Monday, 27 August 2018


The “F” word has been in the headlines ever since Trump coined it. It shuts off all debate. When something indisputable is dismissed scornfully it’s hard to be rational in response. As someone who spent much of their life in advertising I wasn’t immune to fake claims many of which were just funny - a joke shared with a more than willing public.  Of course Heineken didn’t refresh the parts that other beers couldn’t reach. It’s a fake claim. But an entertaining thought.

In the UK we’re living through a less entertaining playground fight over Brexit. The claim we are paying £350 million a week to the EU which even Nigel Farage admitted was a “mistake” still lingers, fake as it is. The remainers’ claim that the result was so close you really need a replay is just as bogus. England (excluding Northern Ireland and Scotland) voted 53% to 47% to leave. If you exclude London which somehow feels above and outside the argument then the shires and counties voted 56% to 44% to leave. Not a landslide but a decisive rejection of EU membership.

And I have a genuine not a fake emotion about all this. Whilst I’m an ardent Europhile and hence an ardent remainer, I cannot and will not ignore a democratic poll even if flawed. It’s patronising to say you voted wrongly let’s do it again. Sadly I believe most of the English would vote the same way second time round. What about the lies? Well every election contains lies - always has and always will.

In the news last week. Exams. Apparently they are causing a lot of stress and are really difficult now. Worse than that boys do better at exams and girls are really sad about this. As I remember if you were clever and well prepared exams were a great opportunity to show off. And if you weren’t an even better opportunity to fake your intelligence. Exams were about concealing your ignorance. But in my day they weren’t taken overly seriously. Much more important things were how we thought not how much we remembered. Much the most stressful exam I ever did was my driving test. No faking there.

Which brings me to gin. There are hundreds of gins on the market. A new exotic brand appears every week. Chilli Gin, Soy Gin, Chanel Gin – no those are all fakes or as Kellyanne Conway, Counsellor to the President and Trump’s most vociferous apologist would put it “alternative gins”. But it’s about alternative gins I want to talk - Seedlip and Ceder’s. No alcohol gins. After a summer of pasta, prosecco,  Campari spritz and pie I need to diet.  Most diets are fake. The best diet is to reduce calorie intake. Booze is high in calories so booze is out. Seedlip and Ceder’s with a slice of lime, Fever Tree Slimline Tonic and lots of ice musically clinking do very well as an adult gin taste-alike. Sometimes faking it is the only way.

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