politics

2020 is really trying to go out with a bang – the year that keeps getting worse


I know I promised a quiz this week but it’s been delayed for a number of reasons.

In mitigation, it’s impossible to set a question at the moment without the answer changing almost immediately.

This year really is trying to go out with a bang. If 2020 was a film ­character it would be the madwoman played by Kathy Bates in Misery.

A year that breaks your legs and holds you captive. And just when you think you’ve seen the back of it, it keeps coming at you. Even smashing it over the head with a typewriter won’t kill it.

I thought the nadir was when Leeds got beat 6-2 at Old Trafford.



A no-deal Brexit on January 1 has at least been averted

But no, the universe still found time to deliver a 2,000-page Brexit document, a new variant of the virus and HGV problems in Kent.

Incidentally, I have had my own delivery problems. In a rare display of organisation, I ordered the Christmas dinner gear at the end of November, so I could spend Advent feeling smug.

Predictably, it never turned up.

The firm: “Were you out?”

No. I’m in Tier 4.

The firm: “Hang on. I’ve got a photo of it here. Yes, it came yesterday. The driver put it on top of a wheelie bin outside number nine.”



The 2,000-page Brexit deal was struck by the Government on Christmas Eve

But I don’t live at number nine. It’s over the road. The firm: “Yes. That’s what’s happened.”

Excellent. Good to know. My fault for not thinking to look for a delivery in the bins of a house I don’t live in.

In desperation, I headed over the road where – despite heavy overnight rain – I thought something might be salvageable. A pig in a blanket maybe. A sprout. I started my bin dive.

It took seconds for my neighbour to come out and ask what I was doing. “I’m looking,” I said, “For a turkey.”

Her anger became concern: “I didn’t think that it had come to this.

“Come inside. We’ll get you warm and find something to eat. Times are hard.”

I ran off and spent Christmas Day eating Frazzles and ringing round Chinese takeaways before I finally found one that was open.



Keir Starmer must be decisive in the coming weeks, having pledged to back the Brexit deal

That should be the final nail. A dismal end to a dismal year but, you know, there are still a couple of days left to feel even more let down.

The deal is done and Parliament is set to be recalled to say yes to it.

It will be interesting to see what Labour does. Mr Starmer has important decisions but the most important is to actually make a decision. Go hard or go home, as the saying goes.

Anyways. Bad to end on a down note.

Although the next person who tells me “2021 has got to be better” will end up in the same place as my turkey.

There must be something good to come out of that hellhole of a year.

Not a great deal, to be fair, although we did learn a few things: Leeds United can hold their own, after a fashion, in the Premier League; Marcus Rashford and his mum should be given some sort of government department to be run; and spare ribs, prawn toast and kung pao chicken are not traditional festive fare but go well with red wine and are an excellent turkey substitute.

Sweet, as Christmases go, and sour.





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