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From a frown to a smile

For my sins, I tuned into Dominic Raab’s press conference yesterday shortly after 5.00pm on BBC1.

The charade goes on. He spouts meaningless politico-speak guff, over-rehearsed and as if on auto-pilot.

Yet the hounds of Fleet Street still do likewise.

They’re after a “story for the day” and are similarly uninspired, just chipping away by reference to the latest sob-stories to hand and the opinions of the renta-crowd mob of scientists and medics around the world who have anything critical to say about the Government’s policies and plans.

Raab opens with a homily about how the Government always listens to the expert advice they’re getting and will not change course – e.g. on when, if and how the lockdown will end – and each hack in turn then ask questions … er … about when, if and how the lockdown will end.

Whereupon Raab rewinds his loop and repeats what he’s just said.

Ho hum.

A lighter moment occurred an hour or so later when – two glasses of fine chardonnay to the good – I chanced upon a neighbour from my mansion block in the garden.

He’s in his mid-seventies now and probably the longest-serving resident of all.

We kept our regulation 12 feet apart, of course.

He told of a recent exchange of emails he’d had with a female pen-pal in the United States of America.

Responding to her inquiry as to how things were in the UK, he had said he was thoroughly enjoying the lockdown: nobody out and about, the roads relatively free of traffic, sky free of aeroplanes, significantly less air pollution – what’s not to like?

She had replied by saying that she loved his traditional British sense of humour.

But, as he commented to me: “I wasn’t being funny – I was being serious …”


About Lavinia Thompson

A university lecturer for many years, both at home and abroad, Lavinia Thompson retired in 2008 and has since taken up freelance journalism. She is currently studying for a distant learning degree in geo-political science and lives in Norwich with her partner. More Posts