Minister for Loneliness

Eve and Adam it. You might as well have a Minister for Wishes. One wonders what were the essential criteria for the post and what successful outcomes the candidates imagined.

Someone I know burst into muffled sobs and was repeating into her friend’s breast, “I am so lonely” and I checked her on Facebook with 216 friends. Facebook is an egoist’s free platform where people like me can show off about their culinary skills or be first with shocking news. You can test who’s your friend on Facebook by the number of times they DM you to see how you are or to share a greeting about a new day. Never happens.

Is the Minister to target old people because like ads for dementia and bladder control the actors are white and ancient? I know many youngsters, thirty somethings who are lonely defined by they being bored and having no-one to share that time in their life.

Loneliness is not a pathological condition cured by smile workshops or community workshops for those remedies are fleeting. Loneliness is part of being a human being.

Many people I see are lonely because they made themselves that way with their negativity and  miserable faces. They expect to be alone and lonely and make no effort to get out of years of habit. What a challenge for an unqualified person in a ministerial post.

We shall now join in anti-loneliness workshops and acted out plays and discussion groups  and art exhibitions and be reminded of tribal societies who do things communally and have no isolated lonely older people or young men who see nothing ahead but self-destruction. We’ll watch on the news graphs about dementia decreasing after loneliness has been alleviated and a link will be constructed between obesity and loneliness.. Wait and see. We’ll see pictures of groups of eighty year old widows of the parish and their spinster sisters with white faces and whiter Twinkle perms crowding into The Claremont Project and over that image a voice will tell us in condescending  soft tones how the Government funded initiatives helps those vulnerable lonely ancients, that same government lot  who forgot it was they who imposed parking regulations so that children and parents packed into the family car couldn’t just rock along to spend a family day with gran or old auntie and the same horrors who built uninspiring boxes after condemning big housing estates where Samjid knew Ethel and where the corner shop sold milk to everyone.

Loneliness will be blamed on isolation and lack of community venues . Ha. Community venues and hubs have been around for ages, had their surge in 2012 and are struggling now to open because the user groups are happy to stay in and not bother with insincere social interaction. Telly is comfortable. Facebook is that ego-fest. Loneliness is normal.

Ask Greta. Ask the married couple living on top of each other.

I watched Arctic Murders last night. It was slow and full of full-on shots of Arctic faces. I thought we were in Iceland but the faces weren’t wide Then the star, Rebecka, drank from what I recognised as an Ikea duck blue mug. Ha ha. Sweden it was

You have just read a typical Facebook status update. See what I mean?

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