BBC radio senior gob John Humphrys has his uses, and one of them is to conduct valuable interviews such as this. Sod the mostly vacuous politicians who fill the schedules of the Radio 4 Today programme; I’d much rather hear the stories of the John Arthurs of this world.
What I don’t want to hear is inane commentary from the likes of the intensely irritating pop-psychologist Oliver James of “Affluenza” fame, who goes on about Mr Arthur being the product of a broken, me-me-me society. The BBC has thankfully decided not to include James’ idiotic comments with the interview.
From the interview with John Arthur we learn that the housebound 89-year was married for a few years in his mid-thirties, and has no children. Once his corporal existence has ended, the memory of Mr Arthur will no doubt fade rapidly into the void. Like everyone he is a product of circumstances and personal choices made, some possibly regretted. But Mr Arthur is no victim of social malaise. His life would probably be more social if it were not for our nuclear family-centred society, but he seems to have chosen his lot, and lives with the consequences.
May Mr Arthur enjoy his pair of kippers for dinner tomorrow. I shall probably cook an especially hot vegan curry for my Christmas supper. And I will raise a glass to John Arthur. The washing-up can wait until Boxing Day, and my return from the Morris dancing and folk session in Blackheath.