The election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour leader has been a disaster for me. Where do I start in order to explain?
Ah, yes. Movember 2015. The month I decided to grow a moustache for charity, an act that proved strangely prophetic but more of that another time. Once Movember was past I decided to retain my facial hair on the grounds that my primary relationship had improved because my wife dissolved into laughter every time she looked at me.
Movember turned into Decembeard. I went the whole hog and stopped shaving altogether. My face became spiky and uncomfortable to the extent that my new grandson would squeal if I held him close. Still I persevered as it was for a cause that turned out not to be as good as I had imagined, but that will need a whole blog to explain so we'll not go there right now.
In January, I watched a film called Finding Forrester. I recommend this if you've not seen it. You can get it free if you've a Netflix subscription. Sean Connery played a distinguished writer in the film. Part of his being distinguished was the beard he wore. I modelled mine on his and every time I looked in the mirror I murmured James Bond quotes in a peculiar accent that I fondly imagined might belong to Connery. My wellbeing and self-esteem were greatly improved at a time when I needed a boost. Walking around looking like Sean Connery's portrayal of an author felt pretty good. It ticked plenty of the boxes that I might have been inclined to tick had I been in the habit of filling in surveys. I never do surveys, even the ones that offer fabulous prizes just for spending ten minutes of my time. The nearest thing I do to surveys is occasionally respond to consultations which are relevant to my work. These are Government exercises and don't even have the merit of offering a free iPad if you're drawn out of the hat. It's important to respond to these because it's good practice in being ignored. By the time a consultation has been sent out, someone has already decided what the change in legislation is going to be, regardless what response they get. I once asked a Treasury official why they decided to change when ninety percent of the consultation responses urged them to leave things as they were. 'We obviously consulted the wrong people,' was the reply.
Where was I? Oh yes, Jeremy Corbyn.
I'd never heard of Jeremy Corbyn before the Labour Party leadership election. More importantly, neither had I seen a picture of him. Now it's too late, he's been elected and disaster is staring at me from every mirror. He's got my beard. Or, worse, I seem to have a beard exactly like his. People at work have started to call it a 'Corbyn,' I know they never called my beard a 'Connery' but silence is indeed golden when it comes to facial hair.
Jeremy is here to stay. Even if he resigns on principle tomorrow, the damage has been done and can't be undone. None of us can unlook at something so that it's erased from our memory. Pity. If Men in Black hadn't got there first that might have been the basis for a good story.