Yesterday we looked at university-'educated' nitwits - should the collective noun be 'u-nits'?
Now, here's how, further down the ladder, daycare and schooling can make a huge difference:
Yesterday we looked at university-'educated' nitwits - should the collective noun be 'u-nits'?
Now, here's how, further down the ladder, daycare and schooling can make a huge difference:
|Medical practitioner and multiple murderer Harold Shipman; |
initially the inquiry was to have been held in secret
Nice to see that 76 MPs voted on Thursday against the extension of the Government's extraordinary power grab over the people. The honour roll is here:
In fact the 484 Members voting FOR were almost exclusively Conservative and Labour, the exceptions being the DUP's Jim Shannon and the Labour expellee/resignee Claudia Webbe. Alas, neither of the latter two spoke, so their reasons are not clear to me.
If you should happen to have a pint of milk about your person, a tip of the hat to you.
Sir Charles Walker
As sure as eggs are eggs, we will be back here in six months, at the end of September, being asked to renew this legislation again. It is inevitable, and anyone who thinks it is not is deluding themselves. But this afternoon I am not here to talk about eggs; I want to talk about milk.
In the remaining days of this lockdown, I am going to allow myself an act of defiance—my own protest, which others may join me in. I am going to protest about the price of milk. I am not sure whether I think the price is too high or too low—I shall come to that decision later—but for the next few days I am going to walk around London with a pint of milk on my person, because that pint will represent my protest. There may be others who will choose, too, to walk around London with a pint of milk on their person, and perhaps as we walk past each other in the street our eyes might meet. We might even stop for a chat. But I was thinking to myself, and I will continue to think to myself, what will their pint of milk represent—what will their protest be? Perhaps they will be protesting the roaring back of a mental health demon, brought on by lockdown. Perhaps they will be protesting a renewed battle with anorexia, with depression, with anxiety, with addiction. Perhaps, with their pint of milk, they will be protesting the lack of agency in their life—not being able to make a meaningful decision; maybe a loss of career or job or business. Maybe they will be protesting this country’s slide into authoritarianism, or perhaps they will be protesting the fact that we allow unelected officials to have lecterns at No. 10 to lecture us on how to live our lives. But there might even be people, with their pint of milk, quietly protesting that the route out of lockdown is too slow, or perhaps even too fast. You see, the point is, Madam Deputy Speaker, that these people can project what they like—what concern they have—on to their pint of milk.
My protest, as I said, will be about none of those things. It will simply be about the price of milk and, as I said, for the next few days I will have that pint on me, it will be of symbolic importance to me, and at the end of the day it will be warm, it will have suppurated, and I can choose whether to drink it or pour it away, because it will be robbed of its refreshing elegance by the time it has been in my pocket for 12 hours. And if I pour it away, that might cause people some concern, but it does not matter because it is my pint of milk and it is my protest, and I am not seeking people’s acclaim, endorsement or support in my protest.
And you know, Madam Deputy Speaker, I heard and I listened to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This will pass; my protest will pass, the pandemic will pass, and in years to come I will be sitting at my kitchen table—perhaps with my wife, and hopefully my children, who will still want to see me—and I will break away from our excited conversation about the day because I will spot that pint of milk on the table, and that pint shall remind me that the act of protest is a freedom—a freedom, not a right, and unless you cherish freedoms every day, unless you fight for freedoms every day, they end up being taken away from you.
|You will obey………………...|
On a trip earlier this week, taking the wife to the supermarket for the weekly shop, I saw one of the saddest sights it has been my misfortune to come across.
An old boy alone with a stick and a shopping trolley was walking along on the other side to the road wearing a WW1 style double respirator and what looked a lint pad beneath as it protruded slightly round the edges. As he shuffled along stooped over his trolley it was a moment when you asked yourself, what have those bastards in government done to a small percentage of the population with their and the compliant MSM continual scare stories?
The government doesn’t deny the existence of a ‘nudge’ unit: the Behavioural Insights Team was founded in the Cabinet Office in 2010 under David Cameron's leadership, now owned by the Cabinet Office, NESTA a charity, which does not show any leaning towards behavioural insights but must have some input or take out for it to be involved, and employees; makes it sound like a well meaning mutual!
BIT now operates across the globe. Joseph Goebbels would have been proud, he never managed to establish that sort of unit outside of Germany.
