January 4th, 2021

And There's An End To It

All through the 20th century it was the done thing to have a newspaper delivered. And by "done thing" I mean something the wealthier classes did without asking themselves why- just as you didn't ask yourself why you should be hooked up to the water mains or the electricity grid. The paper you chose to take defined who you thought you were, where you stood in the scheme of things- and served to harden you in your prejudices. My parents took the Telegraph- which meant they saw themselves as conservative, serious, respectable- but not quite members of the establishment. I- when my turn came- took the Guardian- which reinforced my image of myself as left-leaning and cosmopolitan. One of my grannies took the Express- which meant she was naughty but nice.

I cancelled my mother's subscription to the Telegraph this morning. This will save her nearly £90 a month. It was about time. As I said to the very pleasant woman in the subscription office, "She's 99 and can't read any more."

I calculate she'd been taking the Telegraph for well over 70 years...