I’ve listened to The Archers on Radio 4 since I was an art student in the early seventies. Over that time, the story lines have somewhat changed, thanks mainly to the show’s Editor, metro-liberal Guardianista, Vanessa Whitburn.
Doris, Dan, Tom Forrest and Walter Gabriel have all snuffed it - new characters have stepped into their soiled green wellies. Fallon, Usha, Jazza and Jason now trail the blaze of English modern rural life. The health of the sprout crop and the presence of dropsy in the dairy herd has given way all the other things that are supposed to happen in a tiny middle English village. Suddenly the talk down at The Bull is all about drugs busts, racism, blackmail, gay marriage, gambling addiction, bent coppers, murder, armed robbery, suicide…. and most controversially of all, the ongoing marriage break up of David and Ruth Archer, due to some potential extra marital rumpy pumpy with Sam, the cattle man.
Whitburn is a well known Nu Labour luvee. At absolutely every opportunity she likes to shoehorn imagined inner city trauma and Notting Hill meanderings into leafy Borsetshire.
But I wonder if she will be covering the reality of English pensioner Jack Wooley? The retired local businessman and former owner of Grey Gables has recently been struck down with Alzheimer’s. He’s been losing his mental faculties – but fortunately, he has the NHS to make sure he’ll get the drugs he so badly needs. Well not any more. Not now that NICE has decided to withdraw a whole range of Alzheimer’s drugs from English only patients – because of the uber high cost of £2:50p per patient per day. …..
Will Ms Whitburn run the storyline that Jack’s condition is getting worse because of the actions of a small minded, anti English quango? Will Ms Whitburn get Jack’s 85 year old wife, Peggy to stand on the village green armed with a big megaphone to slag off NICE, Blair & Patricia Hewitt – and demand an English Parliament to look after the needs of English people?…
That’s the trouble with soap plots – the storylines are so bloody unbelievable….