Tagged: 2009

2010: The Politics of (In)difference and Similarity

Now we’re a month into it, I suspect that it’s still too much to hope (perhaps) that 2010 will be a better year politically than the last. I suspect things will pick up where they left off at the end of last year and we’ll get another twelve months of bitching and moaning – but very little action on behalf of our elected ‘representatives’ in Westminster. Quelle surprise.

I can’t help being so cynical. I used to be a full-blown idealist (and I still hold firm to an arguably idealistic belief in the necessity of peace, equality and fairness, despite everything), but the more I learned about and the more I understood the way the political system in this country works, the less convinced I was by its weasel words (ie, not at all), and the less I believed in the possibility of it being an agent for and a necessary force in creating positive change.

Cynicism comes naturally after that.

2009 did little to disabuse me of this belief. All in all, it was a pretty sorry year, politically speaking –  although no matter how much you despise the government of the day (and no matter how enjoyable the schadenfreude), it is never comfortable viewing to watch them dig themselves deeper and deeper into a pit of infamy; that same pit of infamy which Tony Blair played such a prominent role in originally (re) opening up back in 1997.

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For Auld Lang Syne (or Something): Goodbye 2009

I don’t do New Year’s Eve. Call me a party pooper if you like, but I really do not enjoy it and never have. It’s never anywhere near as much fun as we all convince ourselves it’s going to be every year, for a start. I honestly can’t figure out what’s fun about freezing your arse off in, say, central London, crammed in with thousands of other cold, drunken, slightly annoyed people, watching a few fireworks that you can see just as well (and without all the crowds) on your TV screen at home.

Then there’s the clubs. Just because it’s NYE, ticket prices suddenly go through the roof, the line-up is half-hearted at best, the drinks are both watered down and stupidly expensive, and the place is invariably full of idiots on far too much of whatever the current drug of choice is, drooling and windmilling round the dancefloor in a deeply annoying fashion and incoherently trying to chat up inanimate objects (and the occasional actual person). The loo queues will be like the first day of the January sales, and you have to freeze half to death outside if you want a cigarette. Um, no.

Just. Not. Interested.

And all that’s before you have to even think about getting home at the end of the night. Free public transport, yes, but free public transport full of lairy drunks, gaggles of screeching teenagers and the inevitable sleepyhead who passes out in a pool of vomit at the back of the night bus and ends up at Heathrow or somewhere else equally remote to the average Londoner.

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