Town Mouse

The power of Oprah

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

LAST Thurs­day, our lo­cal school closed for the day to serve as a polling sta­tion. The prospect of this keenly an­tic­i­pated ex­tra hol­i­day en­cour­aged the chil­dren to a laud­able, if slightly wear­ing, in­ter­est in the elec­tion cam­paign as a whole. I have been asked for de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions of the vot­ing sys­tem, the man­i­festo po­si­tions of the prin­ci­pal par­ties—with a no­table bias to­wards an­i­mals, the en­vi­ron­ment and, un­ex­pect­edly, Brexit—and have re­fused to an­swer the in­evitable ‘who are you vot­ing for?’ more times than I care to re­mem­ber. It’s the third time in as many years that such a mid­week hol­i­day has been thrust upon us and, to judge from the re­sult, as I write, there may be another in prospect.

Mean­while, the school it­self has been run­ning a par­al­lel elec­tion to iden­tify the per­son in the world who has re­cently done most for chil­dren. A board of the con­tenders was just vis­i­ble out­side the school hall when I went in to cast my vote. Hav­ing a child in tow, I asked about their var­i­ous achieve­ments. It all sounded very im­pres­sive, al­though it was sur­pris­ing to be in­formed that a for­tune made in opera was the fe­lic­i­tous fi­nan­cial main­spring of Oprah Win­frey’s phil­an­thropic en­deav­ours. Would it were true. JG

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