The Department of Health has been complicit in working with the nudge unit in applying items that will ‘encourage’ practices that promote cleanliness during the coronavirus such as the hands-face-space jingle and the use of the word 'disgust' to make people adhere to the cleanliness practices. All well and good as far as it goes, but it has gone further than that.
It is about making people make the right choices, as seen by the unit, in their own interests. An earlier example of their work was this little gem which, small as it seems, resulted in many prescription drugs being taken off the GPs' lists and the patients having to purchase them privately; despite the words in which the action is couched I know from first hand experience it is not about having to buy your own Paracetamol, it actually eats into necessary drugs that have to be taken on a regular basis:
'The unit’s successes include sending letters to British GPs who were prescribing more than their peers, cutting unnecessary prescriptions by 3.3%.'
The percentage is now higher than that.
There is also the question of how and why this was floated off from the Cabinet Office and who gained. Nothing is revealed; an old comment from the Guardian, of all places, asks the same:
'Rather than just publishing this uncritical puff piece, the Guardian of old would have at least mentioned something about the questions raised (eg in Private Eye) about how the unit was privatised, its funding, and the benefits that have accrued to its former civil servant staff.'
Its initial funding was a Lottery grant of £250 million; I always thought Lottery grants were for good causes, but that finished long ago.
The BIT has had success in several areas, such as getting in tax revenues due on time, and getting ten million to sign up to pension schemes, if you can call our state pension schemes good.
About how to protect care homes, didn’t actually do too well there, did they? but they ploughed on with their radical suggestions.
From a Tribune article:
'For them, public policy is about changing public behaviour without the public even realising you are there. This seemed a clever approach to their devotees in the early days, before the government wised up to the scale of the threat. Now we know it is exactly the wrong way to deal with the massive social changes the coronavirus pandemic requires.'
Naturally in this age the nudge unit use machine learning, the study of algorithms and statistical models.
And again we know how well those have panned out during the pandemic in all quarters, yet still they are allowed to influence policy.
The coronavirus nudging has worked:
This virus is made to seem akin to the Black Death, yet it fails to kill more than 0.3% of those that get it and of those the average age at death is actually higher than the current life expectancy. All of this has been oft repeated over the last year and still it goes on despite a virtual nil rate of deaths now.
It is noticeable that certain supermarkets after dealing with the virus very successfully for this past year have suddenly ramped up the restrictions: more notices about using the provided sanitiser (it had disappeared earlier), more notices about not being allowed in without a face mask, and now more staff are wearing the things where previously many did not, the distance markings have reappeared and as with our visit to Waitrose today the announcements on distancing from the announcement system are endless, resulting in the Morris dancing in the aisles coming back with a vengeance.
This can't be a coincidence. The road map out of the virus as portrayed by Bojo contained all the carrot and stick caveats of previous announcements and the nudge unit would be behind it all, but what they have done to some older folks of which I am one, though not affected,is shameful if not downright cruel; in the case of the old man at the start of this if you told him to turn right for the ‘showers’ he would have gone - as Goebbels said, 'if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.'
An article in Drinks Business raises the organic biodynamic approach to winemaking to a different level by quoting research? That shows…….
You have to read the whole article to be able to form an opinion on what is contained therein
If you read the article nowhere will you see if the wines were tasted blind, the rhetoric suggests they were not, which begs the question are the judges all jumping on the same bandwagon? Organic and biodynamic is increasingly part of the sales pitch in the food industry along with veganism and the increasing pressure from climate change activists that we should eat ever less meat among other ‘life’ choices they have chosen for us.
When couched as ‘saving the planet’ it is easy to express an opinion that will go unchallenged so the movement gathers momentum regardless of any side effects such as increased retail cost and bigger profits for the manufacturers and even God forbid another valid and substantiated opinion.
The problem with the article is yet another example of critics being the arbiters of taste. As with all tastings they are subjective, so I find it hard to believe, unless they knew what they were tasting, to believe the results. I defy anyone to taste two decent wines blind and state categorically that one was organic or had its grapes picked under a full moon and the other was not.
