not an unusual story, unfortunately!

Most of the stuff I write about these days concerns politics, of one branch or another. But ocassionally , I read something which annoys me so much that I am compelled to respond, if not with automatic cannon-fire, then the only possible alternative, which is a response e-mail. Consider the following, which forms the beginning paragraph of an op-ed piece in today’s Sunday Times which concerned the high cost of energy:-


My response follows:-

Dear Mr. Clover,

With regard to your article on the high costs of energy and the reluctance of many British people to switch energy suppliers. Learned and informative though your comments may have been, I am of the belief that you completely ruined any rapport which might have been established with your reading audience by your use of the totally derogatory term “Our Elderly Forgetful One’ in respect of your father or father-in-law. This is the man who fathered either you or your wife, this is the man who helped raise you; who funded your very existence throughout your probably expensive childhood; who wryly gave you room and board completely free of charge while listening to the thinly-disguised moans of how he just didn’t understand you!

He may be suffering from the onset of Dementia, or of Alzheimers, and this may be both annoying and exasperating to you and your family: but this man, this one of many millions of my generation who probably looked on with pride as he viewed, in earlier years, his family, the fruits of his passion with your mother, and possibly felt some pride as he watched as those same fruits blossomed. I wonder if he would have felt that same pride if he knew that he would be viewed and discussed as ‘the burden’, the odd-one-out at the table; or as you so sympathetically placed it, ‘Our Elderly Forgetful One’.

Shame on you; Mr. Clover!

I sign myself as an Elderly but happily still Mentally-active Father and Grandfather

Mike Cunningham


I got it slightly wrong, as Mr. Clover’s ‘Elderly Forgetful One’ is in fact his half-brother, and for that supposition, I apologise, but for little else; because that derogatory epithet was applied to his relative!