Never mind foreign powers controlling us, we should to look closer to home.

There appears to be so many mind games and constant manipulation from foreign powers peddaling ‘fake news’ that I am now beginning to have serious doubts about whether Santa Claus actually exists.

We are told the Russians are infiltrating our systems, and Facebook enabled Cambridge Analytica to persuade us to vote for Brexit.

However, while all this is going on, there is something more sinister happening closer to home.

That’s because I believe supermarkets are in league with the weather forecasters so that they can influence our buying habits.

As soon as they mention snow, the shelves are emptied of bread, milk and eggs. And if they want even greater sales, they tell us to stay at home and only travel if absolutely necessary. That helps them to shift baked beans, veg and toilet paper – naturally there is a connection between the three.

But, while all this is happening, bear a thought for leisure outlets, tourist attractions, pubs and restaurants which suffer cancellations and remain empty, as they watch incredulously as just one flake of snow floats down from the sky.

I speak from experience because, as I may have mentioned once before, my son is the landlord of the Woolpack in Esholt made famous by being the pub in Emmerdale.

Once the risk of snow passes, the forecasters then tells us it is going to be a tropical summer with months of wall-to-wall sunshine. So off we go to buy BBQs, charcoal, garden furniture, inflatable pools, etc. Then, as we know, it pours down from June to September!

To eradicate the manipulation from the supermarkets I have decided to start a collective of smaller businesses affected by dodgy forecasting in order to outbid them.

After all everyone can be bought…well not quite everybody.

I have it on good authority the church was approached by the late turkey farmer, Bernard Matthews who offered money to change the Lord’s Prayer to ‘Give us this day our daily turkey.” As a loyal bunch the religious leaders, after discussing it at length, agreed to honour the longstanding deal they had with Hovis.

Written by Peter Downey, 20/04/2018