Six everyday activities that are now designed to shaft you financially

GAS used to be for cooking and heating at an affordable price. Now it’s about sucking as much cash as possible out of the public. And it’s not the only everyday activity that’s become a mild form of extortion.

Going to university

The university system is far from perfect – we probably don’t need all those Beowulf experts – but the general idea is to educate people to benefit them and society. So let’s hit them with a £27K loan. It’s the equivalent of an insane credit card binge, but instead of loads of Armani shirts you just get to stay up till 3am finishing a tedious essay about Whigs and Tories.

Getting a train

It used to be assumed that trains were for transporting goods, getting people to work, and adding value to their leisure time. What a f**king stupid idea. The obvious purpose of trains is to bilk commuters for as much of their income as possible without actually making them go ‘F**k this’ and become a hippy traveller selling bags of magic mushrooms for income.


No reasonable person objects to paying a fee for the upkeep of municipal car parks. They do, however, object to innocently parking somewhere then paying 200 quid to neanderthal thugs for the backbreaking labour of unlocking a wheel clamp. Hospital parking charges seem particularly unfair, because bypass surgery isn’t exactly a fun day out like Alton Towers.

Renting a flat

In semi-autobiographical novels, the hero is always renting a cheap apartment in which to write his novel. This now seems as fanciful a work of fiction as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Renting an average, or indeed slum-quality, flat currently costs more than a mortgage. British landlords’ idea of a utopian society is probably one in which everyone rents and it costs 95 per cent of your income. For Christ’s sake no one mention that to the Tories. 

Using your phone abroad

Roaming charges were a rip-off and so universally hated the EU banned them. Naturally they’re back thanks to the Brexit lemmings, despite phone companies saying they had no plans to reintroduce them. Which is like a horror movie serial killer saying ‘I have no plans to murder you’ then coming after you with an axe 15 minutes later shouting: ‘I’VE GOT A PLAN NOW!’

Gas and electricity 

How mankind has advanced since the Dark Ages, with light and heat at the touch of a… oh. You can’t afford to put the lights or central heating on. If it was the Dark Ages with no gas or electricity to privatise, the government would be legislating to allow Ye Olde Rivers & Wells Companie to earn record amounts of gold coins selling cups of filthy water.

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Blue Peter, and other boring as shit TV shows your middle-class parents let you watch

WERE you sat in front of educational, wholesome Blue Peter while your friends enjoyed Rude Dog and the Dweebs? You probably had to watch these other dull BBC shows too.


You had enough of the sodding news when your parents watched it for a solid hour at 6pm, but they still forced you to suffer your own tedious junior version. The sound of John Craven’s voice puts you in a bad mood to this day, which also ruined Countryfile, despite your deep and genuine feelings of love for Kate Humble.

Blue Peter

The rest of your class only ever caught three minutes of Blue Peter when they switched on ready for Neighbours, but you had to watch the full boring half-hour of John Leslie herding sheep and Diane Louise Jordan abseiling down the BT Tower. And did your parents spend 160 man-hours helping you build a Tracy Island exactly like Anthea Turner’s? Did they f**k. You should have dobbed them in to ChildLine.


He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was on the other side, but your parents were having none of it and you had to watch f**king Fingermouse instead. Who honestly thinks children want to watch a cardboard mouse play the mandolin when they could be watching She-Ra fight Skeletor? Your stupid parents, that’s who.


While Tony Hart is undoubtedly a legend, you did not think so when you had to watch him slowly paint a watercolour when Fraggle Rock was on ITV. Plus you kept sending in pictures for the gallery and they never got shown despite being ace. Still, it taught you a valuable lesson: don’t try to succeed in life because it’s all a stitch-up. 

The Really Wild Show

Yeah, you liked animals, but that didn’t mean you wanted to waste your time listening to Chris Packham explain the life cycle of a stick insect. Eventually you realised your dad didn’t want to instil in you a passion for natural history, he just fancied Michaela Strachan. Your childhood innocence was lost forever. Thanks, African mole rats.