Tom Richmond: Take-away ‘crisis’ causes a flap as KFC chickens out

What does the public response to the KFC shutdown say about modern attitudes?
What does the public response to the KFC shutdown say about modern attitudes?
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WHAT is wrong with people today?

I refer to the panic-stricken response of some families when Kentucky Fried Chicken take-away outlets around the country suddenly shut when they ran out of stock.

What did they do? Go home and cook a healthy meal from basic ingredients – or make their way to another fast-food restaurants that serves equally unhealthy and unappetising food?

Not a bit of it. They started making phone calls of complaint to the police – and, in some instances, MPs, on the assumption that Parliamentarians have nothing better to do with their time.

“Please do not contact us about the #KFCCrisis – it is not a police matter,” tweeted police officers in Tower Hamlets who have spent the past year dealing with gang warfare and terrorist attacks.

The sentiment was shared by Luke Pollard, a Labour MP in the South West. “Have had my first person get in touch to ask what’s happening with #KFC...and the answer is I don’t know (yet),” he posted on Twitter.

Like all public servants, the police officers concerned – and Tory backbencher – were probably too polite to name and shame these imbeciles and idiots who think KFC’s chicken shortage, caused by a breakdown in the company’s computer system, is a first world emergency that is more urgent than day-to-day crime or Brexit.

And while I have every sympathy for the real victims here – those staff on zero-hours contracts who are likely to be out of pocket through no fault of their own – I’m afraid the response of customers speaks volumes about public attitudes today.

Not only is Britain home to a ‘me, me, me’ generation of extremely self-centred people who think life revolves around their trivial needs, but they haven’t the faintest idea how to cope in the face of adversity. It’s a good job they did not have to face food rationing, or be relied upon to assist with the war effort.

Rather than being polite to these time-wasters, I’m coming to the view that they should be charged with wasting police time to send out a strong message that such selfishness is unacceptable.

IT is not my intention to defend Boris Johnson – the Foreign Secretary is big enough to fight his own battles.

What is indefensible, however, is the latest misrepresentation by the anti-Brexit BBC political team.

For some reason, presenter Reeta Chakrabarti was discussing Brexit with political correspondent Susana Mendonça. Yet, when the latter made reference to Johnson’s keynote speech days earlier, she said: “There was not much substance there.”

Of course she, and her boss Laura Kuennsberg, are entitled to their opinions, but this was the main 10pm news (not views) and the public are more than capable of making up their own minds.

If Mendonça wishes to campaign against Brexit, I suggest she resigns from her publicly-funded post and stands for Parliament on her own two feet.

THE pro-EU stance of the BBC, and Tory civil war over Brexit, masks the splits in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.

Those who want the UK to remain in the single market, and a customs union, include Owen Smith, the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary. Asked whether this put him at odds with his leader, he replied: “No, I think Jeremy’s position is evolving and deepening.”

Really?

TALKING of Brexit, Theresa May was in Leeds at the very same time that city council leader Judith Blake was having talks with the EU’s Michel Barnier.

I’m not sure why. Perhaps it might have been more beneficial if the PM had met the Labour councillor rather than taxpayers footing the bill for Blake’s PR visit to Brussels.

Though Leeds narrowly voted for Remain, much of the North voted for Leave. Why? Just as voters resented the officiousness of Brussels, they also dislike the control-freakery of Leeds and are not prepared to take lessons from an inept council that can’t work the traffic lights.

AFTER snubbing last November’s debate on transport in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling has a chance to redeem himself on Tuesday when Hull MP Diana Johnson hosts a special debate on spending disparities between the South East and the North.

Let’s see if the Macavity-like Transport Secretary has the humility to turn up. It would be a start.

ENVIRONMENT Secretary Michael Gove, speaking to the NFU annual conference, made this comparison: “We’re planning to spend north of £60bn on HS2, 30 times as much as it would cost to provide universal superfast broadband for everyone in the country.”

He then posed this question: “Surely investment in broadband is just as vital, and an urgent part of improving our critical national infrastructure?” What he has not said – yet – is whether he would halt HS2 if he became Prime Minister.

I HAD the misfortune to drive past one of the better secondary schools in outer Leeds at 8.30am the other day.

A bit of drizzle meant total gridlock as parents in their Chelsea Tractors dropped off their children. And then the powers-that-be wonder why Britain is in the grip of an obesity epidemic...

TALKING of obesity, Leeds MP Alex Sobel’s Parliamentary debate on basketball was a missed opportunity.

Rather than focusing on elite level funding, it should, perhaps, have focused on the grassroots. How about basketball hoops in every community to encourage participation in one of the few sports that is popular with youngsters from ethnic minority backgrounds?

tom.richmond@ypn.co.uk