out

You’re right; many of our older citizens are a bit of disgrace.

Virtuously teetotal currently (because I’m writing a book) I‘ve been thinking about the world of marketing I used to occupy.

We are experiencing something of a revolution right now. By the way, beware when a marketing man talks about seismic shifts or revolutions - we all tend to exaggerate. But in this instance I think “revolution” is right … the old institutions are struggling to survive as new disruptive forces rewrite the rules - enterprises like Airbnb (biggest provider of bed nights in the world now - Intercontinental should be worried I guess). Uber and Deliveroo are setting the benchmark for change just as Amazon, Apple and Google have already done.

But it’s people who’re changing fastest….most of them. They work harder than ever before. They show more entrepreneurial spirit. They shop around promiscuously and concepts like brand loyalty are looking threadbare. They watch some of the greatest film ever produced from hundreds of different channels. They read more, sing more, talk more and have more friends with whom they’re in constant touch. They are much more serious about life, about values and about their community.

This is not the materialistic society that I grew up in.

This is the future and I applaud it.

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