Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Voice of the North

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Voice of the North

Article excerpt

THIS time next week it will all be over. Well, not the turkey, obviously, which you will be eating cold as a prelude to enjoying it in rissoles, curry, sandwiches and broth.

But you'll have survived, if you're lucky, that great family get-together which reminds you why you try to avoid seeing most of your relatives on the other 364 days of the year.

Now it will just be a matter of sticking all the wrapping paper in the recycling bin' desperately trying to find the receipts so that you can take the broken toys back to the MetroCentre and demand a refund' and ensuring that you don't miss out on the unrepeatable bargains in the DFS Boxing Day sale.

Don't you just hate it when newspapers try to predict the future like that? Every morning I am brought to the verge of apoplexy by Radio 4 telling me, not what happened yesterday, but what is expected to happen today. So much so that, if I were in that sort of PR, I'd be tempted to be a little bit mischievous with them. For example:

"Hello, is that Radio 4? I thought you might like a heads-up on the Stevens Report. Yes, it is a bit of a surprise, actually. The Duke of Edinburgh's coughed. 'It's a fair cop, guv. I done it. You got me bang to rights. It's bird for me this time. Society is to blame.' Yes, straight up. I'm quoting directly from the report. Hello?"

Well, I might need to be a bit more subtle than that, but you get the general idea. And, let's face it, it is the only answer that would have satisfied the people who wanted the inquiry in the first place. As it was, all over Britain conversations took place like the one I overheard on the 13.30 from King's Cross last Thursday, as one Geordie couple pored over their evening papers:

Him: "You see? I told you so." Her: "Come on, you don't really believe that, do you? It's a cover-up. Of course she was murdered. …

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