The death of Queen Elizabeth and the political upheaval were just a hint of what was to come in 2023. | Daily News Byte


Another December has arrived in the United Kingdom, the nation that God forgot. Every year in recent times has felt like the silliest since records began, but 2022 will be hard to top.

So, what happened here? The first, the eldest, queen went and died. This was not surprising: she was very old, and death at the end is a traditional way of human lifespan. But it was weird. People queued overnight to see his coffin and were outraged when celebrities were seen cutting the line to do so. Somehow Paddington bears mourners (and the boy were mourners) leaving plastic bags of marmalade sandwiches outside Buckingham Palace. And everything stopped. Pubs closed, businesses closed, you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing some distraught newsmen drooling over the various brooches worn during his 70-year reign.

It came at a truly peculiar moment in the political life of the country. Liz Truss, the prime minister who lasted as long in office as it takes eggs to be spoiled, looked like a trainee shop assistant with the new king at all the official handover ceremonies. His predecessor Boris Johnson was blamed for holding parties in Downing Street supplied by sad suitcases of supermarket booze, and more than 50 members of his parliament eventually resigned after revolting, not over dire handling of the epidemic or a general air of ego incompetence. , but because he lied to people who knew one of his staff. Our current Prime Minister is a multi-billionaire (family money included) who publicly declared that he does not know how to use a debit card at a petrol station.

Then there was the weather (yes, I know, but it was really remarkable this year), which alternated between very hot, melting tarmac and setting trees on fire in July, and very cold, as it is now. We are currently paying the highest prices for energy of any country in the world because the government previously decided that gas company dividends were worth protecting the elderly. So when I say it’s cool, I mean it cold. Everyone I know is sleeping in layers instead of turning on the heating. I am writing this wearing a coat inside my own home.

This year, our beaches were covered in sewage, because the Tory Party voted to cover our beaches in sewage. Fracking Banned, Then Banned Again. Food prices skyrocketed. Yet more migrants drowned in the English Channel. People shot their pants off at anti-fossil fuel demonstrations. The pound hit an all-time low, reaching almost parity with the dollar. Even the World Cup, usually a rare moment of national joy and good energy in this country, could not be properly enjoyed due to the host country’s human-rights abuses and, perhaps more importantly, the fact that, according to Vibe, it was held in winter. We couldn’t even crack a beer in the park. They also put calorie counts on all of our menus, so that even when we throw caution to the wind in the cost-of-living crisis and go out to enjoy ourselves, we can’t allow ourselves to forget to eat a delicious meal. is contributing to an obesity crisis that the National Health Service cannot fully handle at the moment, on top of day-long waiting times for ambulances and chronic understaffing. Everyone is going on strike (good) because no one is being paid enough (bad): nurses, teachers, lawyers, journalists, picket workers, postal workers, rail workers.

Has anything positive happened in the UK in the last 12 months? Wikipedia tells me that a rare bird laid an egg for the first time in ages. An MP was caught watching porn in the House of Commons and claimed he got there by accident looking for a tractor – it was great. For reasons still unclear, Piers Morgan hosted Piglet live on television when Boris Johnson resigned, and after Liz Truss crashed and burned Johnson, despite threatening, could not run for prime minister again. We’ve come unmistakably high in the Eurovision Song Contest. London has got a new tube line that has air conditioning. England won the Women’s Euro Football Tournament. I would argue, may she rest in eternal peace, it was kind of a laugh and at least very interesting when the queen died.

But if I was actually trying to be positive, which we haven’t been given much to do here of late, I’d cross my fingers that maybe it’s the fact that things are so bad and stupid in the UK at the moment. Way to do something better. The strike, while disappointing and symbolic of how decisively the government has abandoned the people, may be the beginning of something rather than the conclusion. We’ve never had the hunger for agitation the way the French gleefully take to the streets to set fire to police cars. Partly that’s because our laws are more punitive when we do. But perhaps things are getting so bad that the prevailing mood of “bear in silence” will kick in. Maybe if enough people are suffering enough, things will have to change, if nothing else by brute force Second


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