The first time I encountered Margaret Thatcher was in her guise as the Grocer's minister for education, 35 years ago. She snatched my school milk and it's been the longest period of sustained hatred for any individual I've ever undertaken. In fact, I don't actually hate anyone else. There are people I don't care to meet anymore and sometimes I have short periods of displeasure with others but it's not out and out hate. I would willingly take a hatchet to the tyres of most 4 x 4s but I'd let them off if that woman was walking past at the time. I don't believe I'm alone.
Even though she's not been PM far longer than she ever was, it seems that despite earthy denials to the contrary by any politician wielding any form of power whatsoever, her legacy still has functioning organs. The latest evidence for this comes from that slack-jawed, ineffectual and hopeless excuse for a premier currently occupying No 10 (and folk have the temerity to deride John Major. At least you could laugh at him and he liked warm beer). Unable to actually take the lead in anything and despite virtually every other government on the planet undertaking some form of sanction against the blessed things, our glorious leader has said he'll stamp his foot noisily and whine unless shops do something about it themselves. Cue them making it into some kind of competition then.
Personally, I'm just as on the fence as usual. Tesco uses thin biodegradable ones that fall apart in your car boot after 6 months meaning you either have to throw them away or plug in the vacuum cleaner to clean the mess up. Recently we found a 29 year old Tesco one here in the loft (its contents gave its age away), as good as the day it was made. Crap in a landfill and great for strangling wildlife in the woods with despite having impeccable re-use credentials. Paper bags are shite and cost more, energy wise, to produce and transport in bulk than plastic ones. Besides, they're made from trees which just means somebody will flatten the Congo in order to grow the right kind. I've constantly asked at the library for their macrobiotic jute ones but they've never got any in and I've driven all over the place just looking for suitable alternatives. I don't know what to do. It's because we're incapable of making these difficult lifestyle choices ourselves that we need guidance and strong leadership, Gordon. It's what we didn't elect you for.