Monday, 31 December 2012

In Review

Rape? Not a lot!
Everybody's doing it, so why not me? The year in review now follows.

In the UK, it was a year defined most starkly by Savile and the Olympics, with the former being much more of a marathon than the latter. Quite staggering, with the recent de-classification of the correspondence with Thatcher, and the unbelievable access granted to the white haired tracksuit man to so many organisations. So much more is yet to come in this story, I think we can safely say, and it beggars belief at every new revelation. For me, the Olympics had a personal touch, thanks to my duties on the front line of customer services for the travelling public. It was a good couple of weeks in all.

Huge amounts of revelations up to and through the Leveson inquiry, with no discernible outcome other than mild embarrassment for Cameron because he thought LOL meant lots of love. Nothing was done to remedy the sickness at the heart of the relationship between HMG and Rupert Murdoch; nothing will be done to regulate the worst excesses of press intrusion. And we'll all sing along like before.

The fiscal cliff atop which we are all apparently standing has never been very far away. Greece burning, Spain floundering, France posturing, Italy imploding, Germany dictating and Japan stagnating. Obama's victory over the lunatic Romney - though only 7 weeks ago - now seems lost in the distant past, overshadowed by the apparently endless (and pointless) gerrymandering of the US political machine. I've been reading about deficits, public debt relative to GDP, etc., and I have to say that I can't really understand a bloody word of it. I'm not the cleverest man alive, but I'm not completely illiterate, and can struggle through most subjects given time, but this is all a mystery to me. If somebody could explain it in clear terms, then I would be very grateful. It seems to boil down to the basic fact that we are all fucked, but that it is not possible to levy higher taxes on the wealthy in our societies.

It was a year when City's billions finally clinched the champions' spot, in truly stunning fashion. A fantastic way to end the season, followed by a largely very enjoyable European Championships (England's dire displays notwithstanding) as a welcome antidote to the depressing spread of receivership and collapse among clubs large and small. A bit like United this season, Fabrice Muamba died, refused to roll over, and came back to life. Racism has been everywhere, infusing everything, and again I'm not sure if we have really made any progress in sorting it out.

Do I feel, as Mr Cameron says I should, optimistic about 2013? In short, no.

I can see nothing in my (admittedly somewhat confused) view of the economic situation to make me think that there will be any way out of the morass we're in. We seem paralysed and unable to do anything about even the most egregious examples of political graft and downright criminality. The environment continues to deteriorate at a truly terrifying rate, and nobody even wants to talk about it. Floods and misery descend on the poor benighted folk of this strange land with alarming regularity; farmers - their livestock pumped full of hormones, anti-biotics and god knows what chemicals - are struggling to survive like everyone else. Children are living in increasing numbers in B&B accommodation while luxury hotels sprout up and the value of houses continues to rise.

As far as the beautiful game goes, I think there is cause for some springing forth of Pandora's greatest gift. It has been an enjoyable season, with some great matches already played, and a lot more to come. The Norwich match was thrilling right up to the 7th minute (!) of added time, although we do have the bloody Potters up next. Now, at the halfway point in the current season, it could still go any way. Spurs are putting together some good play with some encouraging results, and Arsenal are doing all right. Liverpool looked set to tumble down a mediocrity hole, but have scrabbled back to the lip again, led firmly by the marauding Suarez. Not to mention Everton, who of course couldn't quite do Chelsea when it mattered most. At the moment, I would definitely say that the top 3 will be: City, United and Chelsea - though not necessarily in that order.

That concludes my review. I wish all my readers a happy new year, and hope that 2013 at least treats them a little better than 2012 did. I will be back with my meanderings to cheer you all along.

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