A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, June 11, 2012

Looking after baby - and baby's minders

We've been away over half term to Germany and experienced life the Bavarian way for a while. It did rain a bit but not as much as in Britain apparently. Thankfully the sunny periods were when we wanted to be outside and the downpour periods were when we were in the museums and the like. All very accommodating from a climatic point of view.

Children in Germany seem very much part of the family. There family life is taken seriously but with a great amount of joy, satisfaction and a good degree of patience. We went round a toy shop. What a difference from the UK ones! Not only a fantastic selection but you get free gift wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and all the rest so presents can be finished off ready to go. Why not that in ToysRUs? It's service going the extra mile with hardly any extra cost. I do wish Britain could lose its cheapskate mentality when it comes to service. Yes, I know there's a recession or depression or impression going on, but that's all over Europe. Are we forever going to retain the Basil Fawlty approach to retailing success?

I heard this morning that David Cameron and his wife had recently left their daughter Nancy in a pub for fifteen minutes. They had completely forgotten about her and when brains engaged rushed back to get her. Now I know that can happen to any parent. It happened to me both ways round. My parents once lost me in a zoo and I remember waiting with an attendant until I saw my distraught mother babbling about something. I don't recall being too traumatised by it. Then, as a parent myself, at Birmingham Airport, I was with my two children waiting for my wife to arrive. There was a scrum around the arrivals place and I thought we might get a newspaper and some sweets. My son was keen on looking at the free wi-fi stuff. Somehow I lost him whilst contemplating the prices of the sweets. Suddenly my daughter tugs my arm to explain he's disappeared. The next thing I remember is my name being waffled over the loudspeaker system. No time to panic really, but I babble some nonsense to the duty attendant! My son, realising he was separated from us, did what his school had told him and had gone straight to the information desk. I hope the Camerons kept their cool on their return to the pub.

Looking after baby is some responsibility. Now David Cameron has an awful lot of responsibility in a different direction. He may or may not be able to lead this country into a more stable situation. Some things he will be able to affect, others he has little or no control over. What he does have influence over is the service mentality of British retailers. It seems we have standard stuff dressed up as quality, whereas our continental cousins have quality dressed up as standard stuff. I heard that a large UK supermarket chain went to France and asked the for the yoghurt to be "watered down". How come Carrefour sells it without added water?

We are supposed to be in a single market, but it's more like a fractured market with the British getting the things the continental countries would think twice before they gave them a sniff. So let's have a bit more of what they have and no more stale croissants, watered down yoghurts and green pineapples in the cheap counter, past their sell-by-dates!


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