Friday 25 January 2013

Well I'll Be Burgered

When it emerged that the theme that the great political minds at Davos were supposed to be on about was “Dynamic Resilience” the first thought that this sounded like something for sale at the naughty shop on our local High Street.

This street has changed a great deal in recent years.  The naughty shop was once a gentleman’s outfitters, how things change, but there is perhaps a continuity here that reflects our changing society.

The great sensation this week was the “ball boy” who tried to help his home team, Swansea City overcome Chelsea in their League Cup semi-final by hanging on to the ball in the last minutes to waste time and was kicked for his pains.

At first all the sympathy was for the ball boy, if only because the Chelsea player who tried to get the ball was a Belgian.  Later it emerged that the ball boy was a stroppy teenager who had previously announced his intentions on the internet. 

Also, his father is a wealthy man who volunteered his son and heir for the job because others had more sense than to hang around soccer grounds in the freezing cold and they were short of ball boys.  He was a sort of media intern in his way.

There were other opinions about the matter.  It was reported that Joey Barton, a footballer famous for upsetting people and direct physical methods, felt the boy should have been kicked a lot harder.  In a way it was Dynamic Resilience in a different form.

The other great reflection of our times is the business about the burgers.  It seems that in our great supermarkets you get what you pay for, rather than what you are being told you are getting. 

Felicity Lawrence of “The Guardian” is an expert in what we eat and how it is produced and gives her views in today’s article:

The picture above is the donkey “Pollyanne” who made several appearances at the Royal Opera House in the chorus of “Carmen”.  This opera concerns employment issues in Spain a couple of centuries ago.  If Pollyanne has entered the food chain there really should have been a premium price for those burgers.

Today is also “Burn’s Night” when all true Scots and quite a lot who aren’t but like and appreciate his works will celebrate his life, songs and poetry.  It is the norm for haggis to be consumed as well as whisky. 

Inevitably, there is some disagreement about the exact recipe for a haggis.  But as in the past it was essentially a kind of meat pudding plus cereals it may well have been variable according to what was available at the time, also the breeds farmed will have changed down the centuries.

The difficulty these days is finding a shop haggis that isn’t packed with the kind of items that Felicity does not like whatever meat and other items may be thought to be appropriate to the mix.

What Burn’s might have made of Glasgow being given £24 millions of taxpayers’ money to become a “smart city” can only be guessed.  It is fair to say that he might have been cynical about something called a Technology Strategy Board based in Swindon, Wiltshire telling Glaswegians how to be intelligent.

The board is based in a building called “North Star House”.  If you put into search images on your browser “Great Western Railway locomotive North Star” with luck you will see some fine pictures of the famous 1837 locomotive.

The idea of a state agency striving to be at the forefront of a new technical world relating to an 1837 steam locomotive is interesting.  But perhaps you need to go to Davos to listen to the great and good and the not so great and not so good trying to sort out their ideas on economics, finance and society 

They are trying to come to terms with a world that is changing more rapidly than their governments, statisticians and economists can cope with.

The reality is that they are about as much use as a ball boy fed on cheap burgers.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect Chinese and Korean burgers will be next. A sort of dog eat dog world.