At the End of the Year

methink2 Halfway through a new Twitter poll asking whether citizens think the UK Government is working for or against us, I have to say that our governing class isn’t coming out of it very well. So far, just 3% think its right behind us. The other 97% see Whiteminster as, you know, kind of in front of us, blocking the road we’d like to take….like so many Gilets Jaunes, but with the worst rather than the best of intentions.

I doubt very much if this is just a Brexit thing. It’s merely the latest episode in the longest running soap opera in the history of City and Nation States, Citizens v Citadels.

Every five years, the UK’s Citadels pretend that they give a whatnot about socio-ethical issues that really matter; and occasionally – in between election years – the people admired by The People get a look-in if they’re lucky.

A good example of the “beads” being handed to Citizen heroes takes place in our New Year Honours list each and every year. Arise Sir Michael Palin (he deserves it more than most) and also Obe Wan Kaneobe the unstoppable Spurs striker. There’s Twiggy, Gareth Southgate (for services to lost semi-finals), Alastair Cook, and a politician who for once thoroughly deserves it, Sir John Redwood.

But on such occasions, some of the hidden State’s shovers and makers are honoured….notably this time, the ethereally mysterious Mr JHJ Lewis of Shaftesbury in Dorset.

John Henry James Lewis gets an OBE for his services to philanthropy and the arts…..but one of the main benificiaries of that largesse has been, for over a decade, our Foreign Secretary Mr Jeremy Hunt. Can this really be defined as philanthropy? Was it the Dark Arts for which he is now at last rewarded?

Veteran Sloggers will remember this post from 2012 which endeavoured to be a little more accurate on the subject of Mr Lewis’s philanthropic actions.

I am at a loss to understand why JHJL wasn’t awarded the gong for services to celebrity surveillance.


For nearly thirty years now, December 31st for me has been like Venice – a thing involving memories I’d prefer to forget. But even before that, it always struck me as a pointless celebration – a triumph if you like of hope over experience. The world will not be a better place because the last number on the star date moves up a notch.

do like the Christmas season, because it involves (despite widespread cynicism) a lot of people at their best…and in a French rural community, it’s more obvious than most other places. But this year, the main thing I have noticed, while watching a little telly here and there, is that the advertising breaks are crammed with appeals for pensioners, refugees, kids, dogs and wild animals….while the news is indeed full of good ‘works’ stories – but they all involve citizens doing things that highlight just how badly the country is run.

I find myself attracted more and more to the idea of New Year’s revolutions than New Year’s resolutions. I don’t mean bloody revolutions involving guns and guerrillas; rather, I’m referring to the resolve to engage in more revolutionary (as in new) thinking.

For western governments (and their Oppositions) it’d be nice to see people ‘at the top’ starting out with the following revolutionary resolutions:

  • Be prepared to walk away from negotiating tables
  • Sit down and the read the global fiscal, financial and economic data before tackling the red boxes from a clueless Whitehall
  • Accept that collectivism failed before, and neoliberalism is failing now
  • Read more history, and clock onto the parallels
  • Be honest about making mistakes
  • Stop repeating ourselves.

But we all know none of that is going to happen. After all, the telly consisted almost entirely of repeats. And television programming often reflects the culture.


So I won’t be out partying tonight.  I shall be cooking Salmon risotto, piling into an Alcorta 2015 Rioja, and searching for a movie I haven’t seen already.

But have a good one anyway.