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Not an option for Lady Clementine. (Denisse Leon, Unsplash)

Whingers galore and hardship hell, isolated in the Oxfordshire wilds

Living, coping and observing in the age of Covid #9

NO doubt the nation’s heart has gone out to another victim of the pandemic.

Fortunately it is Random Acts of Kindness Week (yes, really) and help may soon be on its way to this poor soul.

There are likely numerous others in much the same situation. However, they will get overlooked for they lack the necessary power and persuasion. They can merely sympathise and pray this unfortunate being soon receives all the support and assistance she deserves.

After all, who could not be moved by the plight of Lady Clementine Medina Marks, despite her having had the good fortune to escape a driving ban for what a magistrate describes as “a flagrant disregard for obeying speed limits”?

As the court was told, this “disregard” has already earned her three speeding convictions and 11 penalty points on her licence – one short of an automatic ban.

However, as her legal eagle, Julian Hunt, explained, “She has no staff to drive her children to school”. Banned from driving, she would be marooned.

He expounded, “The household is a very isolated family in Oxfordshire.” Which rather makes it sound as if they live in the Amazonian wilderness; not a county of 1000 landlocked acres containing  several  substantial towns and innumerable well populated villages.  Isolation?  Hmmm.

To make matters worse, “There are no staff in the house.”

Most likely they have been furloughed and are isolated too. In their own bubble. There they are coping with their own logistics of  home schooling, the supermarket dash and deciding who will have use of the car for essential work related journeys.  And no doubt shedding a tear for her Ladyship, isolated in her manorial demesne.

This wife of a Lib Dem peer is yet one more tear-jerking story among the daily parade. They are everywhere. The idea of “We’re all in this together” presented as a slogan of national unity way back in Covid’s nascent days has long faded.

It is now a land of Me, Me, Me.

Hospitality, for example, has taken a massive hit. We know that. It stares us in the eyes with shuttered restaurants, bolted and barred pubs, closed cafes and off limit cabins and camping grounds.

Yet almost every night the news presents us with another whinging cafe owner bemoaning their lack of income. Or a distraught beautician  unable to cope with having no eyebrows to pluck or nails to paint. So, how are you any different from the thousands of others in the same predicament?

Remember, “We’re all in this together.” Yet somehow we have transformed the national into the personal.

Time for the news editors to look beyond this deep slough of despond. We know, we know, we know … we get it.

As for the procession of those poor unfortunates wailing on about missing their annual escape to the Maldives, Martinique and Macchu Picchu … I can’t help thinking about the masses for whom a weekend on a pebbly beach anywhere would be Nirvana at the moment. To them, the vast majority, a couple of weeks in a caravan at Clacton is heaven on earth even in normal times.

Air time was even given to the man who whinged about being about to take his car out for a drive – because the battery might go flat.  No thought to simply sitting in it in his driveway while the engine ticks over.

Everyone is suffering some form of deprivation, hardship, misfortune and has a story to tell; all in the same boat except for those who insist that they drifting aboard some modern day Titanic.

No wish to be unsympathetic but we really are all in this together.  About time to stop whinging, reducing everything to the personal, thinking only of self , flouting the regulations with parties and driving miles to second homes.

When asked what we could give up for Lent, one letter writer to the Daily Telegraph, succinctly suggested, “Moaning”.

Good idea, and that includes you Lady Clementine. And not just for Lent.







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