Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Not listening and projection
Whilst shovelling apple pap down my ungrateful daughters maw this morning I was listening to the early morning pre news. Radio 4 had taken a journey along to Much Wenlock in Shropshire in order to talk about the Much Wenlock Olympics – the forerunner of the modern Olympic movement, even de Courbertin admitted as such and visited them before his own dreams were fully formulated..
Whilst there however they talk to all sorts, former evacuees, denouncing how dreadful it all was, well the evacuees were just matter of fact, and I paraphrase,
“We were filthy and covered in tarmac nobody picked us when we were lined up in the memorial hall. In the end I ended up with Mrs Jones. She was paid like for each child she took so she took eight. That was four at each end of the bed, I won’t forget that. She didn’t seem to like us much and if we were naughty we would spend the night in the shed”. The interviewer almost fainted with horror at the conditions but the chappy went on,
‘Well you see I was what you might call an urchin, street kid, horrid really’.. and so on.
But worse was to come. They turned on this little old lady, who was a passionate gardener and had lived in the Shropshire town since just after the end of the last war.
This lady talked about hating coming to Shropshire – she had an “interesting job at the FO”, during the war and had only spent two of the first seven anniversaries with her husband. The interesting job had consisted of working on three propaganda radio stations broadcasting in German. One that gave out information on how to call in sick, and thus avoid the eastern front. One that gave awful stories on how the Nazi leadership was living it up on the French Riviera, and the third which was dedicated, I think, to messages from prisoners of war to their families.
The interviewer asked in a way expecting the answer yes,
“Didn’t you feel ashamed about how you were waging war”. The sound of astonishment is normally silence – but what silence.
The hack then suggested that the lady was “In her dotage”, and thus shouldn’t work. Again the silence spoke volumes.
Soon after that piece of crass behaviour from one Beeb presenter came a classic from the Today programme. Following the Florida hurricane, in the studio it was all how this was the worst that had been seen for at least 12 years, and how things were baaad, really bad – the undercurrent being Global warning and so on. Then they spoke to spoke lady whose house lay under the storm path. Wasn’t it the worst – no she had been through worse. Then onto the expert in a concrete bunker – the Florida storm HQ, “Wasn’t it the worst? – No it was smaller than last years. The Journo was getting increasingly frustrated. His unspoken story line – bad weather, global; warming Kyoto, America evil was being blown away and there was nothing hew could do about it.