Practicality beat snow hysteria

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We will now long remember 2018 for the very late winter which brought joy to children everywhere, while many parents had to fire up the laptop and fill in spreadsheets in front of a roaring fire and Cash in the Attic.

As well as 12ft snow drifts, cancelled trains and sledge rides to the schools which remained open, last week also brought a tidal wave of disapproval from curmudgeons who trotted out the tired old question “why do we fall to pieces at the first sign of snow?”

And if you listened closely enough, you could hear the collective tutting from that constituency of folk who hanker after the days when it snowed for 12 weeks of the year and life continued as normal.

This sepia-tinted view of this nation of ours was there for all to see during last Thursday’s BBC Question Time when one clearly irritated member of the audience asked whether it was ‘Hysteria from Siberia’ rather than the ‘Beast from the East’ which had visited us.

Ken Clarke, the permanently bored ‘father’ of the House of Commons, could not hide his frustration with the media who had the temerity to dedicate much of their resources 
to covering the one story which affected the entire nation.

Then came our Agitator-in-Chief, Nigel Farage, who made some tiresome plea for us all to show some Bulldog spirit, before accusing journalists of manufacturing hysteria, which came as a bit of a cheek from a man who has built an entire career on whipping up millions into a frenzy.

Rather than talk our country down, I think we should reflect upon last week as a triumph: how practical thinking and stoicism won the day.

Despite the atrocious conditions, the country didn’t grind to a complete halt, which is largely down to the common sense of managers everywhere who allowed workers to log on from home, rather than sit for hours in traffic jams.

There were also stories of doctors and nurses walking for hours to get to their wards. Last week demonstrated how 21st Britain behaves in a crisis and I, for one, am proud.