There have been enough examples of research to prove that wine critics are no better than the general public at getting consistent results when tasting wine blind and that means no clues to cost origin etc., taking that into account it beggars belief that they can add 4-6% increase in rating figures for wines that are organic or/and biodynamic; the no rise in percentage points for wines that are organically produced but do not mention the fact on the label rather gives the game away re tasting blind, and the latter biodynamic section seems to involve a lot of what can only be described as witchcraft grafted onto organics.
“Cow horns are stuffed with manure compost and buried into the ground all through the winter, then later excavated. “please………………..or……..
““Ideally, when I can, I try to harvest my grapes during fruit days; in other words, days when the moon travels in front of a constellation of fire from the zodiac calendar. For example, Lion, Aries or Sagittarius. These are more propitious days for a more expressive wine.”
Fruit is picked when it is at its best, early morning for freshness, before the rains come etc. Man or woman decides when that moment is, it has nothing to do with where the moon is at any given time, other than by pure coincidence; if you believe that you believe in Tarot cards, mediums, lucky heather and rabbits feet and being able to cross the M1 blindfold during the rush hour and live.
This article from the same publication has a group of wine makers, all organic, wanting any wine that isn’t to have a label stating the fact as though it is some sort pariah wine; well they would, wouldn’t they, it is to their commercial advantage.
What they fail to say, as does the organic movement in general is the vast majority of pesticides and fertilisers are from organic organisms or derived from. The only thing that is wrong has been in certain areas a gross overuse of the same products, yet even now organic producers are allowed to use copper sulphites in certain cases, though to a lesser extent in Europe, and still be organic.
The communities' own Steve Slatcher did a very good piece on the subject a couple of years back:
I know two agronomists, one is a vineyard consultant the other is working in the more general agriculture field and both believe much, not all, of the organic movement is purely a marketing ploy, as many of the practices that are labelled organic have been part of farming for years without the label.
As stated in Steve’s piece many are of the opinion that cheaper wines are only possible because large scale producers use inordinate amounts of pesticides and fertilisers, but that is no longer true as with farming in general those amounts have through legislation been reduced dramatically over recent years, it is not a claim that can be levelled at those producers any more, as much as the organic movement would like to.
Another piece here…
... includes evidence that organic farming produces more Co2 which is not in line with organic thinking, yet again as the organic movement starts to get more scrutiny there is now also evidence that just maybe Co2 is not the evil it is made out to be, so we now have contradictory viewpoints.
Which is backed up by this….
Words in the context of organic are used in a way that implies that nature is part of the winemaking process; ’natural’ wine gives the impression it made itself, no human being was involved in the process, that of course is nonsense, man is the reason wine exists from the beginnings to now. 'Sustainable' is another hijacked word, there is nothing sustainable about energy production using windmills, they are about the least sustainable production method of them all but that word is attached as a badge of ‘good credentials.’ We have to be very wary of a movement that wants to be taken seriously on the strength of a green backed headline, there is on all levels huge amounts of public money being pumped into green technology which is hidden from public view. ‘What is good for you’ is not to be taken at face value, but it is also very good for them the producers; the truth is emerging on all fronts, but a juggernaut is not easy to stop.
By coincidence as I was putting this together the Times published an article about another research carried out by Jens Gaab whose main job is a placebo researcher at Basel University, who says he is interested in context effects, ‘if you reframe something’ what happens?
His study involved offering 150 people three different wines and asking them to rate them.
All were 2013 Italian reds but that is where the similarity ended. One was a £25 a bottle, one was £8 a bottle and one - La Pupille - £50 a bottle.
The first tasting was blind and all came out on an equal footing re taste. Some were told the £50 bottle was £8 and the £8 was a fine £25 wine; the results then showed the £8 wine being judged the best of the three. You can make of it what you will, similar tests have been done before and with ‘experts,’ with the same results.
As Gaab says, wine companies are clever, they know that if they make wine more expensive it tastes better- and they aim for that, because it is a huge market.
Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford said the findings fitted in with a growing body of research showing that price feeds into perceptions of quality, including a study in 2008 that showed increased activation in the brain's reward centres when people were told they were drinking expensive wine.
All of this can be extrapolated into the 'organic is better' push we are seeing now. Organics make people believe they are making a choice for the good and don’t mind paying for it, their comfort zone is expanded.
The Times wine critic, Jane MacQuitty defends the experts' stance by saying it takes years of practice and training to sort the wheat from the chaff, yet studies with experts when tasting blind have proved to be little different from the average wine drinker.
