I’m not referring to the major stuff, such as banks fiddling exchange rates, or traders selling short, or Google paying less tax than their average employee. Nor Volkswagen, of all companies, fiddling the emissions tests on their cars and hence selling something they knew was not what it said. No, I’m referring to the bloody Sunday newspapers.
I’ll only talk about the UK here, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same elsewhere, and is the reason I refuse to buy a paper on Sundays. They cost more than usual, by a tidy sum, and contain lots of stuff I don’t want in a plethora of supplements and inserts that fall out on the way home.
A Food supplement. Fine, but as with so many things it assumes I have access to the rich culinary treasures of the metropolis or other major conurbation. In my small market town, I can get the basics, and that’s it. Also a lot of the recipes are, to put it bluntly, outright poncey.
Technology pullout. Don’t care. I’m not in the market for waterproof headphones (one of the joys of swimming is you’re all on your own), or a smartwatch. I don’t even have a mobile phone, let alone something that will keep a check on my heartrate.
Motoring. I no longer drive, since I can’t afford to run a vehicle, so this really is academic.
Homes and gardens. I live in a rented hovel, can’t afford to spruce it up with a sofa that cost more than most cars I’ve bought in the past, and I don’t have a garden. Also I am not paying 49 quid for a lemon squeezer no matter how hip it is. A friend who falls for the hype has got one, and it’s bloody useless.
Travel. Obscure destinations that will set you back eight grand a head are not my idea of fun, and I’d rather go to jail for a couple of weeks than go on a cruise. Skiing doesn’t appeal either.
Culture. This, along with restaurant reviews, is a particular annoyance, because with very few exceptions the write-ups are all focussed on London. Edinburgh gets a look-in when the Festival is on, and anywhere there’s a book fair of note, but that’s it.
Fashion. Glum faced Skeletors in clothes you can only wear on a catwalk, or blokes with indefensible hipster beards in outfits that would get them laughed out of the average proper pub, or beaten up and robbed on the way home.
Football. An entire 16 page blow by blow account of the most tedious and over-rated sport in the world. Just kick the ball into the net, you floppy haired playboys! And lose the beards!
It gets worse. Most of the supplements and pullouts that I do not want and won’t pay for are flooded with adverts. The Holiday sections are really bad for this. The advertising revenues must be huge, but the publishers still charge me more.
That’s why I take my bat and ball and go home.