A Momentous Year

harpy-imagesA coke and a smile and it’s already 6th of January, most New Year’s resolutions are well on their way to being broken and a whole new seedbed of freshly sprouting tragedies are preparing to break the soil of 2017.    So, will this year be better than last?


At least, not in the eyes of the media harpies who sit on the branches  of the ‘London Bubble’, glaring balefully at me through the window of my northern turret.   Now these are interesting birds:  for they are gifted in their description of impending misery.  The instant I venture to share their wavelength they bombard me with carefully measured doses of doom, interspersed with worthy advice concerning avoidance measures.

Brexit, they persist in wailing, will be a disaster as yet beyond human experience, one we cannot possibly calculate in terms of the millions who will starve, the race riots that will injure us and loot our properties, or the unmitigated fury of the spurned bankers, who will all leave for France.   Have we not already been swept up in a tide of hyper-inflation, with savage price rises, critical supply shortages and assaults by irritable German Federalists?

Well again, no.

In fact, virtually every prediction for Armageddon has so far proved false, apart from the one concerning the lowered value of our dear old dusty English Pound, which, as it turns out, is a boon to industry, because at 2.2 percent the British growth rate for the past year is the highest in the western world.   Meanwhile, across the Channel, the European economies are either languishing or in trouble, one way or another.  The euro is showing all the early signs of terminal disease.

Without indulging in lengthy (and very boring) discussion of comparative ills, the political right is hauling itself up several electoral ladders, notably in the big European players – France, Italy, and possibly even Germany, with electoral processes due to chart their success this year.  Right-wing political thinking is broadly anti-EU, but political science is a lot like theology: a subject with no substance in itself which is guided and reinterpreted by those who administer it.  Where it exists it is upon an ideal or a myth, and the problem for the ministry of a fashionable creed is their vulnerability to being swept aside when events disprove their ineffable vision.  There is no in between:   saints or heretics; the Vox Populae judges only by results.

Britain’s greatest enemy in the execution of Brexit lies within itself.  Pandering to instinctive British obsequiousness, and unconvinced of its negotiating power or the cards it holds, the government seems to be falling over itself in attempts to ‘achieve the best deal’, regardless of its record in that department when David Cameron was lashed to the helm, and without any acknowledgement to the bigger world that waits to trade and interrelate.

Hot news!   You cannot ‘negotiate’ with zealots.  They don’t listen.  Whether Federalist or Islamist they are convinced of their cause in the face of all reason, and their pursuit of it will be relentless.   The only way for the European ideal to break down is the way it must, whether in months or years: by collapse from within.

Complications, EU rules and agreements founded upon them, are really a distraction from what will be UKs final recourse, just to walk away and close the door.   The vast amount of money, and work for the Civil Service, though, that will be expended in reaching that conclusion, is not for the EU.  It is to gratify powerful influences within UK.

Make no mistake, the greatest obstacle to a smooth and effective severance is rampant self-interest.   I can understand it, in a way.  In the long term, as everyone knows, the Carney Bank of England interest rate, which has lingered at fractions of a percent for some years now, must rise.  In most of the country such changes are manageable, but if you live in a two-bedroom flat in London which cost your lenders the north side of £600K a half percent rise is tantamount to ruin, especially if the property starts to devalue as well…

On a personal level, this is the year (so my harpies, in concert with the British Brainwashing Corporation tell me) I am sure to contract a significant disease – diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Ebola, terminal flu.   All will be well, if I could only bring myself to take the wisest course the moment I experience early symptoms and consult my medical practitioner.  Okay, although due to the medical staff’s extensive holiday commitments the waiting list for appointments with my local General Practitioners’ exceeds one month.  By which time, of course, I will have expired.

Meaning, I suppose, I need not be too concerned that a piece one-quarter the size of Wales is about to break away from the Antarctic ice pack, or that due to billions of gallons of extra melt water filling up the oceans, the world is getting too fat in the middle and wobbling on its axis a bit.   This is no surprise to me.  Ever since acquiring extra weight in middle age my pirouettes are definitely more erratic.  A lesson for us all.

