Ethical shopping is now a thing. It’s not just making sure that no rainforests were destroyed to grow your coffee and bananas and your trainers are made by someone above school age. It’s also, apparently, not buying presents that people don’t need; and buying second hand if possible. The radio item I heard yesterday ended with words that will be music to most men’s hears: ’The best solution is to try to avoid shopping generally’. Merry Christmas, everyone.
The ’70s were for my coming-of-age time, as they were for Stuart Maconie, author of ‘The Nanny State Made Me’. It’s when I took my 0 and A Levels, went to uni and started my first job. My view of the decade will always be rose-tinted, I’ll remember the music, discos, student grants (wouldn’t have known what a tuition fee was) and monthly inflationary pay rises negotiated by unions of which I was not a member. The strikes, high taxes and IRA bombs were background noise to me and, yes, I was the first in my family to go to university and, yes, despite everything, felt more secure with a nanny state in charge than at any time since. I’d happily pay more tax to give my kids and grandkids the same.