She then attacks the promotion of wine in heavy bottles back label hype, overly ornate labelling, with gold medals galore, ah gold medals a large part of the wine critic's folio of work.
She finishes with Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware, and I thought it was the critic's job to assist the general public in their decisions; obviously not.
On the matter of taste, again, the truth is not told, anyone who grows their own veg will claim rightly that the produce tastes better. It does; not because you are following organic practices, that part has minimal effect, but because you are growing varieties that taste better but are uneconomic for the commercial grower - yes they could grow them but no one unless they were in a higher income bracket could afford them. Organic produce from the same varieties that are grown commercially fetch a much higher retail price and taste the same, taste is incidental to the cause.
Much of the higher retail price, and that will apply to wine as all other foods, is the extra labour involved in production: modern farming has reduced labour costs, organics increases them.
For many organics is a lifestyle choice, it is also a choice many cannot follow for financial reasons. If all goes organic many will struggle to put food on the table. The average increase over standard commercial farmed products is around 45%, some items are the same cost, but not many.
The advances in vineyard management and winery production techniques has seen enormous strides made in the quality of wine production from the humble supermarket red to the Cru-classed Château, but the organic gravy train is to good to not jump on. As the article says, it puts retail prices up as buyers perceive the statement that a wine is organic means a better tasting product and worth the extra cost; that remains unproven but peer pressure will ensure all follow that path, but not necessarily for the reasons stated.
The trouble with the green lobby it is never enough, the zealots would have everything going back to subsistence farming if they had their way.
Organic wine production promotes a similar vision: horses with ploughs in vineyards makes a wonderful-feelz advertising picture, any addition to the quality of the wine is purely coincidental.
After all that what do I buy? What I like is the simple answer, and that is a pretty broad church. If you take everything said that is bad about wine we all might as well drink Yellow Tail and forget everything else. That of course is not what it is about, but a more forensic and balanced view on all we are fed is not going to do any harm, a little cynicism never did any harm either, and the way to deal with all this bullshit is to buy what you like, drink what you like and ignore almost everyone. As Arthur Daley would say, “The world is your lobster.”
I don't care what the weatherman says, as Louis Armstrong sang. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQBfYZcBSPA Even Piers Morgan can't be wrong about everything, and when weathermxn Alex Beresford attempted to lecture him on his failure to collude with the mythology Meghan is trying to construct around herself he walked off set (see below - had he planned to do so all along?), dogpiled with 41,000 complaints from the gullible public.
In Meghan's case, the 'third person in the marriage' has been the camera, starting long before the ceremony; I could wish that when filmed and photographed she looked at her husband more than, and with at least as much love as, at the lens.
Mention of the ceremony leads us to the couple's claim to have been married clandestinely three days before the Windsor Castle celebration; a claim at first passively reported in the news media passim - perhaps another example of how much journalism has become internet copy-taking by cub reporters:
'... We called the Archbishop and we just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world. But we want our union between us, so the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury...
'Added Harry, 'Yeah, just the three of us.''
Pace Oprah's uncritical complicity with her interviewees, this assertion bears on the Duchess' truthfulness and so lends weight to Morgan's assessment; for the 'pre-wedding wedding' cannot have been valid.
In this country (excluding Scotland) a wedding must take place in an authorised location and inside a permanent structure (not, for example, in a marquee); no such outbuilding appears to be in the 'backyard' of Kensington Palace's Nottingham Cottage. The public must have access to the venue, and there must be at least two witnesses; neither requirement appears to have been fulfilled. Also, where was the advance declaration?
The Arhcbishop of Canterbury has maintained silence on this matter, presumably unwilling to be seen to contradict the Duchess, though this has not prevented her father from characterising her as a 'liar' https://www.newidea.com.au/meghan-markle-dad-letter-sue-documentary-court-case or her half-sister Samantha from calling her a 'narcissist' and 'sociopath.' https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/meghan-markle-unloads-on-fathers-betrayal-and-unknown-halfsister-samantha-markle-fires-back/news-story/536199aab9dd492c2e1e28ab92fea484
Let us be charitable and say it was a 'stretcher' - a misinterpretation, deliberate or unintentional, of some rehearsal or blessing - rather than a complete fabrication; but in a courtroom it would damage the credibility of her evidence generally. 'Recollections may vary,' as the Palace's depth-charge phrase has said. https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1407379/Royal-Family-latest-Queen-response-meghan-markle-prince-harry-interview-end-of-monarchy However, the Prince was ready to back her up - a readiness guyed by Black Country comedienne 'Doreen Tipton':
I would pay good money to see the pair interviewed again, but this time by the mercilessly interrogative Judge Judy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Judy
Meghan won't win in her attempts to destroy the Monarchy, though, if that's what she's after rather than a Tinseltown career as 'wronged woman.'
