Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Unfashionable opinions

I'm going to say something controversial today. Several things, in fact. But am I the only person in the universe who watches the news or reads the 'papers or otherwise receives the message of the masses and is left thinking, 'am I the only one who thinks this is a load of xxxx?'

Perhaps I am: I don't mind if I'm in a minority of one. But in the interest of scientific objectivity (if only!) I'm going to throw the whole thing open this morning to a little empirical evaluation.

First, something close to my heart (or liver): sport and alcohol. There seems to be a sacred doctrine that the twain should ne'er meet, that alcohol and sport are the very worst of partners (think Peters and Lee but with attitude) but I beg to differ. Here's my (unfashionable) opinion: it's not the sport, or the booze - it's who is drinking it. Look at The Lords Test last week. Spectators not only permitted to bring their own booze into the ground (mostly champagne, admittedly) but to buy as much as their livers or bladders can accommodate without the slightest hint of crowd trouble, anti-social behaviour or any other kind of disorder. The same seems to be true at Twickenham, although it's a few years since I was last there so things may have changed. But I hope not. After all, you really need a drink to make watching many sports the least bit enjoyable, don't you?

Next, immigration. I may be in a minority of one (again) here but I have a sneaking admiration for people who up sticks, leaving friends and family hundreds of miles away in order to get a (usually low-paid, long hours and outdoors) job. And bringing your family to a foreign country for a chance to wave you off at six in the morning to work on the land all day can't be any easier. The fact is, they work. Well, most of them do anyway. There are some continental habits I don't entirely approve of, like drinking vodka in the park at eight o'clock in the morning and relieving oneself against the nearest tree. But you can't escape the fact that for the most part our EU partners work hard, take jobs that need doing and do them well in spite of the fact that there is (in some instances) a potential local labour force unwilling to do either.

And talking of things that don't work, may I add local 'democracy' to the list? I know the idea of elected mayors was comprehensively rejected at the plebiscite just recently but... how many turned up to vote? And how many of those who did were persuaded by the arguments of the existing politicians, keen on retaining a status quo that does them very nicely thank you in terms of expenses?

I could go on. But I'll spare you. Before I go, though, I'll just add the unfashionable opinion that it's madness of the Beeb to leave the iconic BBC Television Centre in West London. I know, renting studios in Salford because they're, like, 'in the north' and in private hands is a 'good idea' because private is good and public is bad and all that, but it seems rather like privatising the Houses of Parliament or making Her Maj rent a palace in Birmingham or something. A ridiculous idea.

This post isn't intended to be in any way political. For what it's worth, I'm the ultimate sitting-on-the-fence floating voter. I'm just flying a kite to see if what I regard as common sense is as uncommon as it sometimes seems to me, sitting at home shouting at the television. (What? You don't do that?)

The enemy, of course, is ideology - whether it's your party manifesto or union position or just inherited prejudice. We seem cursed with a system that means you're either 'for' them or 'against' them and everything 'they' stand for.

But I've never minded being different. I was in a minority of one in preferring this to all the bands my friends were raving about when I was at school...

Ah, Jethro Tull - about as unfashionable as my opinions. But darned good, for all that. (Tull, that is, not my opinions.)

Still, it'd be a dull old world if we all thought the same, as my nan used to say.

What are your unfashionable opinions?


  1. Lol. I do quite a lot of this. Along with listening to people ranting about cuts and thinking 'errrr.... Have you entirely missed the whole there is no money to run this country with thing?' :)

  2. Anoop Singh-Best29 May 2012 at 10:53

    Agree with most of what you say, especially about immigration. It's hard to relocate a few miles, never mind several thousand. And yes they work, they work hard. They do what locals won't do but spend time complaining when others do it instead.
    As for my unpopular opinion? I don't think that parents who leave their children unattended in an apartment in Portugal and subsequently have their child kidnapped deserve any sympathy, money or publicity. They deserve prosecution and prison.

  3. Wow, Tim, you're really 'on one' today!
    I am also sick to death of hearing people moaning ON about bankers' bonuses. There, I said it. What they don't realise is that, in order to cut the big boss's salary every single pleb in every single bank has also lost their bonuses now too. Hard work deserves CONTRACTUALLY AGREED reimbursement. Phew!

  4. Over here (USA) where the summer game is baseball, they actually have "beer men" walking around the stadium lugging trays of beer round their necks. You don't even have to get up and buy it inside. And you know what, in the 22 years I've been living here and attending baseball games, I have NEVER seen a fight. Even when the Chicago Cubs play the Chicago White Sox!
    It can be done.

  5. I agree with your views on immigration. I love the Poles, they are hard workers.

    My unpopular opinion is that there should be no unemployment or any benefit of any kind unless you have paid into the system for a period of time. This would stop those popping out babies in senior school or those kids who don't want to learn or earn.

  6. One of my unfashionable opinions is I generally don't vote.That makes me a bell end, okay, but every time there's an election I can't choose between the two or three loser candidates in the UK elections. I wish I could vote here in the US now though because I would really love to vote for Obama, firstly because he is a great guy secondly to stop Romney from storming the White House in his morman underwear.

  7. Oh... so many things I could say... like... I'm in favour of death penalty in some cases... and I think we should all be governed by the UN (~FFS... that's why it was created in the 1st place) and I think life would be much better if we had an nuclear or viral Armageddon or something like that and had to start from scratch... Also... Chips dipped in ice-cream ROCK!!!! ;-)

  8. Hear hear! I think you'll find the minority is getting larger! I totally agree with drinking, it's more to do with the people drinking it and their own attitudes. Also 100% behind with regards to immigration, these people do travel hundreds of miles to do the jobs that others here would never entertain! Time for the news now I think! lol xx

  9. Your nan is absolutely right it would be a dull world. I've never minded being unfashionable and right now I'm really fed up with of all the hype around the jubilee celebrations. Every company in the land is marketing their jubilee tat and it's forced me to switch off the tv and avoid shopping which when I think about it maybe not a bad thing after all.

  10. Absolutely agree about drinking and sport, I've been to rugby matches many times and there just isn't any trouble. Even at the sevens at Twickers which is essentially a 10 hour drinking session in the sun I don't think I've seen any flare ups.


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