The papers, billboards, the television were full of sleazy, side-of-the-mouth advertisements in the run-up to privatising the Gas Board: IF YOU SEE SID, TELL HIM. Building a shareholding democracy, they were calling it. Don called it theft on an epic scale. Sid was anonymous, a punter about to miss one of the bargains of the century. Pssst! Spread the word. To Don, Sid was some English wide boy into dodgy wheeling and dealing. He refused even to contemplate buying shares in privatised utilities. They belonged to him already. Why would he pay to own a bit of what was already his? He’d baulked at getting the house on the cheap too. There was a principle which he could not betray. Thrawn and stupid it was, no doubt, but he couldn’t help himself. Besides, he had other things on his mind. His wife of forty years was dying.
The gas sale went ahead without him. British Gas plc was born. Don read Barnaby Rudge, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist and Bleak House.
And the Land Lay Still, James Robertson