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Dear Madame Selene – your problems solved

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MADAME Selene, the world-renowned astrologer, has kindly agreed to become TCW Defending Freedom’s agony aunt.

Dear Madame Selene . . .

One has worked dutifully all one’s life during which time one has become greatly admired and respected throughout the world. It is likely that in the not-too-distant future one will have to pass on one’s duties to one’s eldest son. One understands that he has become associated with a cult organisation which believes it can control the weather. When he replaces one and assumes his new role, one is concerned that he will destroy the business one has worked so hard to consolidate. One wonders if Madame Selene has any advice for one.

Madame Selene says . . .

It is easy to blame yourself for the shortcomings of your children but you have no reason to feel guilty. From what I can gather you are a caring mother who has tried to do her best in difficult circumstances. When individuals have been captured by cults it is almost impossible for them to escape. Sometimes it is necessary for them to be physically removed for their own safety and incarcerated for a short period for reprogramming. If you have such a facility at your disposal, I think you should grasp the nettle if only for his peace of mind. If he continues to behave irrationally, I suggest that you pass on your responsibilities to one of your other children, but not a male.

Dear Madame Selene . . .

I am concerned that I cannot cope with commitment. In my private life I have on several occasions promised undying love only to renege on my promise after a brief dalliance. In my career I have told people that I am a believer in freedom and personal responsibility only to coerce them into draconian restrictions and nonsensical behaviour. As far as finances are concerned, everything I touch seems to end in debt and disaster. I would be grateful for any advice that Madame Selene can offer to help me sort out my life.

Madame Selene says . . .

You certainly seem like a lost cause with a deeply flawed character, but I gather that you have a new young family.  Maybe now is the time to make a new start. You can begin by apologising to the millions of people you have terrorised and the countless number whose lives you have destroyed. The financial damage you have inflicted as a result of reckless spending will take decades to repair and ultimately will cause others to dissociate themselves from you and those around you.

In view of this I recommend a career change to something more in line with your capabilities. Perhaps you will find something suitable in a circus or in a theatre at the end of a long pier.

Dear Madame Selene . . .

I feel insignificant. I am fairly new to my job and i realise it is normal to expect a period of invisibility and lack of recognition. However, although I am the leader of a fairly large political party it came as something of a shock to me recently when one of our members asked if I had time do his accounts. To make matters worse my official political opponent (I have many on my own side) is an incompetent buffoon who often upstages me, even on the regular occasions when he talks nonsense. I would be grateful if Madame Selene could give me ideas as to how I can show people the charismatic, vibrant personality that my wife says I possess.

Madame Selene says . . .

Although I have never heard of you I understand the dilemma you face. It is only natural for those in certain professions such as accountancy and the legal profession to develop personalities that can be seen as solid and dour rather than entertaining and joyful. It seems to me that your current job is rather pointless. If nobody takes any notice of you when you speak, perhaps you should say something that is at least vaguely interesting. To become more noticed in the eyes of the public, consider juggling oranges whilst you ask a question and put on a funny hat when you give a speech.

Dear Madame Selene . . .

After making a fortune in the IT industry, in a perfectly ethical way and without resorting to anti-competitive practices, I have devoted myself to making the world a better place. However, despite becoming an extremely generous philanthropist who has donated many millions to medical charities, universities and news outlets, I often feel that I am not given the appreciation my generosity deserves. Many people publicly criticise my motives and even my wife has deserted me. Is Madame Selene able to give me a roadmap to gain universal acclaim as the saviour of humankind?

Madame Selene says . . .

Many of us have the desire to be saviours of humankind but sometimes we have to rein in our ambitions and opt for something more realistic. You say you have computing skills, so why not offer your services to help those old people who have trouble accessing their online bank accounts? If you have some spare cash why not donate some of it to help those who will soon freeze to death because they will not be able to afford to heat their homes? It is important to be careful with whom you associate, and you should definitely avoid becoming involved with anyone who procures vulnerable young women to be exploited and humiliated by the rich and powerful. I apologise for not giving you additional advice but my PC keeps crashing.

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John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is the co-author of Steam Dreams and other interesting stories. He has generously donated his vaccine to the people of France. John is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood.

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