Why we still love English newspapers

Guardian columnist Peter Preston

Guardian columnist Peter Preston takes a whack at electronic Christmas cards, impossible privatized trains, and the effects of a little snow on the “industrial action” class:

Meanwhile – second grouch – I’m on an excruciatingly slow local train from St Pancras while a few snowflakes fall. “We’re sorry for these delays,” says a disembodied apologist as full carriages sit and shiver, doors open, at Elephant and Castle. “We are waiting for a relief driver so that we can move forward on our journey to Sutton.” Move forward? Happy prospect! On yet another “journey”? X Factor crooners, like Strictly come prancers, go on “incredible journeys”. Finish bottom, and they must find other ways of “moving forward” with their disappointed lives. But between despair and Loughborough Junction, none of the jargon quite fits. It’s more marketing speak when they should be telling the relief guy to get a move on – or at least shut the bloody door.

“Between despair and Loughborough Junction” has got to be among my favorite phrases of the year. Puts anything Andy Rooney’s written recently to shame.

And, well, on that cynical and curmudgeonly note – HAPPY HOLIDAYS everybody! — a peaceful and prosperous New Year’s to all!

2 responses to “Why we still love English newspapers

  1. I’m not sure if Privatization is always a bad thing. Competition offer better services at lower prices.

  2. Maybe. But the English rail system is a perfect example of privatization gone horribly wrong. Prices soared and service has deteriorated to the point of being a running joke. In the long run, the entry of entrepreneurs like Richard Branson may revive the system to a certain extent, as the entrance of Southwest and JetBlue has done for U.S. airlines. But the barriers to entry in rail service are so high, it could take decades for British rail service to reach the efficiencies of even the Italian rail service. And that’s not necessarily high praise.

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