My election notes. E-Day + 12

by Pseud O'Nym



I could write a post about the Chancellor Phillips Hammonds speech this morning at Mansion House, and what it might mean for Brexit negotiations.

Of course I could.

Or I could write about how German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she could back a eurozone finance minister and eurozone budget “if the circumstances are right”. Of how this might confirms the worst fears of those who voted to leave the EU as the start of a slippery slope towards a United States of Europe.

Of course I could.

Indeed, I could write a post about how Barclays and four former executives have been charged with fraud over their actions in the 2008 financial crisis. About how they are the only senior staff at bank to have been charged in the UK on this. Indeed, I might draw unfavourable comparisons between this and the numbers of people convicted of benefit fraud since 2008.

Of course I could.

I could do all of those things. But I won’t.

Because part of my childhood died yesterday and I imagine people who were children in either the ‘60’s, ‘70’s or ‘80’s might’ve felt the same way upon hearing the sad news that Brian Cant died yesterday. Put simply he was the voice of my childhood, calm, playful and encouraging. Everything me as a child wanted in a voice and if it had to come out of a TV well, I was just glad it was there at all.

As the Guardian in it’s obituary of of him it noted,

 For two decades from 1964 there was scarcely a BBC show aimed at little children that didn’t come with Cant’s distinctive tones. It was his voice that weekly introduced us in the late 60s to the townsfolk of Camberwick Green (1966). And it was Cant who did the prosodically captivating roll call for the fire brigade in Camberwick Green’s sequel, Trumpton (1969): “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb.”

He presented ‘Play School’ – I can still remember an episode that showed us through the round window how rubber gloves were made – and ‘Play Away’. Brilliant children’s shows’, never patronizing but always fun. He didn’t try to be your friend as much as he made me want to be his. His tone somehow conveyed a sense of here was someone you could trust, here was someone who was still in possession of a child-like imagination of invention and above all here was someone who was genuine. That, for me at any rate at least, is what made him so beloved.

Because when you’re a child you quickly learn to spot fakes; you don’t know why they are or even how you know but you just know. It’s both intuitive and quickly forgotten, something all children have, yet some forget when they become adults and become the people that they as children despised.

I mean, I don’t look back on my childhood with any great fondness so I’m just glad his voice was such a large part of my childhood.

And no, I’ve no idea what ‘prosodically’ means either.