Another year over and it wasn’t all bad, you know. Here are some of my personal highlights.
Best birthday parties: my dear old friend Liz Hogg’s 90th and my dear older friend’s Jim Lovelock’s 100th. The latter, in the Orangerie at Blenheim Palace, was possibly the most unboring semi-formal social occasion I’ve ever attended. My table included the philosopher John Gray, a dapper Japanese gentleman who had been blown out of his bed by the Hiroshima bomb, and an economist from northern Uganda who’d narrowly escaped the Lord’s Resistance Army massacres.
If this blackly comic BBC drama doesn’t get every award going then there’s no justice.
The key to surviving the next couple of weeks of TV is to avoid like the plague anything that smacks of seasonal viewing. So, no Christmas specials (such as the semi-celebrity, elderly grown-ups version of University Challenge where the questions are even more laboriously PC than on the student edition), no Harry Potter, no adverts featuring tinsel, dragons and patronisingly diverse families making merry. Basically, you want to steer clear of terrestrial TV altogether — but with one exception. You may use BBC iPlayer to download the only decent drama series that slipped through the net: Giri/Haji.
Normally, I would deplore such dog-piling. It’s what the left does all the time: naming a blameless individual for having committed some imaginary crime such as using the wrong pronoun or making a joke or being pro-Brexit – and then inviting the Social Justice Warrior hate mob to destroy them.
But I wonder if we may need to make an exception in the case of Owen Jones and his ilk, because what they have done to political discourse in Britain over the last few years is dangerous, frightening, and long overdue an almighty backlash.
Aaaah OK. So you don’t agree with the use of #owenjonesisawankerday hashtag as a juvenile attempt to mock one of the UKs most respected activists?
Let’s celebrate two of the unsung heroes of Brexit: Gina Miller and Jolyon Maugham QC!
Nobody remembers them today, of course. Like David Gauke, Andrew Adonis, Sam Gymiah, and all the other bizarre anomalous creatures who rose briefly to prominence during the Brexit wars, their destiny from now on is, at best, to be seen drinking liquidised kangaroo testicles on future series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here — or, at worst, to end up as the subject of tricky pub quiz trivia questions which not even the hardcore quizzers will get right.
But before they disappear forever down the plughole of history, let us pause briefly to toast their vital contribution to Brexit.
Gina Miller, you’ll dimly recall, was the posh, rich financier woman who appeared from nowhere with her wodges of City cash and her gobby relentlessness, determined to pull every trick in the book to try prevent all those plebby, uneducated people who voted for Brexit from getting their democratically expressed wish.
Can there be any more delicious consequence of Boris Johnson’s general election victory than the consignment to total irrelevance of that noisome dwarf creature John Bercow, formerly the Speaker of the House of Commons, now merely a very expensive [*] prat-for-hire?