If you’re as annoyed as I am by Meghan Markle’s ruddy jam, chances are you’re suffering with GFD too

Meghan Markle has gifted 50 jars of her homemade strawberry jam to an exclusive band of influencers
Meghan Markle has gifted 50 jars of her homemade strawberry jam to an exclusive band of influencers

Dear Readers, hand on heart – yes, I do have one and it is a bit bleeding but increasingly illiberal – I had fully intended to use this column to lower the temperature of our national debate. Pour oil on troubled, sewage-slick waters. Not apply butter to the burning sense of injustice.

But this morning, I woke up to find I am suffering, really suffering, from GFD. I don’t know if you are aware of this but GFD stands for “Generalised Fury Disorder”. Oh, you too? Huh. What were the chances?

Pretty high, I reckon, if you’ve been as annoyed as I am by Meghan Markle’s ruddy jam. I have no clue why, but every time I encounter her American Riviera – Whiskers on Kittens / The Smell of a Baby’s Head – Orchard brand, I want to bite on a pillow.

Now that she has brought forth a limited-edition strawberry jam – just the 50 jars, made by hand and given to an exclusive band of influencers – I fear I might have an aneurism. It’s. Just. So. SO. Annoying.

Not least because here I am, letting that Montecito-sourced soft fruit live rent-free in my head, which means the joke’s on me. If only I could laugh. Instead, I’m howling in anguish at the pettiness of it all.

Shrinkflation means that whenever I buy a new piece of jewellery, the catch is so penny-pinchingly tiny that I need a neurosurgeon trained in computer-assisted manipulation to open and close it.

My new pond pump arrived without a plug; something not even the Freddo Index can explain. And olive oil is now so expensive that I sauté vegetables in La Mer face cream – sure it’s £2,200 a jar, but it does keep my courgettes enviably moist.

I’m no economist but I have a hunch that when the Office for National Statistics next announces the basket of goods and services it uses to calculate inflation, it will no longer contain vinyl records, rice cakes or even those packets of cheese and onion air that used to include crisps. I have a hunch it will be empty apart from a load of car tyres.

Who on earth can afford to keep on replacing their tyres when our roads are so potholed that Netflix has apparently commissioned a whole series called Goodyear Badyear based on six ordinary families attempting to reach an out-of-town supermarket before their Bridgestones are shredded.

Nothing works, especially not the bits of the NHS that rely on waiting nicely in line for years. The social care sector is collapsing before our eyes and I still struggle to understand why I had a better mobile signal in a Ugandan tropical rainforest 10 years ago than I do now in Somerset.

How are we supposed to level up anything when you can’t even guarantee Wi-Fi on a train? But our politicians are too busy yammering on about things that don’t matter in a cynical, calculated bid to distract us from the things that do. Does anyone care about Angela Rayner’s council house sale? Seriously?

Angela Rayner's council house sale is just one of many frustrating aspects of life today
Angela Rayner's council house sale is just one of many frustrating aspects of life today - Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

The suspension of Mark Menzies, the Tory MP, after he allegedly made a late-night call asking for party funds to pay off “bad people”, is absolutely gripping. Council houses are not. With apologies; I grew up in one and it was very nice, with a downstairs loo and everything, but all the same, this tedious, ignoble investigation is a red (haired) herring that reflects badly on the Tories, who have more than enough of their own fish to fry.

They’re not just using up our patience, they’re wasting police time. Haven’t the Old Bill got bike thefts to ignore and hate crimes to pursue?

I feel my GFD rage rising at the lack of humility, of accountability, in the way Conservatives keep yammering on about winning the election. What would they actually do if they won?

Can you imagine the awful, hushed silence that would fall on No 10 if they did? It’s almost worth voting Tory to see who faints or throws up first as Liz Truss drives her Estonian tank on to the rose garden lawn and the bloodletting recommences.

Meanwhile, north of the border, the SNP has officially gone doolally, asking little children to become LGBT allies. Or maybe it’s BLT? I haven’t lived there for a while but I believe the diet is still pretty atrocious.

Especially the trans garbage being forced down everyone’s throat by a load of activist extremists. Sorry, did I say extremists? I meant the nutters and bampots to whom the nationalists have sold what integrity they had on the promise of a youthquake vote at the next referendum.

Trouble is, by then, those wrong-headed idealists will have grown up, realised they have the lowest life expectancy in Western Europe and were duped into subscribing to the misogynist myth that a biological man can become a woman and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks won’t be a patch on the pyrotechnics. Cue a gender bonfire of the inanities.

I could go on. Generalised Fury Disorder is like that; the cost of a stamp, the fact that I can’t get my prescribed medication from the pharmacy, that poor bloke who put in 20 years’ service and then got the sack from Sainsbury’s for half-inching a few bags for life at the end of a night shift. The smell of vapes.

I fear I am broken. The only thing that can mend me now is the Japanese art of kintsugi, where seams of liquid gold are used to repair damaged vessels. But I suspect it will take something much rarer and more precious to fix me. I need balm for my soul.

Sorry to ask, but has anyone out there got a dollop or two of handmade Montecito jam to spare?