The government’s new Loneliness Minister was today told that the application to join her local old-folks’ club had been rejected. ‘Who wants government interference in our social affairs?’ said Beryl Malling, Chairperson of the Ashford and District Old Folks’ Friendly Society.
‘We’re always pleased to have decent people at our frequent gatherings,’ she continued, adding, “and we’ll always arrange for someone to provide a free lift, but the last thing we need is a government official telling us how to be friendly and to whom.’
Ms Malling, 86, pointed out that government representatives had been invited previously to participate in the Society’s activities but the administrative overload was ‘prohibitive’.
‘There were loads of forms to fill in, and our Club Secretary, William Goldthorpe, was supposed to wait half-an-hour or more in a telephone queue for large-print versions. He’s already 102 years old. How long do they think he can hold on to a telephone call without having to go to the lavatory?’
‘We once invited the Queen to attend one of our meetings when she could have tried our home-made fairy cakes, free of charge, but we were offered Princess Michael of Kent instead and so, of course, we refused.’
According to Mr Goldthorpe, ‘What the government needs to understand is that ministers isolate themselves by their own doing. They need psychotherapy, not publicly-funded social opportunities,’ said the sprightly centenarian.
Ms Malling’s fairy-cake recipe is available free of charge at www.adofs.com/recipies where all the ingredients can be ordered with just one click, and a specially-trained supermarket driver will brighten your week with a one-to-one greeting and a personal apology for the substitutions.