Tomorrow is New Year’s Day, 2019 – the day that might just remind some people that the countdown to Brexit really is running out of time. What I am hoping for (perhaps even from ‘Sir’ John Redwood) is a slew of announcements about British companies on how their new post-Brexit freedoms will be opening up new trading opportunities in three months’ time. Let’s not forget that governments themselves do not trade (although they can facilitate trade and sometimes - as in the case of Mark Thatcher – do so rather dubiously). It is companies that buy and sell internationally, in the main. So, with all the notice UK businesses have had, knowing that Brexit means Brexit, I imagine there will be rooms at Buckingham Palace stuffed to the rafters with Queen’s Export Awards being polished up even as I write.
Is the government’s silence on this significant? I only ask, since despite (the as yet unknighted) Mr Liam Fox’s best (sic) efforts I don’t recall the government making a single announcement lauding any great British company’s pending great trade deal with the rest of the world.
Maybe the Queen knows. Or maybe she’s about to ask her ministers ‘How is it you didn’t see this coming?’
It will soon be a year since I started this website, and it has been fun, for me at least. Thankfully my visitor stats have shown a steady increase, which is encouraging. But I wonder if the figures represent real people or maybe bots and the like on data trawling missions? I imagine there must be such things at work? Lots of websites have filters which ask visitors if they are a robot. I am sure that such questions could easily be answered in the negative by properly trained robots. What is needed is a question which only humans could understand, and that implies the ability to recognise a joke. So here’s my anti-robot test:
Read the following statement – Theresa May’s government is strong and stable.
Answer the question: Is that a joke?
What better time than the quiet Christmas news period to launch your leadership bid? Well done Sajid Javid for using the travails of asylum seekers crossing the Channel to show how tough and strong you are, and what a sacrifice interrupting your festive break to do so! Shame we only have four Border Force cutters to patrol our shores – and two of those happen to be in the Mediterranean. Perhaps you could ask Failing Grayling to convert some old Pacer trains into amphibious detention centres?
Prediction: there will be no general election in 2019. Tories would rather have a hard Brexit than a Corbyn government. That is the DUP position too. Also, following Larry Elliott’s cue in today’s Guardian, there are 10 substantial pointers to another, imminent recession on the way.
Following the announcement that HMV has once again gone into administration, there needs to be a rebellion by ageing CD/DVD lovers. The tech giants already know too much about us, do they also deserve to know about our musical tastes since everything will have to be downloaded? I suppose they might as well, as part of the great zombie-isation of the human species, when each of us will be fitted with Alexas inside our heads (building on the already existing phenomenon of some people having microchips fitted to enable certain interactions). Unlike E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, where humans lived in an underground city of honeycombed isolation, the new city of isolation will be built inside craniums. At least millennials won’t have to stare at their mobiles any more, not looking where they’re going. They will be guided by internal GPS systems so they never have to bump into one another ever again. Least of all in an HMV store. Only old people can stop this.
Happy New Year!