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Times Subs – Please Report For Your Beating

One of The Times’ subs is an occasional at least reader around here.

Tsk, I mean tsk:


On the front page no less.

Michael Bird
Michael Bird went into the kitchen of the London Gliding Club and put a canned steak and kidney pie on the stove.

19 thoughts on “Times Subs – Please Report For Your Beating”

  1. A generation or so ago the grunts in the organisation I worked for (in line with most employers) insisted that, due to the introduction of desktop machines, we dump the typists, secretaries and proof readers, and split the saved money between ‘the producers’. Unfortunately, attention to detail, spelling and the standard of English language then fell somewhat.

  2. Subeditors? I thought they’d joined the dodo. You couldn’t extrapolate their existence from reading contemporary “quality “ newspapers. I blame the demise of Latin and the rise of the graduate hack.

  3. Indeed, Bernie G. The consultants convinced management that supervisors weren’t needed. The workers are adults and can handle things.

    In our case, it led directly to a manufacturing plant burning to the ground. Without supervisors, housekeeping fell to the wayside. Stuff burns. Stuff burned.

    We never rebuilt the plant. Employees lost their jobs. Consultants never apologized. Kept their money.

  4. During the last recession, an alarming number of financially underwater engineering companies went up in smoke.

    When the one at the back of us burnt to the ground, our Insurers had a fit of the vapours and insisted on us all taking a fire awareness and health ‘n safety course.

    The truth is that due to the burden of regulations, many previously profitable companies can no longer afford to keep going without some serious corners being cut.

    Employees are expensive and laden with risk (temps have a habit of suing if they so much as trip over something that hasn’t been labelled as a hazard), so having a bit of spare capacity personnel wise has gone out the window as well as a lot of the boring, tedious but necessary things they tended to do.

    Many tasks that are not core to the business (revenue generating) are now done by people on an ad hoc basis, between all the other stuff they do.

    Such is life.

  5. The Meissen Bison


    They may be in training for a valedictory article on Theresa May’s period as Prime Minister which could be styled


  6. Canned steak is good stuff, imported mainly from Argentina, good in homemade steak pies.

  7. It’s canned steak and kidney pie (probably from Fray Bentos), a childhood delicacy. There is, IMHO, no finer culinary experience than a well-made steak and kidney pudding. But I realise septics don’t do offal – their loss.

  8. Chris, there is actually a town in Argentina called Fray Bentos, close to the border with Uruguay.

    I had tears in my eyes when I passed it on my way from Santiago de Chile to Villa Gesell on the Silver coast of Argentina.

    You can feed the whole world from Argentina. And that is the only country in all the Americas where you can get proper cup of tea, with a jug of milk and an extra jug with hot water to brew a second cup of tea. .

    And they play good rugby, I saw the youngsters playing Rugby on the beach instead of fucking football.

    Argentina, what a country!

  9. Revealing my advanced age: a long while ago it was possible to get a steak and oyster pie, or even a steak, kidney and oyster pie. Gone with the wind?

    In some pubs, steak and kidney pie with a fried egg on top. Recommended.

    Anyway, steak and kidney puddings (still available) were and are always better.

  10. @ stephen
    That is a matter of opinion – some people prefer pastry to suet crust – although I should accept “usually better” because the people making steak and kidney puddings usually fill it with better meat

  11. @john
    There’s a significant difference in the way the meat is prepared. A pudding uses raw meat that is cooked while the suet is steamed over several hours; whereas a pie uses cooked meat* under pastry that’s cooked relatively quickly in the oven.

    * I suppose you could prepare the meat by slow steaming, but I’ve never seen this done.

  12. A very good description for making pies the old fashioned way is given by Laurie Lee in his book: As I walked out one midsummer morning.

    I challenge anyone who did not go out and buy a pie after reading that chapter.

  13. Re Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies

    I seem to remember my Dad Mum Sister and I would share a pie for dinner , so one quarter each.

    I now polish off a whole pie myself.

    Quality is right down now since Baxters bought them. The meat is a small number of tiny little pieces swimming in a great pool of gravy.

  14. Mrs G deigns to produce one proper steak and kidney pudding each year as a treat – treat being the operative word (I am rarely allowed this sort of stodge nowadays). As Chris M says, it’s significantly different to a pie. I do recall there was a time a Fray Bentos (or Fleur de Lys) was a treat, however we’ve come a long way since those days. Stephen (your advanced age) … at the risk of name dropping, the last time I was served a decent restaurant version (of steak and kidney pudding), Willie Whitelaw (who was still in office) was eating same at the next table. Our mothers could produce puddings and pies as a matter of course, whereas their grandchildren prefer to order in.

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