I AM Ian McMillan’s biggest fan but, oh dear, he is starting to let me down. He recently confessed to having eaten his tea from a tray in front of the telly and now he hints that he might just have filched from hotels and cafés (“Sugaring the pill as austere times loom ahead”, Yorkshire Post, March 15).
This sounds terribly self-righteous, nor do I think for one second that Ian is a scrounger, but I would never take a sachet of sugar from a café nor a shampoo or bar of soap from a hotel unless it had been opened or used, in which case the establishment would have to replace it anyway. Besides, these should be perks for the underpaid staff.
Ian does his fellow Yorkshire folk a disservice by associating, however loosely, this sort of selfishness with honest Yorkshire thrift.
I don’t mind stereotyping; it used to make for some great jokes before political correctness got out of hand, but I think Yorkshire and Scottish meanness is a myth.
Scrounging has no frontiers, I recall a well-heeled Swiss couple – I knew they were Swiss because, nosey-parker that I am, I noticed their car license plate – sponging on a decent French hotel. Having enjoyed a hearty self-service breakfast, they kept going back surreptitiously in order to smuggle out a picnic lunch which they hid in serviettes.
A few years ago, an American millionaire sports agent boasted about his hobby of “collecting” hotel keys.
Hardly Premier League stuff in terms of human evil, but, in my view, degrading.