As I type, I see a faded, black-and-white photograph taken at London’s Evening Standard in 1980.

Two formidable Fleet Street characters are in the foreground: editor Charles Wintour (left) and Bob Carvel (right), both mid-60s.

Below, senior executives who have decades of combined newspaper experience.

Half hidden in the background is a young hack, with a moustache that’s a little unkempt. He wonders what he was up to.

It’s Uncle Rich at 26 years old, newly appointed deputy editor of news, and completely out of his depth.

Where¿s the wally? Uncle Rich (sporting a moustache) at the Evening Standard, circa 1980

Wo is the wally? Uncle Rich with a moustache, at The Evening Standard circa 1980

After eight years spent in the provinces I was convinced I had finally cracked the Street of Shame when I first arrived on the Street of Shame, 1979.

In fact, it only took me 5 minutes to realize that, just like Manuel in Fawlty, I didn’t know anything.

Fleet Street, a bustling industrial community, was alive and well in 1500 when the first printing press was established.

Some of these characters looked like they had been around since after the Great Fire.

A renowned crime reporter claimed to have reported on every siege after Troy.

The lessons I gained from these seasoned veterans were invaluable not only at work, but also in the pub.

They were all my words, each tall tale, triumph, and every joke.

This kind of education is not possible to buy.

Fair to say, without those groundings I probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy the career that I am privileged to have.

This is the only reason why I am telling you. It was because my heart broke when I saw that most 18-34-year-olds believe they don’t need to work full-time in order to acquire what they want in their lives.

Survey of 4500 adults revealed that over half (55%) said they would not accept a job without flexible hours.

According to a survey of 4,500 young adults, more than half of 18 to 34-year-olds said they¿d turn down any job which didn¿t offer flexible working

Survey of over 4,500 young adults revealed that nearly half (50%) of them) would not accept a job with no flexibility.

These people believe that they have all the tools they need to be able to work remotely if they so choose.

They’re not.

Ok, so maybe they have the headsets or the most recent electronic gadgetry.

These people may be well-qualified and possess fancy diplomas. They might also have read the theory and practice manuals.

Human contact is what they are lacking, whether it’s a hand to hold or just a word of encouragement.

These people are missing the opportunity to learn from others through osmosis, which is not only in brainstorming sessions in offices but also over a few glasses of wine after work hours.

They will lose their promotion if it comes down to it. Because bosses prefer young, committed thrusters who can get up every morning and show up at work,

Littlejohn: What they lack is human contact, a friendly hand on the shoulder, a quiet word in their shell-like when they screw up from someone who has been there, done that, got the T-shirt

Littlejohn: They lack human contact. A friendly hand on their shoulder.

A culture of entitlement has been created by the pandemic, which states that every worker is entitled to choose where and when they work.

Many of the people who now drag themselves back to work are only doing it reluctantly.

We’re seeing the emergence of the so-called TW*Ts, who only drag themselves in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister spoke out at CBI to address this phenomenon.

He stated that ‘I am aware there are people who feel like their working practices have been changed by the pandemic.’ “I’m not going to get too rigid about this, but it’s something I’m unsure of.

“There are good evolutionary reasons that mother nature doesn’t like to work from home.”

All the best.

Boris could order bone-idle civil officials back to their offices immediately if he is serious. Whitehall, however, is a virtually ghost town.

Private companies can believe that they are able to work flexible without disrupting the customer services, and this is a valid point.

John Humphrys, Saturday’s Mail’s editor, wrote that I was not convinced of the Covid mentality.

To paraphrase the famous slogan from 1979 General Election: “Whitehall isn’t working”.

Littlejohn: If Boris is serious he could start by ordering bone-idle civil servants back to their offices immediately


The Passport Office, DVLA and Home Office are not included.

The Mail on Sunday recently revealed that the Civil Service Club is fully booked on weekends, with members coming up to London for dinner or a performance.

Nor have the TW*Ts been deterred from venturing into town on Friday nights, either, if the evidence of London’s bustling West End is anything to go by.

They can go to bars, clubs, restaurants, and theatres on weekends, but they won’t have to return to work if they do.

Reluctant snowflakes are millennials, 30-somethings, and older adults who know enough. They might learn something, provided they’re compelled to get out of their computers and interact with more knowledgeable colleagues.

For the love of God, I would not have missed Fleet Street’s early years. It’s a fact that I have the photos and memories to prove.

What will the modern generation of young workshy refuseniks have to show for it — a sad selfie and a lifetime of regret? It is my sincere hope that they will not.

According to The Met Office, it’s going to be a mild winter.

BBC’s Weather Unit predicts big freeze. They’ll blame ‘climate changes’ for whatever happens.

However, if they aren’t able to agree on the next three month’s events, then why should they be concerned about what will happen in thirty years? 

CBI It makes you proud to be British… 

Yesterday, the head of Confederation of British Industry delivered a shocking indictment of capitalism free-market.

Is that not surprising? In my decade of working as an industrial reporter, I have seen the CBI wrong on almost everything.

There has not been one gung-ho, free market organization. CBI is for large corporations and not small, fast-moving businesses.

The country hasn’t moved forward since Edward Heath’s time, when Edward Heath believed the country could still be run with a tripartite consensus between big business, government and the unions. It’s amazing how it turned out.

CBI was opposed to the Thatcher reforms, and is ferociously pro EU. This favors large multi-national cartels.

The ‘British bit donkey should have been dropped years ago.

In the 1980s at the CBI conference held in Glasgow, Dunlop’s chairman walked on the podium wearing a kilt, waving the Union Jack, and wore a Union Jack.

Soon after, he sold the company off to the Japanese.

The RAF has called on the U. S. to help find a £120 million F-35B stealth bomber which has been lost a mile below the surface after crashing into the Mediterranean.

Apple’s iPhone can be located anywhere around the globe in less than two seconds if your iPhone is lost.

Then how is it that the air force couldn’t find this plane? It proves, however, that stealth technology does work.


It seems like this Memory Lane column has turned out to be quite the day. My childhood has been flashing in front me recently.

Saturday, I was able to read Denise Bryer’s final words. She had died at the age of 93.

Little Weed was her voice in The Flowerpot Men, Noddy in The Adventures Of Noddy, Twizzle in The Adventures Of Twizzle and Jake in Four Feather Falls. It was Nicholas Parsons, Denise Bryer’s husband at the time who had voiced Sheriff Tex Tucker.

Presumably without hesitation deviations or repetitions.

Then yesterday it was reported that the original puppets of Sooty and Sweep had been sold at auction for £5,750. Sweep was actually more expensive than Sooty. It is the end for an era.

Bye, bye, everybody. Goodbye. . .