Kuhn Rikon Offer, Prisons and Tree huggers.

Wine and Politics

On Monday last week Casey and I (whilst comparing the very pleasant Bordeaux and Rioja wines I mentioned last week) found ourselves discussing the Hamas Israeli situation and Casey recommended I listen to an interview that Rory Stewart and Alistair Campbell did on their podcast “The Rest is Politics”. This was with Yuval Harari, the author of “Sapiens”. I found it fascinating, in fact, as I did the following interview with the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK. However, that isn’t what I want to mention this morning, but there is a connection, which I’ll get to in a minute.

So, these two blokes (Stewart and Campbell), who you might be forgiven for thinking would disagree on many things, coming as they do from the right and left respectively, appear to get on extremely well, teasing each other gently from time to time, and yet with great fondness and that, for me, was a very good start**.

The Rest is Politics and Prisons

So, my interest aroused, I listened to another podcast, and now we come to the meat of what I feel is an important issue, which is about our prisons. Now it isn’t a very sexy subject, unlike cookware, so if you find your eyelids drooping again, having only just woken, my apologies. You could move onto the sexy stuff below or alternatively regain your slumbers, and completely ignore the par less state they apparently are in!

Alistair Campbell starts it off by saying that judges are being told to go easy on sentences, and on top of that, apparently prisoners are being let out early because our prisons are packed to the gunnels. Rory Stewart continued this is true, but there are other problems as well. He points out that there was an initiative (when he was Minister for Prisons and Sentencing) to abolish short sentences. And part of the reason for that was because short stay prisoners make up approximately 50% of the prison population.        

He goes on to cite an example of Durham prison, where the average length of stay was just 8 days. Long enough to wreck your life, he says, lose your rent and your job (if you had one) but not long enough to do any useful work in terms of educational rehabilitation. Short sentence stays he says, drive a lot of the violence in prisons and have very high suicide rates. And lastly, there is good evidence that short stay sentence prisoners are much more likely to reoffend than if they didn’t go to prison at all and were given community sentences.


So why am I talking about prisons. Well, I suppose it’s partly because I sometimes have a feeling of “there but for the grace of God go I”. And also, whatever they’ve done in later life, you can bet your bottom dollar that didn’t they arrive in this world thinking, hmmm, that sounds like a good career, I’ll choose a bit of fraud, GBH, murder as my life’s work. You can bet your bottom dollar, because people are simply not wired that way (psychopaths and sociopaths aside) and maybe we’d give them more of a chance of becoming useful and worthwhile members of society if we had a better system for rehabilitation.

I’ve a friend, also called Andrew, who occasionally reads my emails and who at this point in the narrative, may well be snorting in derision at my liberal, wishy washy, granola crunching, tree hugging, leanings……….. all epithets that he’s aimed at me over the many years we’ve known each other, sometimes all at once.

I am guilty as charged!

Ok, so food for thought maybe? Now ‘tis time to flog you a morsel or two.

**We don’t always have to agree with our friends and colleagues. It’s always ok in the end to agree to disagree, the friend remains a friend and the disagreement remains a disagreement.

*(a really interesting book on the history of Homo Sapiens, the good the bad and the ugly) I’ve read it / listened to it twice and found it really quite thought provoking

To Product

Today I’ve chosen a new range of kitchen tools that we’ve recently taken in from the Swiss manufacturer Kuhn Rikon. I say Swiss manufacturer, these tools, as you might expect, are actually made in the far east. They are, however, wonderfully heavy duty, and feel like they have some real heft to them, not too heavy, but when I first picked one of these up, I felt I had real quality in my hand.

They come with either a tubular stainless steel handle (which is C shaped in cross section, with a flat side) or twin rods, also stainless, infilled with a type of durable plastic. They are very smart looking, sharp where they need to be, soft where they need to be, springy where they need to be. And talking of springy, there’s a big difference between their whisks and some on the market. These whisks have more wires then the usual and spread over a greater depth than the usual. The effect is to beat far more air into a mix, so making them very efficient.

They are not cheap, varying in price from £12.95 to £17.95 (the Meat Tenderiser is the odd one out at £26.50) but my experience tells me they will last you many years and will give you real pleasure as you use them, so as time passes they become real friends in fact! 

I’m listing the 19 items below that comprise the range:

Apple Corer
Balloon Whisk S/S Large
Balloon Whisk S/S Small
Balloon Whisk Silicone Small
Balloon Whisk Silicone Tall
Basting Brush

Cheese Slicer
Ice Cream Scoop
Meat Tenderizer
Pizza Cutter
Precision Tongs
Sauce Ladle

Serving Spoon
Soft Edge Slice
Soft Edge Thin Turner

The offer this week is my usual attempt to bribe you into spending your hard-earned cash with us, rather than with the opposition, whoever they may be.

Buy two or more pieces from the range and get 25% off.

Use code KUHN25 if shopping online or just tell us who you are if coming into Cobham or Reigate shops.


Browse all Kuhn Rikon Essentials



The last words go to Peter Barber

Being ready to fail is the only way you get to any kind of solution.

Quoted in the Financial Times

I trust you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Kind regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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