It will not be a bad year, 2017.   Whether we like or loathe Donald and his rug, the system will blunt his excesses I am sure, and all though the treatment may be painful, it will be beneficial, by and large, in the end.  If one thing, and one thing alone, could make 2017 a very good year it would be to see peace break out in Syria.  Those poor people have been bombed and shot at for too many years, and for once I find myself applauding Russia for its logical approach.  I hope that, at least, succeeds.

Happy New Year, everyone.

No – NO!   Put that drink down.  You promised!  God is watching!

20 responses to “A Momentous Year”

  1. I have high hopes for 2017, gotta keep up the positive attitude.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. good thoughts, for sure, Fredrick…a positive attitude is the only way to live. 2017 shall be interesting. I wholeheartedly agree, Syrian people need peace, the unimaginable continues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming, Roxie. I hate to admit it, but it seems Putin’s position on Syria is likely to bear fruit. We may not like Assad, but peace lies that way for the moment, and if he has been delivered into Russian hands maybe he will become Sumi-what more reasonable. Is the age of sabre-ratllling at last reaching an end? I’d love to think so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it really may work out in an even unforeseen way, yes, hopefully we are in a new age, where talk is the preferred method.
        watching and waiting…
        so glad we can talk things out in the blogosphere

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m afraid I have begun to withdraw into my shell a little. I have plenty to deal with in my life and the wider world is too much of a burden for individuals to carry – there aren’t enough who can come together to do real stuff to fix it. 😦 I am still involved, but less than I have been – a matter of self-preservation. I need to get on with my life with family, friends, the local community & my darned writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Linda; we’ll miss you! I understand your position completely, and admit I am having trouble meeting all my commitments these days: something about work-work balance! I guess there is so much going on at the moment it is the excitement that drives me: I m not a self-publiciest, so I don’t delude myself by imagining my individual voice will be heard, but I still believe it is the little spark of hidden anger that stops the demagogues from disenfranchising all of us. Iit’s a personal thing, but I intend to continue to ‘rage against the dying of the light’. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy New Year to you too, Frederick. Keep on raging. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Indeed so true, just a week and everything that was set on the 1st of Jan has almost evaporated in thin air…this a fast changing world and from politics to economics to weather to nature, just change with a flicker of a fire.

    Knowing well, this time I had decided not make promises to self and pronounce self as culprit just by breaking it a week later which has been the case…best thing is to take things on a stride…
    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And to you, Nihar: all the very best for 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If only I had one tenth of your optimism. For me, I see 2017 as a year of despair. Not in my personal life, but in the life of my country and our planet.


    1. I think I see things from a rather different perspective. On my side of the pond, I agree that nationalism is daangerous, but have accepted also that the EU cannot work. It tried to expand too quickly and has become a monster. I was wholeheartedly European for many years, but reason began to creep in as soon as the Federalist bunch took control. What we are seeing here is a cleverly disguised German invasion with ambitions to achieve peacefully everything that was denied to Hitler. For us, the real fear is that Fascism will move in on the back of the ‘refugee’ crisis. Did you know that the reprint of ‘Mein Kampf’ is selling particularly well in Germany?

      Again, from my point of view, Trump has many undesirable facets, and there is no doubt in my own mind that Democrats hold the key to advancement in your wonderful country, Sadly, though, because initially we had such high hopes, I wonder if Obama hasn’t been somewhat of a disappointment – not because of any racist issues, but as a personality and because of his lack of judgement. I think he (and his party) made a bad mistake in demonising Trump. Whatever one thinks of one’s opponent, one should treat him with respect; in the bout of mutual mud-slinging I believe Trump was offered an opportunity to emerge with a certain wounded dignity that did not hiinder his cause.

      OK, I know I’m in a less than ideal position to comment on US politics, but I think generally on the world stage we’ve entered a phase in which the man with a cause and a mission will win over the faceless ones, and although it is almost certainly to be a time of change, it may not. in the long run, be for the worse. For a start, it might finally resolve the issue of Republican domination in the legislature.

      I’m an ignorant British peasant, but if its any consolation in matters of politics my predictions are usually right. I don’t think you have as much cause for lament as you believe. And I think the planet will make it for another decade, at least.