Among the many reasons why is the existence of the Privy Council, that secretive and autocratic organisation to which the real power of the country has been devolved for centuries and of which all Prime Ministers and Cabinet ministers are automatically members. No Crown, no Privy Council.
No outsider will be allowed to throw a spanner into the engine, with its almost unlimited potential for arbitrary power; a capacity explored by an unscrupulous Tony Blair and his accomplices as soon as New Labour hit the ground running, starting with the meeting on 3 May 1997 that gave the PM the right to nominate three people to give political orders to the Civil Service https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/247039/response/605821/attach/3/3%20May%201997%20Civil%20Service%20Amendment%20Order%20in%20Council%201997.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1.
Tony Benn warned many years ago - and I'm sorry not to have the link - that our freedoms could be swept away in an afternoon by Order In Council. That magic wand, plus Blair's Civil Contingencies Act 2004 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/36/contents and the increasing use of secondary legislation has seen a coup against British civil liberties that has led - under an allegedly Conservative PM - to the entire country being held under open arrest and a prey to overempowered uniformed prodnosing and bullying.
The Hollywood Princess has no idea what she has taken on, and she can save all her posturing and bloviating for the mirror, mirror on the wall. For our part, we need to turn away from this frivolity and address the loss of our habits of liberty that we misunderstood as our inalienable rights.
"... We called the Archbishop and we just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world. But we want our union between us, so the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury and that was the piece that...
"Added Harry, "Yeah, just the three of us.""
Here is guidance on marriage under the law of England and Wales:
The marriage must take place in a registered building. Not all buildings are registered, so it is important to check first with your local authority. If the building is not registered then the marriage will not be legally recognised.
The ceremony itself can take any form, provided that:
Running parallel to my recent move was the horrendous amount of time and effort required to inform all parties of new details, address, phone etc.
It’s not that long ago a change of address card was all that was required to send to all concerned and have your details amended, but that is so last decade; now instead of giving your details to the local card printing firm and mailing them off when printed you have to spend a couple of days, if you have the will and stamina, going through passwords, usernames, secret locations, last three digits of your phone number, 2nd 5th and 8th item of your account number, date of birth, old address and God help you if you have forgotten one or more of them.
Some to be fair are reasonably straightforward presuming you are au fait with the internet; with others some it makes no difference they are fiendishly over complicated and many do not respond in kind, they are a deliberate trap for the unwary.
Whilst Google is not involved in this list of people and organisations to be notified anyone who has lost their Google password will know what I mean, it is a catch 22 situation: ‘forgotten your password? Click here and we will send an email': email arrives, 'follow link to reset your password', click link, 'before you can go on please fill in with your old password' - errrrr... and a day later you have cracked it or not, as in one case they refused to accept my new password I had struggled so hard to set up and still wanted my old that I didn’t have.
That has absolutely, other than as an illustration, nothing to do with the countless organisations one has to inform if you move home. There used to be a rather good shortcut as regards all sorts of cards that could be lodged with CPP who would inform all those CC providers with the new details saving you the trouble; not any more, you are on your own. Why it changed I don’t know but it has lost value as that was one of the reasons I joined it.
I have just for instance had to update details on my Halifax account. I log in to the website and am then told you can only change your details using your phone app, why is not explained. I do have the app but never use it, as I have no need to, but in for a penny... I open the app and put in my password and am told the app needs updating; I press the update key, and a sign comes up telling me it will only update with a 4G phone. I am already losing patience, but I do have a new phone that is 4G, not that I would know the difference, so I read the instructions and download the app onto that phone and follow the ten steps, yes ten, you need to do to set it up including endlessly putting in your password when you finally get to the bit where you can change your details.
