Thursday, 14 April 2016

These days...

The rather sad story of John Whittingdale says such a lot about the times we live in.

When we were young in the fifties it was a time when you met 'boys' all the time.   There were numerous social occasions - anything from the village 'hop' to the Saturday night, full orchestra 'posh' dances.   There were Youth Clubs and Activities.   Living, as I did, in a village - there were all the village boys (we so called 'sophisticated' girls always thought these below our dignity although, of course, in the end quite a few village girls married village boys.)

We didn't, of course, have access to social media, we didn't go around with our heads glued to our mobile phones.   Texting was well in the future, as were dating agencies and all on line ways of meeting people.   We met the opposite sex at work, on the bus or train going to work, or if we were lucky enough to go on to further education - a choice only open to a few whose parents were 'rich' enough, at places of further education.

Divorce and what were then called 'illegitimate' children were almost unheard of, certainly in villages.  I only remember two in our village - one belonging to the daughter of our neighbour (when I asked my mother if you could have a baby without being married because I realised it had happened next door, my mother said to mind my own business and get on with what I was doing.)  The other belonged to a woman further up the road and was the result of a liaison with a pillar of the church - the 'result' was so like him to look at that it caused a bit of a furore which eventually died down.
Some I suspect were brought up by grannies who passed them off as their own daughters/sons.

If there was a divorce in the village I never heard of it (it was a small village) but that is not to say there were not unhappy marriages - more that divorce was often not an easy option financially. 

Now Dating Agencies seem to be almost the name of the game.   I know of several very happy marriages which have been the result of such meetings.

Sometimes, as in the case of John Whittingdale, the news media can be cruel.   What should have been his own private affair is now plastered all over the papers.  There are so many shady / criminal people out there and such a small amount of knowledge given - and often not strictly speaking true - that the whole thing is risky

That applies to all virtual relationships including that which exists between us on Blogger.  For all most of you know I could be male, forty-five, married, divorced, foreign, - I could go on but I won't.  We take one another on face value.

All of this makes me sorry for John Whittingdale.   Here is a man who works hard and is probably lonely.   He should now be left in peace, not derided and certainly not hounded by the media.   Newspapers are good for carrying information but they can also be incredibly intrusive and cruel.

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19 comments:

Rachel said...

Maria Eagle and the Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves. The self-righteous are out in force yet again.

Heather said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Newspapers should provide us with the news, not give us their slant on current happenings, and definitely not go about digging up dirt, very often when there is none to find.

Derek Faulkner said...

Couldn't agree more Pat, unfortunately these days the slightest mistake, be it an action or using the wrong word, is seized on by the media and pulled apart for days to the most ridiculous degree. We've almost been reduced to a nation of stutterers now as we watch every word that we say in public because there are so many armchair PC police about.

Jenny said...

Very well said. I too remember asking about why Miss so and so in our village could have a baby when she wasn't married, I didn't get an answer either. Now I know of single girls with half a dozen children from different fathers who think its all perfectly acceptable that they are supported by the state. There never seems to be a happy medium anywhere in life.

Derek Faulkner said...

I forgot to also add, Pat, that I'm somewhat glad that I didn't have to experience the young and village lifestyle that you appear to have had to. I was fortunate to live out all my teenage years through the 1960's, when girls went bra-less, wore mini-skirts and took the pill, and as a result we all had a jolly and hedonistic time with few un-wanted babies and marriages. I guess John Whittingdale might of been trying to have a slice of that himself and good luck to him.

Rachel said...

And carrying on from what Derek said.

We didn't cry rape every time a bloke touched us either like they do today. Any young man thinking about having sex with a friendly girl today, beware, she'll be all for it tonight and accusing you of rape in the morning.

Derek Faulkner said...

Very true Rachel and once the girls began to enjoy their freedom and turn the tables, it was more likely us blokes shouting rape. Not that I recall them queuing up to attack me.

Joanne Noragon said...

Besmearing the man certainly is not in the public interest, and public interest used to be the goal of the press, or media, as we have it today.

jinxxxygirl said...

Well i must be out of it.. I don't know who your talking about... Guess i better go Google him...lol My teenage years were spent in the 80's .... And i was very shy , quiet and reserved. Never went to any dances or such..Met my husband in the Army.... Hugs! deb

The Broad said...

The press has had it both ways in the Whittingdale case -- they have the story all over the front page while at the same time claiming to be high-minded in not printing it in the first place! And those that complain about the press printing what should remain private are having their own field day by faulting the press for holding 'the sword of Damocles' over Whittingdale's head.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

To me the issue with Mr Whittingdale was not who he chooses to associate with but how the newspapers held their knowledge back. If this had been Jeremy Corbyn or, God forfend, Ed Milliband the salacious news would have been hot off the press. That holding back could have had a beneficial effect on the Tory vote in the last election.

By the way Mrs Weaver, did you dance around your handbag with the other girls casting sly glances at the watching lads and giggling coquettishly? That is what happened at "dances" in East Yorkshire until we lads plucked up enough courage to ask for a dance. If we were lucky we ended up snogging 'em and slinking off to the shadows.

Librarian said...

I have no idea who Mr. Whittingdale is or what he has done (or not done) to be in the limelight.
As for dating agencies, they have been existing for a very long time, only that they weren't on the internet.
In the 1970s, my widowed Great-Uncle Alfred met a very nice lady, also widowed through such an agency. Alfred and Ellie fell in love and married and were very happy together until Alfred died 16 or so years ago.

When I was at elementary school, there was only one boy in class whose parents were divorced. Nowadays I suppose it is the other way round and only one child in each class will still live with both his or her natural parents, who are married.

Maywyn Studio said...

I just read about Mr. Whittingdale after reading your post.
Given his decision making government position, I can see why some journalists feel his personal life is public news. I don't see why, however, they feel a man caught in an uncomfortable situation should be treated unfairly when he made a sound decision once he became aware of all the information.

As it is, I think he's no longer needing a dating agency online or off. He's an attractive man that thanks to some of the press, has free advertising as to his good character and availability. He wins.

Tricky Wolf said...

What consenting adults do with each other behind closed doors is no one's business but their own. That being said, if you put yourself out in the public eye you can expect dirt digging and mud slinging in equal measure these days

angryparsnip said...

I do not know who Mr. Whittingdale is but what he did in his home, is his business.
Now I must go goggle him.

cheers, parsnip

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I feel a person's life should be their own business - but in the public eye you do have scrutiny and best not make a mistep. The way he treated his companion is unfortunate and cowardly - she more than likely has suffered more shame because of him. And I was distressed by some of the commenters who spoke as if being politically correct was a bad thing. We are getting way too much of that sort of comments from Donald Trump here in America. I think being politically correct is the right and proper - and polite way to be - we shouldn't allow ourselves to belittle and undercut someone simply because we want to be bullies and call names that are ugly. We are better than that and I hope we can retain our good manners and remember not to hurt others - since we wouldn't want to be hurt by hurtful remarks.

Cro Magnon said...

I have no interest whatsoever in Whittingdale's shenanigans. Somehow I don't think that the attempted left wing slur will make any difference to him or his career.

thelma said...

Actually it is 'news' on the radio that keeps referring to poor Whittingdale, and someone said yesterday that what lies at the root over the supposed controversy is Whittingdale plans....

"The Culture Secretary has indicated that the new charter will allow the Government to appoint the majority of BBC board members"

Skulduggery wherever you look probably but shame on Eagle and the Labour Party for bringing it to the fore.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. Seems like we are all in agreement more or less.