I watched Panorama tonight and it was quite short but very good. Frank Skinner investigated bad language and people causing offence on TV. It was quite Brooker-esque. Frank Skinner should be on TV more, and Al Murray much less.
I'm generally of the opinion, if you don't like something, turn over. I want to complain to Offcom about people complaining to Offcom. How do we do that?!
Frank went on to interview Roy Chubby Brown. Isn't Roy Chubby Brown committing a hate crime by spouting his bigotted crap? I remember vividly being much younger and people in my house watching his show and feeling utterly disgusted by it. He should be extinct now, by rights, the venues that put on his show should be ashamed.
Then you have the other end of the scale, where it's obvious someone has a good heart, and part of the hatred is just envy. The amount of people who probably watched Jonathan Ross the other night just so they could mither about it is actually tragic. Get a life, dude. Weigh up the 'BBC snubs Gaza appeal' story with 'JRo makes fun of old granny', and two and two will not make four. The vast majority of written media is pathetic and I look forward to the collapse of it in future. Thank god for the internet and independent thought. (Oh, except if you want to give me a job, obviously) Definitely worth a look on the I Player anyway if you missed it.
After that I watched Chickens, Hugh and Tesco Too (awful title). As do-gooding chefs go, Hugh is definitely on the more bearable end of the scale. Chicken is probably my favourite food, and one of the only healthy things I eat. I am a meat eater, but I do care about animal welfare, unlike a lot of people, who sadly, do not give a shit.
Kudos to Waitrose and M&S for banning battery chickens. But then there's the argument people who shop in Lidl and Morrissons (ie. me) can't afford to pay six or seven pounds for a chicken. However, this show was more about a compromise, which I think was very useful, and pretty clever. Free range does have a image of Waitrose snobbery about it, and is out of reach for a lot of ordinary people. This gave a third option.
It was interesting seeing inside the barn and what the 'standard chicken' meant; i.e. wall to wall birds who can't move, are grown intensively, and looking extremely bedragged and half-dead. Compared to the 'freedom food' birds; still indoors but running around and flapping their wings with a lot more square inches, more light and more things to do (we're not talking the Playstation here, but it's more of a life- until neck-snappy time, obviously). Seeing it illustrated like this definitely gives you more choice as a consumer. The difference is striking. The chicken in the 'freedom food' range costs £1 more. For just a pound, I really CAN afford it, and I will. The guilt is just too much otherwise. Oh my god, chicks are the cutest things on earth! The guilt, the guilt. Morrissey hates me.
So where do Tescos come into it? Er, they don't give a shit and they just care about the cash, obviously. They say the standard chickens are protected by certain rights, have room to move and 'company'; they have company alright, like I have company on the tube at Kings Cross at 5.30 in the evening. I love a sweaty man with BO feeling my arse, it's such great company!
Tescos rather rudely ignored Hugh's request for an interview, so he became a shareholder, gathered 100 others, and tabled a resolution to force Tesco to, well, let's not beat around the bush, stop LYING.
The Tescos spokescunt said that 80% of people can't afford to pay an extra pound a week for a chicken. That's BULLSHIT! If you can afford to buy a lottery ticket, or a packet of fucking fags, you CAN afford it. I just bought a laptop today and as a result I have about £100 to last me the next four weeks. That's less than the dole. And I'm STILL going to pay the extra quid when I get a chicken tomorrow, just so I can sleep at night.
I do think the labelling on chicken is confusing and I'm no idiot. It's pretty obvious it's meant to be that way. The spokescunt brought new meaning to the word 'insufferable' and is a liar saying that the labelling is clear; it's NOT! Then she says, 'look at the website', oh yeah I'll just google the fucking Tesco website whilst I'm pushing my trolley round. Just stop lying to us, you smug cow. She made me so fucking angry, I don't know how Hugh didn't snap HER neck just for the hell of it.
Hugh pointed out the standard chicken has a picture of a farmer outdoors on it and she smugly said 'but the chicken is not outdoors.' It's OBVIOUS what the implication is! It is disgusting that nowhere on that chicken it says 'reared indoors'. It's a BATTERY HEN! And then when he put that to her, that they were being ambiguous, she said 'we don't need to patronise our customers like that.' You're patronising them by drawing a little tree on the label and pretending it's all cosy-wosy in chicken-land, darling (oh, god, I'm getting all sexist now and everything, see what you've driven me to?) You're patronising ME right now, with your self-satisfied demeanor, you fucking lying, whitewashing robo-bitch. How STUPID do they think we are?! It's not patronising to know the source of your ingredients. It should be the LAW.
As if that wasn't nasty enough, Tesco pulled a further fast one out of the bag by charging Hugh £86,000 for stamps to send his proposals out to the other shareholders. What a low move, especially as we all know what their profit margin is like. I hate the way they try and bully people like that. They must REALLY like hurting animals. I don't think that sort of stuff endears them to their customers; and I know this because I AM one. But I'm quite happy to go elsewhere if they really want, there's a supermarket on every corner in London. We do have choice here. There is something about the morality of this issue which is very affecting.
Oh my God, and after Hugh raised all that cash, the Tesco arseholes said Hugh now needed to get 75% of the vote of the shareholders as it was a 'special resolution'. For God's sake. They make Mr Burns look like Mother Teresa.
It was actually really sad when he failed in his attempt. 10% backed him and 9% abstained which was still positive apparently. But it was like trying to fight the sea; they are all in it together, the heartless bigwig scum.
In conclusion, I think Hugh is a really decent man, and I was really moved by his campaign and this show. I think too often these celebrity chefs walk a fine line between patronising and educating the public and Hugh is thankfully on the right side of it. On our side.
And I think Tescos should go fuck themselves.