Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

'Sadly, the world is filled with apathy,' said my friend, as we looked at our sad little list of conscripts to the cause of fighting left-wing lunacy in our local neighbourhood. He's right. But I can't help feeling, as I enter another year of what will surely turn out to be non-stop trouble, that a bit of apathy would do me good.

My problem is I suffer from the reverse of apathy. I'm too bothered by everything. I can't stop objecting. I need to sit back and learn how not to give a damn. The apathetic masses must have much lower blood pressure than me. And a lot more friends. When I look back on 2015 it was one tiresome principled stand after another.

I took a stand against house-building on the green belt. I took a stand against HS2. I took a stand against my friends sneaking down the pub with the ex-builder boyfriend, the dubious result of which was that whereas before they drank discreetly with my ex behind my back, now most of them don't speak to me at all. Apparently, it's just easier that way. Forced by my fit of pique to choose between me and the ex, the jovial builder won hands down.

No more principled stands, I resolved, as the new year beckoned. And then my friend and neighbour -- the only other living Tory in Lambeth -- pleaded with me to help him fight a proposal to build a late-night toilet block for the socially excluded on Tooting Common.

Now, I'm not sure I know what social exclusion is any more, never mind a toilet block aimed at relieving it. I feel socially excluded most of the time, on account of the aforementioned Judas friends -- not that I'm bitter about it (may they roast in the fires of hell) -- but even so, I'm pretty sure that being able to go to the loo in the park at night wouldn't make me feel any better.

The Tooting Honey Toilets, as I am calling them, are the brainchild of local Labour and Green party activists who formed a steering committee and won Heritage Lottery Funding to turn a disused cricket pavilion on Tooting Common into ...oh, goodness knows what.

I've read the 31-page proposal and as far as I can make out, the pavilion is to become a community centre with en suite micro-Eden Project that will somehow solve every social, environmental and economic problem in Britain. (Needless to say, we couldn't just have a café. …

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