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David Pibworth | The Blog


The Dreaded Plastic Bags

Happy days are here again ...



I went to pick up my daughter's new computer from John Lewis last week, which they had kindly set up for us. When I say kindly, it was £30 worth of kindness rather than simply doing it as a favour ...

Can you imagine the fun we could have if we switched from plastic bags to paper ones?

Can you imagine the fun we could have if we switched from plastic bags to paper ones?

copyright: bandit2523 / 123rf stock photo

Anyway, I asked for a bag to put it in, and the man rolled his eyes slightly and I could see a problem. I quickly said "It's ok, I'm happy to pay 5p" and I took out 5p, in coppers and laid them on the desk to prove my willingness to fall in line with the Establishment.

He said "It's not as easy as that, I have to give you an invoice for it". I said "Oh, I don't want an invoice for that" and he replied, "Well, we have to give you one, it's the law".

"So off he went and got me a plastic bag"

It was a decent John Lewis one, and then he proceeded to tap the amount into the till and give me the receipt. He told me that 1p was for the overheads of the bag and that the other 4p went to a good cause.

When I glanced at the receipt I noticed that as far as I could see 1p went to Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in VAT as it was on the receipt and while that may be a minor grumble, it does seem to me that the government will be getting their bit out of it which I suppose we should expect.

However, it's a hassle for the shops I have no doubt; having to account for all those plastic bags. No doubt the government would come down hard on them if they forgot. Even harder than they would on a shoplifter I'll be bound.

I understand the concept of wanting to rid ourselves of plastic bags, but if they are that much of a problem, why not ban them and get people to use the old fashioned paper bags instead? As scientists are currently working on a fusion rocket to get to Mars and back in 30 days, surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to make paper bags a bit stronger, can it?

I do object to this profligate government putting 5p taxes on them when it could be sorted out with a little common sense. Especially those crappy ones that the Co-Op and Tesco use. I don't mind the John Lewis one I paid for as it was well constructed.

So added to the fact that we would rid ourselves of the dreaded plastic bag, the added attraction of the paper bag would be that everyone could also do the Eric Morecambe bag trick. In fact,

"I think that the ability to do the bag trick overshadows any other reason"

So for comedy nostalgia, fun and to help save the planet, please tell this silly little government to stop arsing about and bring some joy into people's lives. And I bet that people would still be quite happy to put 5p into a charity - without being told to by the silly sods - and none of it need be swallowed up by VAT.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.

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