Sunday, 23 December 2012

An Olympiad of dunces

Spotlights rake the skies over Stoke, the red carpet has been laid out in front of Wetherspoons and Elton John is hosting an after party at the Monzil Indian Restaurant. Yes its time for me to hand out my annual awards to the movers and shakers of 2012; here we go then.

Worst idea of the year: There is really no contest on this one; the gong has to go to Chancellor George Osborne and his infamous ‘pasty tax’ announced in a budget so dire they had to invent a new word to describe it. You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to think that slapping a tax on one of the few small luxuries people can still afford wouldn’t cause mass outrage and it turns out that is exactly what Boy George is.

Least convincing apology: He’s sorry, really, really sorry and with a big fat cherry on top too; Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg apologised for reneging on his pledge to oppose a rise in tuition fees in a Youtube video that made Gordon Brown’s risible efforts of a few years ago look almost competent. Cynics say that in politics if you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made; it looks like Numpty Nick can’t even get that right.

Special award for removing herself from public life (sponsored by Charles Darwin): Despite strong competition from Louise Mensch this has to go to Nadine Dorries, her brief sojourn on ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ mean that she and her odd collection of prejudices will be leaving the political stage at the next election; try not to get hit by the door on your way out dear.

Comeback of the year: It’s been a good year for Ed Milliband, he’s repeatedly put David Cameron on the spot at PMQ’s; Red Ed might not quite look like a prime minister in waiting but at least he’s been taken seriously now.

The ‘oh cripes!’ how did this happen award: This has to go to Boris Johnson, not for winning a second term as London’s mayor, Red Ken is a spent force and none of the other candidates came close, but for his utterly unlikely popularity with the public. Despite carrying on like a posh Homer Simpson on acid he’s one of the few politicians able to ‘connect’ with voters, despite his loud protestations that he has no ambitions to be PM David Cameron should watch his hack around Bojo.

Disappointment of the year: The ‘Occupy’ movement, this time last year their protest outside St Paul’s captured the attention of the world giving them a platform from which to say something important about the need for a fairer and kinder society. Unfortunately they fluffed it big time, preferring to preach to the converted instead, since then some former members have talked about doing outreach work in schools, which is all very worthy but does nothing to hide the fact that a once in a lifetime opportunity has been scandalously wasted.

Relief of the year: Barrack Obama beating Mitt Romney in last month’s US Presidential elections. The thought of the free world being led for the next four years by a weird android from planet Mormon who thinks ‘corporations are people too’ and that the almighty cares what sort of pants he wears would have been to scary for words.

Gold medal for self congratulation: This has to go to Lord Coe and the organisers of London 2012, ok Team GB won loads of medals (hurrah), but the opening ceremony was pretentious nonsense and the ticketing system an embarrassing shambles; worse still the promised legacy from the games looks like being consumed by a costly legal wrangle. Only if there isn’t tumbleweed blowing through the Olympic park in four years time should anyone involved in organising the games be patted on the back.

The ‘jumped the shark’ award: Sadly this has to go to Newsnight, the one time flagship of BBC News bottled it badly over the Jimmy Saville sex abuse scandal and has forfeited much of its credibility; like the Fighting Tameraire its next port of call should be the breaker’s yard.

I’d like to wish everyone who has read this blog in 2012 a merry Christmas and a happy new year; now I’m off to see if there are any onion bhajis left at Elton’s bash.

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