Tuesday, 8 February 2022

The power of words. And how to milk a potato.

Like a feeble imitation of crowds of Americans storming the capitol, persuaded that it was the right thing to do by the words of their president, a bunch of ruffians decided to harass Keir Starmer yesterday, surrounding him and shouting that he was a supporter of paedophiles, persuaded of the truth of this by the words of our prime minister in parliament. It would be nice to have some politicians with a bit of gravitas, politicians who might say things that would persuade the public to go out and do good things.

When you think about it people have long taken the words of their leaders as a call to action. We could go back to the 12th century and Henry II of England apparently crying out in exasperation, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?", leading to a bunch of thugs, aka knights, going out and killing Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And Henry II didn’t even have to worry about his words going out on social media! His words were heard anyway and acted upon in your-word-is-my-command fashion. You have to be careful what you say - careless words can come back and bite you in the leg. 

Even the Speaker of the House of Commons has had his say on this latest incident:

“Referring to the unsavoury scenes in Westminster on Monday night, Hoyle said: “I know it’s been reported that some abuse was directed at [Starmer] yesterday, related to comments made by the prime minister in this chamber.

“Regardless of yesterday’s incident, I made it clear last week that while the prime minister’s words were disorderly, they were inappropriate.

“As I said then, these sorts of comments only inflame opinions and generate disregard for the House – and this is not acceptable. Words have consequences, and we should always be mindful of that fact.””

We all live our lives a little too publicly these days. And sometimes we get just a bit too much information. I really didn’t need to know that Boris Johnson and Guto Harri sang “I will survive”, for instance. 

By the way, here’s a Michael Rosen “comment” on that:

“Dear Guto

I just heard you telling the world that I sang the great Whitney Houston hit 'I will survive' when I met you. Easy does it, amigo. That sort of thing is confidential. As for you saying that I'm not 'completely' a clown. Au contraire: I am. 

Quid pro quo yoyo


Now for something completely different - or maybe not, as I have a sneaky feeling that much of the popularity of designer milks is a result of social media stuff - How do you milk a potato?

I ask that question because “potato milk” is apparently the latest thing. A Swedish brand called Dug goes on sale in Waitrose stores this week. It’s described as delicious and creamy but I’m not sure I want to try it. Besides there is no Waitrose within easy walking distance of my home.  

Avoiding cows’ milk is one of the frequently suggested ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Oat milk is the current best seller but it seems that growing potatoes is more efficient than growing oats. Who knew? And both these “milks” are considered to be better than almond milk as growing almonds demands a lot of water. I’m afraid I’m very traditional in my taste in milk. I like my dairy products to taste like dairy. Almond milk is an acceptable drink, in my opinion, but should not be added to coffee or tea. 

And I give myself a very self-satisfied pat on the head as regards my carbon footprint as I don’t eat red meat and walk most places or use public transport rather than a car. How good am I?

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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