Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The New Year

I've been trying to come up with a review of the past year and thoughts of the future, but not very successfully. On a personal front, nothing much seems to have happened other than the fact that we, and our family, are all a year older, and our grandson has started school.
Because I was feeling unwell part of the time, we didn't get a worthwhile holiday. Feeling somewhat better, we considered a cruise in the Caribbean, but quotes for holiday insurance for a fortnight's cruise, in the order of £1000 for the two of us, made us think again. So this year it looks as if any travel will be restricted to Europe, although we still would like to go and visit friends in Australia. Other friends of ours went this year and didn't bother about insurance; cruise ships demand details of your insurance before you sail, airlines don't. But it is still a bit of a risk!

Outside the home, on the political front, very little seems to have happened. There have been a considerable number of "storms in teacups", loved by politicians but ignored by normal people. OK, the economy is said to be improving, but many might put it down to luck rather than any specific government action. Indeed, most actions taken by the government seem to have been of the "fire fighting" type, forced on them by circumstances rather than choice. The government still seems to be spending as if there was no tomorrow, almost every week, there is an announcement that the government has "found" a few millions to spend on this, that or the other, usually desirable but not essential expenditure.
What's happened to the "Bonfire of Quangos"? They all still seem to exist, and those that don't were effectively either merged with another or brought back into a government department. Where are the cuts? The deficit is still rising, and cuts aren't so much cuts as reductions in budgeted increases. We still have threats to build the HS2 in spite of the country being broke, but in areas that matter, like electricity generation, nothing seems to be happening in spite of warnings from the experts that we could face major outages. Paying companies not to use electricity between certain hours is not a viable long term solution, merely an unnecessary waste of money.

Apart from events like the death of Margaret Thatcher and the birth of Prince George, there were two highlights on the political front, if that is what they can be called.
Firstly, Parliament awoke from its normal inert state to prevent us getting involved in any form of war in Syria and secondly, the only government action that seems to have been taken from choice rather than from necessity, the introduction of "Gay Marriage", which is hardly likely to be a vote winner amongst Conservatives.
And as for the EU, promises of a referendum remain just that, simply promises hedged in with so many "if"s, "when"s and "but"s as to be totally meaningless.

I'm sorry, but nothing that the government has done is enough to dissuade me from voting for UKIP, something which I fully accept could land us with a Labour government.

I wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year to my select band of readers.

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