Lionel Shriver

Why agonise over things that will never happen?

Why agonise over things that will never happen?
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In attending to Labour’s Free Ice Cream For Everyone manifesto out of ghoulish voyeurism, I violated a personal rule of thumb. Jeremy Corbyn will not be prime minister. This manifesto will not become law. So why agonise over whether renationalising the railways is fully costed?

My rule: avoid squandering time on what ‘might’ happen. Half the average newspaper falls into this category. Public speakers promote courses of action that they’re in no position to institute: all talk. The government ‘might’ adopt some policy, about which we never hear again. Were all those ‘promising’ medical studies to have proved out — whose trials on mice ‘might’ have led to miracle cures — we’d now have eliminated cancer, Alzheimer’s, malaria, eczema, heart disease, criminality, schizophrenia, ageing, obesity, HIV, and hair loss, not to mention mortality.

It’s hard enough to keep up with what is happening.

Written byLionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is an American journalist and author who lives in the United Kingdom. She is best known for her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005 and was adapted into the 2011 film of the same name, starring Tilda Swinton.

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Topics in this articlePoliticsjeremy corbynlabour party