2021 Jan 02 - Happy New Year

Welcome back, how was everyone's Christmas break? Hopefully better than at Debenhams where they apparently had to cancel their nativity play due to a lack of a prophet (profit). In my house a memorable highpoint (or lowlight) was when someone tried to use "Brexit" as a word in Scrabble and thus caused a bit of an argument as to whether it was allowed or not, although at least after we confirmed the rules we accepted the result rather than trying to drag the game into next Christmas. Did you hear the one about how Old MacDonald had a very bad Scrabble hand: E-I-E-I-O. But yes, welcome to 2021, anyone have any new years resolutions? Mine is 1080p.

Anyway, the main news of course is the movement of Britain from being part of the EU, to an international sovereign country which trades on its own terms and exports to the rest of the world and it seems that one of the first exports has been a new strain of super-covid. If you’ve seen a chart of where the new super-covid has been detected, and you see them using red to colour in the affected countries, you’ll be patriotically pleased to see it looks just like one of those old British Empire maps where they used red. Rule Britania eh, makes you want to pour a glass of gin and raise a toast to the fact that hardly any of the stuff in the British museum is actually British.

But for now we’ll wait and see how the corona plays out. For me the highlight of new year is always the National Archives releasing some newly declassified stuff. There’s some interesting bits and pieces this year, especially one where in the 1970s the British government assumed that the US was going to invade Saudi Arabia and impose some regime change to lower fuel prices. But luckily they left it alone and the country never caused any geopolitical problems ever again. If I had to rate the political relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, I’d probably give 9 out of 11.

The other bizarre story is that 25 years ago, impressionist Rory Bremner called around a few back bench conservative MPs pretending to be John Major, to see if the impression was convincing enough. In the process he accidentally stopped a rebellion on the right that would have toppled the PM and almost certainly put Michael Heseltine or maybe Ken Clarke into Downing Street. The ultimately irony is that Bremner has spent the past 4 years being a vocal campaigner for a 2nd referendum and cancelling Brexit and yet it seems that he was personally responsible for stopping a chain of events that would have almost certainly have seen Britain join the Euro thanks to Michael Heseltine. And talking of tinpot rulers, apparently the MCC was blocked from giving a membership to Robert Mugabe. Apparently it was a decision made by John Major who asides from being PM at the time, was also thinking of his retirement and presumably didn’t want to risk having to sit next to him for 5 days. No quote from Mugabe although I’m guessing he thought the way they behaved just wasn’t cricket.
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