That’s me on the left. The little kid with the gappy teeth and the army jumper that shrank in the wash. That’s my step-grandfather on the right. I’m guessing the photo was taking in about 1980.
Apart from teaching us songs we shouldn’t have known, and horrifying us with the best impersonation of a Focke Wolf diving on a harbour in Italy during the second world war, he also talked from time to time about the news.
He told us that governments come and go, and that nothing really changes that much. He taught us that all politicians lie – saying whatever they think people want to hear to get in, and if they don’t get in, they make it as hard as possible for whoever does to change anything. In the unlikely event that anything does change, they will move heaven and earth to change it back if and when they get back in.
He made it all sound like an insane game of cricket. To simplify it all for eight year old ears, he boiled it all down to one sentence.
“You can judge how well you are off by the price of a pint of beer. Beer never really changes in value, because the people in charge like to drink it, and they know the people that vote for them like to drink it too.”