      Sorry! Very long! Once I get going…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, just too much for me to chew on here and respond in any coherent way. I believe Obama was the greatest President of my lifetime and that Trump will destroy all progress that has been made in human rights and will undermine stability across the planet.
        I won’t venture an opinion on what is going on in Britain or the EU—too complex, and we’ve got enough problems here on our side of the pond. But I also fear demagogues and populism will ultimately destabilize the world and lead to war, destruction, and probably genocide if not the annihilation of the planet.
        Let’s hope you are right and I am wrong!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, you have it backwards on who demonized whom. Trump demonized ALL his opponents—from Jeb Bush to Ted Cruz to Marco Rubino to Hillary. He was the bully, the liar, the name-caller. His opponents lost because they took too long to attack back, and when they did, he just lied more and attacked more viciously. Obama NEVER demonized him or anyone else. I am not sure where you got that impression, but it is just plain wrong!


    1. Thanks, Amy! I watched Obama take the platform at some event, I think about a year ago, when Trump and his wife were part of the audience. Obama laid into Trump on that occasion with not one, but a number of fairly scathing personal jokes, probably stimulated by Trump’s insistence in that period that he was not US born. It wasn’t pleasant to watch, for me – in fact, it altered my opinion of him completely. Then there was the matter of Obama’s visit to UK – I don’t believe he won many fans here, though I may be wrong. His ‘get back in the queue’ attitude to trade deals with UK and his apparent preference for dealing with Germany and France was rather too obvious.

      No, I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think I have got it entirely backwards. At least, Trump availed himself of the criticism rather effectively, from my distant eye. Again, I find myself almost defending Trump when there are so many reasons why I shouldn’t. His attitude towards clean power, his espousal of the NRA, and so on. But from without, I can see happening in the States something very similar to events here. A small, rather egocentric elite have lost touch with a large sector of population, and worse, begun to arrogantly dismiss them to a point where they are deprived of a voice. Hence Brexit here. Because we live 250 miles from London does not mean we lack common sense. Instances of insurrection have been increasing of late, to the extent it would be unwise to ignore them. Rather an elected solution to some of those issues than a violent one.
      I know I’ll never persuade you, so I’ll stop now. We both feel very deeply about social injustice, but from different sides.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right about the fact that we, the liberal elite, need to understand better the feelings and problems of those who are less fortunate. No disagreement there at all. And hearing your perspective on Obama and his relationships with the UK is very illuminating.
        As for his “attack” on Trump, that was during the Washington Press dinner long before Trump was a candidate, and it’s an evening known for roasting people—it’s all meant to be funny. And Trump had been a relentless proponent of the whole racist birther notion, so Obama was responding to that—Trump just doesn’t know how to be teased or criticized. Look how he attacked Meryl Streep for daring to criticize him. He is thin-skinned in a way that is deeply troubling—how will he deal with criticism from foreign leaders? But Obama did not demonize him—he criticized him for lying about Obama’s birthplace and mocked him for it. Trump deserved and continues to deserve all the criticism, satire, and jokes that any other public figure would known enough to take in good humor.

        But please know I respect your views and am always interested in hearing what you have to say. I am just sometimes too passionate—especially in my hatred, yes, hatred, and fear of Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going to step back, bewcause I know my own dogmatic tendencies and I don’t wish to offend, especially if my knowledge is suspect. I do hope your fears for the next term are unrealised. This is a time of change, isn’t it?


  7. Hi Frederick, Three things to say here and the first is .Yes I hope 2017 brings peace to the Syrians ! and 2nd, I always liked Obama I thought he was a good President, but the question is, how long are these wars going to carry on not only in Syria but in so many other countries .It seems the human race cannot live side by side at all , so many innocent people are suffering and dying such as children and the elderly. Will it never end? Even the that go out to these countries to help are risking their lives some even being killed. Such a sad world. !!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would have added Sarah Palin to your list if you hadn’t mentioned her.I think she is McSame’s ONLY chance if he finds some way out of NOT running with Willard, unF.eklyilresh face female, almost no record, and when Biden bites her head off it will only hurt the Democrats.


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