It’s hard to get to my time of life and discover that for the last four decades or so you’ve been living in an aberration.
An exception that proves no kind of rule at all. A blip. A bubble. A time when it wasn’t desperately easy to be a woman but you didn’t have to keep quiet and lead a life for which you were not suited, just because you were born with an X chromosome.
An era when it at least seemed to be possible that we might be able to afford others the same advantages and/or rights as ourselves, even though their lifestyle, cultural background or faith choices were different from ours.
A period when there was a reasonable expectation that there might be someone to stand up for us if we were badly or unfairly treated.
A moment when, for a time, lip service was paid to the notion that equality and fairness were good things and not everything could be bought.
Ah well, times change. And those who feel that my long aberration was a time that meant they were being ignored, disregarded and sneered at obviously now feel that their moment in the sun has finally come.
Or come back, as many of them seem to be looking for inspiration to a past which they see as a much better and more comforting place.
I can understand that. No one can now doubt that our political leaders, home and away, have misunderstood, mismanaged and mistaken their relationship with large chunks of the electorate.
And those of us who resolutely refused to push them, time after time, to come up with a truly representative electoral system should be kicking ourselves for the missed opportunities that have, at least in part, put us where we are today.
Now, it seems, anything goes. Post-truth politics mean that someone running for office, or seeking to influence public opinion, can lie barefacedly and still get the result they crave.
Then backpedal, change their minds or brazen it out – delete as applicable – as they grab the reins of power from supposed elites, corrupt political dynasties and rigged systems.
Yet somehow – have you noticed? – we are still finding ourselves being told what do to by a palpably unscrupulous bunch of millionaires, billionaires and self-appointed opinion formers.
They’re different millionaires, billionaires and self-appointed opinion formers certainly but they’re still old-fashioned elites, throwbacks to another era, with an attitude that promises everything but only via a pathway of insult, rudeness and downright threat.
We want them because, we say in our defence, they’re “telling it like it is”.
This, when you look at it, is one of those weasel phrases that has no real meaning in itself.
Theoretically, it should signify clarity, directness, plain speaking and a relationship with some recognisable reality. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say, in other words.
Aye, right. Telling it like it is, these days, is actually political code for someone telling you what you want to hear so you will give them the power to do exactly what they like, all in your name.
It’s like “the American dream,” the notion that anyone, from anywhere, can get rich (and that’s what it means; no achievement other than amassing gross wealth is worth anything much) if they are driven and ambitious enough.
I’ve no doubt many who have made such fortunes did have good ideas and did work hard. But they didn’t do it all entirely by themselves, no matter how self-made they claim to be.
Somewhere along the line, backers, friends, family, colleagues or even lowly employees made their contribution to the greater whole.
One of the great attributes of an American dreamer, is, it would seem, possessing the ruthlessness to take all the credit at the expense of others.
The irony of that, of course, is that for any one person living the American dream, hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of others find themselves in a living nightmare. Or part of an aberration.
Many of those in power, home and away, might do well to remember that no man is an island, even if he wants to build a wall round it or stop other people getting in.
Dippy the Diplodocus is going on the road.
From the beginning of next year, the 70ft dinosaur, homed hitherto in the Natural History Museum in London, will be preparing to tour the country, providing an opportunity for the general public to see first-hand one of the most powerful, strangest and ultimately, doomed, life forms ever known on this planet.
Of course, on the other hand, you could just stay at home, switch on your telly, watch the news and be blissfully unaware that there is anything at all unusual about dinosaurs walking the Earth in this day and age, especially if you’re forced to listen to the enraged bellowing, aggressive roaring and general bombastic excess of sound and fury that passes for political discourse.
Tyrannosaurus Brexit, perhaps. Somehow, dippy doesn’t quite begin to cover it.