As for food, it seems that as we all grow ever more prosperous (another goal which is apparently sine qua non in the western ‘civilised world’), we can afford ever more arcane food from all corners of the world, which we ship in but don’t always eat. Then there’s our ‘concern’ for our carbon footprint which means we are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels, of which bio-fuels are one. The trouble is that to ensure we have enough bio-fuel in the western world so that we can reduce our ‘carbon footprint’, land so far used for growing food crops is now being increasingly used to grow bio crops to produce bio fuels. Why? Because they sell for more: the western world, concerned as it is to save the planet for future generations is willing to pay more for bio fuels than the poor of the world can afford to pay for food crops. Obvious, really, when you think about it.
Here in Britain (and in other parts of Europe) we have related tomfoolery. While scientists (make that ‘scientists’) beaver away to ensure we live longer, governments (I am inclined to write ‘governments’) are getting increasingly worried that there won’t be enough young working young people around who they can tax in order to pay for the care of an ever larger group of elderly. A short-term solution has been to ‘raise retirement age’, so that people carry on paying their own way for longer. All fine and dandy you would think, except that industry is rather less inclined to employ older folk because they can get away with paying young folk lower wages. Younger folk are also thought to be more adaptable to change.
All in all a fuck-up in the making. So what’s new?
Here’s my solution: kill off everyone over 75 irregardless of material status, and kill off as many ‘Third World’ poor people as we can decently get away with without raising too many eyebrows. It might sound like a drastic solution, but the imperative to ‘save the planet’ surely takes precedence over our somewhat sentimental regard for life.
. . .
There can now be few in the world who have never heard of Piers Morgan and the lad is now well on his way to world domination. From the factory dormitories of Xianxing to the call centres of South Shield the talk is of nothing but how the man’s talents, charisma and ambition have landed him the Top Job: standing in for Larry King on (I should imagine it’s called) The Larry King Show. If, on the other hand, you haven’t yet heard of Piers Morgan (aka the Honourable Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan, 8th Baron Wapping when he’s in his birthday suit) you’re either a Trappist monk or dead.
It seems his first appearance in the hot seat was a complete triumph in which he managed to get one Oprah Winfrey to talk about herself and her new TV channel. Well! That shows
the doubters who said it was all stuff and nonsense when young Piers first announced he was in line for the position.
I’ve never met him, although when I worked subbing shifts on the Sun, he was editing the paper’s Bizarre column and he would be around the feature backbench every night, cutting what I always thought was a rather incongruous figure in a Tweed sports jacket. He is said to be insufferably Tiggerish, but to be fair I know three people who have worked with him and two of them speak quite highly off him. The third jointly presented a TV programme with him and she is rather less of a fan. The first two knew him, respectively at the Sun in the early Nineties and when he edited the Mirror (which might still in those days have been called the Daily Mirror).
His rather less enthusiastic acquaintance knew him several years later, after he had been sacked from the Miror, but by which time his ego had apparently grown rather large.
The guy who worked with him on the Sun (and was rather more senior than Piers, although in a different, tho’ related department) now works on the same desk as me, and he told me an anecdote about Piers from when he ran and wrote the Sun’s Bizzare column. In fact, he didn’t write quite large chunks of it — that would have been impossible — and had a deputy and staff writers, but everything appeared under the ‘Piers Morgan’ byline. That is not necessarily an indication of an outrageous ego, it’s just how many such columns operated and operate. At the Sun Piers’ deputy was a chap called Peter Willis, a rather pleasant unassuming chap, and, of course, everything he produced appeared under Piers Morgan’s byline. After few years, Rupert Murdoch, who owns News International, plucked Piers and made him the editor of the News Of The World, which was the lad’s first step to stardom. (From there he went on to edit the Mirror, although as the Mirror was the Sun’s arch-rival, the move across didn’t go down well with Murdoch. But that move came later.)
As editor of the News Of The Screws, Morgan hit pay-dirt and among his perks was a chauffeur-driven car. It seems that one dark and rainy night he was being driven home from the Wapping plant in whatever luxury limo he had been given when he spotted his old deputy Peter Willis leaving the building, his coat wrapped around him to keep out the cold. He had the chauffeur stop car and he offered Willis a lift, which his former deputy accepted gratefully. As the two of them were driving along in the back of the limo, Morgan asked Willis:
‘Peter, do you remember all those stories you found working on Bizarre which you then wrote up and which then appeared under my byline?’
‘Yes,’ said Willis.
‘Well,’ said Morgan, proudly indicating the interior of his plush limo and all its luxuries, ‘look where they got me.’