When both my phones ring at once, it is usually an auto-dialler. I answer one of them and a man with poor English asks for me by name, in an accent hailing, at a guess from somewhere between the Himalayas and Sri Lanka.
“Who is calling him?” I ask. The answer is incomprehensible. “Can you speak English?”, I ask, as politely as the question allows. It is probably an offence to imply that someone’s spoken English is not up to scratch. He reads me my address and ask if that is where I live. I express unwillingness to answer in the negative or affirmative before he identifies himself. He mutters something and hangs up, having presumably concluded that his marketing time is better spent elsewhere.
They are an evil characteristic of the last decade, these people. A patently dishonest man, keen to get at my private information, trying to sell me something I don’t want, and which he is unlikely to deliver, in an accent which is not the one he was brought up with.
I had enough of that from Tony Blair.