Well, whatever history may record about 2022, it certainly hasn’t been boring. We’ve had just about everything mankind can throw at itself from continuing to destroy our planet, war and chronic tory masochism. With a side dish of misogyny thrown in.
Many of you may have watched the Netflix series of self-justification from the couple who want away from the Royal Family crap, oh except for the titles and maybe some taxpayer funded protection when they visit. Personally, I had about as much interest as I had in watching the proverbial paint dry. But, just when I thought it had vanished from the public eye, along comes that idiot Jeremy Clarkson to fully justify so much of what the Windsor’s claimed. Racist abuse, tick. Misogyny, tick. Class elitism, tick. Xenophobia, tick.
Clarkson was born in 1960, I understand, and claimed that all men of his age think the same. NO. WE. DON’T. I’m 9 years older than him and I don’t know of a single person, male or female, who comes even close to his opinions. He is a classic example of the Golf Club Bore who insists on foisting his bigoted crap on anyone within hearing distance, it speaks volumes about the Sun and ITV that they continue to employ him. Can you imagine him still being in a job if he had said that about Meghan’s sister-in-law? While it’s difficult to avoid ITV, not buying the Sun is an easy and sensible choice. Free speech goes both ways, they are free to give him a platform, we are free to not buy it!
If Clarkson is looking for competition in the “make an ass of yourself” stakes he has some serious competition. From the psychotic lunatic in the Kremlin with his “Special Military Operation” in invading Ukraine and thereby demonstrating that the Russian Armed forces are really pretty crap, not only strengthening NATO but actually enlarging it. While it’s hard to imagine an uprising in Russia today, the fear factor has been largely destroyed both of his forces and himself outside the country. When you have to rely on North Korea for arms, you’re in real trouble!
Competition also comes from across the pond where the Trumpet has single handedly stopped the GOP from regaining control of the Senate as well as reducing the majority they have in the House of Representatives. He also manages to make President Biden look almost Presidential and to be in with a chance of re-election if Trump wins the GOP nomination! The Trumpet’s worries continue to grow on an almost weekly basis with law suits progressing in several states and the Justice Department rolling along with their investigations.
And finally in the rear of the year stakes we have Elon Musk. A classic example of a rich boy who wants everything his own way. The farce of his bid for Twitter, followed by a big dose of buyer’s regret, being forced to complete the purchase and now destroying the whole company, that’s quite an achievement in less than 12 months. But asking you customers if you should stay and being rejected by 57% just weeks after taking over is enough to make Truss and Kwarteng look like long served veterans!
And haven’t the tories been generous in the self-destruction stakes too. Not content with electing Boris back in 2019, they showed that racism is stronger than misogyny by giving the top job to Dizzy Lizzy. Seven weeks and a crashed economy later they were forced into giving the colonial the top job. But only by denying their own party members a vote.
Richy has been almost as successful as Mad Vlad in the Kremlin in negotiations with those historic union militants in the RCN. (To talk of an Independent Pay Review when the Government tells them how much is available is just farcical. Almost as farcical as the media and official opposition failing to point this out.)
But there is one factor which stands out in common. They, Putin, Trump, Musk, Clarkson, Johnson and Sunak are all, as the cliché has it, “old, male, pale and stale”. Just like their audiences.
I was sorry to see Ian stand down as the Westminster Group Leader, I have a lot of time and respect for him. Stephen Flynn has so far brought a fresh air to PMQs with is brevity and sharpness of questions. It’s a trait I would like to see continued and perhaps even copied by journalists who are there to get the views of the interviewee not tell us theirs. If I could be so bold to suggest a line of questioning to be continued, it’s simply “how can they the get what they voted for?” Every manifesto since has contained a commitment to a referendum. How can we get what we voted for? Following on from the attempt to change to Section 30 part of the Scotland Act, perhaps trying to add the 7-year provision contained in the Good Friday Agreement to the Act would be another way of driving the message of democratic shortfall? If it’s a long enough time gap in N Ireland why not in Scotland?
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to read these columns and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.