After that, and it took a total of forty minutes, I awarded myself a keep calm award, as it is not in my nature to suffer these things, normally I simply log off and write a letter - isn’t that and the phone how we used to do these things anyway, before the digital age?
It’s all done for us they say, security in this day and age online is paramount, except of course it is us doing all the hard work and not the providers.
While going through all the organisations that I need to contact to change my details or profile as they term it today - I always thought profile was what you had on a Penny Black! - anyway, other ways to identify your good self are appearing. I will not ask if they are necessary, but fingerprint recognition sounds a bit worrying: what if your prints are already on file, does that bar you from usage? Many people have their fingerprints on file and they are not removed by the Police as it is. Face recognition was also mentioned; I have no intention of doing a phone booth impression into my phone to get access to anything; perhaps we should all go the whole hog and put together a short singing dancing Tik Tok video that we introduce for entry to these sites, along the lines of ‘my name is x and I live at y and it rhymes with my memorable name and password’ all to a choreographed dance pinched from Fred Astaire.... I am sure we are not far off something like that.
I also had a request from the Electoral Commission to register to vote. Amazingly this involved a very simple short online form that took no time at all to fill in, all you need is the number on the letter, but there was a strange line under the request aying that if you did not return the form filled in or complete the online form you can be fined £80. As it is not compulsory to vote in this country how can they fine you for something you have a choice over? All very Orwellian.
But my piece de resistance in all this was my internet provider and yes I will name names, it was Plusnet. I was with Plusnet at the previous property so all should have been simple. Numerous emails came telling me all was well and my service would start on the 10th of Feb; we move in, I plug in as per instructions and await another email. A couple of hours later bingo! the email arrives and I can plug in my hub and get going - only my phone line is dead, it has no dialling tone and the hub refuses to show anything but red.
I wait as sometimes connection does not follow immediately but it is till dead as a dodo. I phone and get a helpful chap who listens to my story and suggests that I wait 24 hours for a refresher! And if nothing then phone again. It is obvious, because sod's law says it is, that in 24 hours nothing will happen, and nothing does. I phone again and the fun starts: all operatives are working from home and no one has a clue as to what the previous one has done or said.
Meanwhile I am getting emails or messages telling me the line has been checked and all is hunky dory; it isn’t it is still dead. New man suggests we cancel an account; I have no knowledge of what he cancelled but again the following day still nothing and an engineer from Open Reach will be with me on Friday Saturday or Monday which is helpful. The messages responding to my complaint still come telling me the engineers have checked the line and all is still well. I give up and await the engineer.
Naturally he doesn’t appear Friday or Saturday or Monday. Late Monday I phone again; this time someone who knows what he is talking about answers the phone. It appears for reasons beyond the grave that they have been checking my line at my old address and there is nothing wrong with that line, but then I don’t live there any more. The man delves deeper and says someone earlier made a big cock-up when closing my new account at the new address which answers the emails I am getting saying ‘sorry to lose you’ and it is decided another new account in a few days will take effect at a lower rate to compensate for my troubles; that leaves me with no phone or internet until then and I am left with no choice.
As I put the phone down the man from Openreach appears, my story is told again and he confirms they have been checking my old line, not this one and it has ben dormant for a year anyway as I informed them at the start. The man fixes various meters and gauges to the output plug and says he is going down the road to find the errant wiring. Over two hours later he returns, plugs all in and we wait; ten minutes later I am online - and have a phone with my old number that I don’t want as I have informed all the earlier organisations of the new number and the insurance ones charge to change details! Another con for another day, and to change back would incur more costs.
Meanwhile as I have set up yet another account the ‘sorry to lose you’ messages start again and then the ones with the new account arrive still with my old number, so I go back on the phone to clarify that I have absolutely no desire to retain my old number. The conversation was akin to a sketch from the Fast Show, with the operator continually asking if I wanted to keep the old number and me continually saying no I want the new one as shown on the new account; why he persisted is a mystery.
Then the post arrives with a parcel from Plusnet with a new hub, why? So again on the phone to discover I have no need of the new and all will be fine on the day, and mercy me it was. Anyone want a hub, still in packing unused and ready to go?
What anyone gleans from all this is their affair, for me it is a simple stating of a fact: it was much quicker and a lot simpler before the digital age. The internet has some wonderful attributes but it also has some appalling areas that are a waste of time and effort.