Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A million, million people are happy, bright and gay!

[Michael Buerk] expressed dismay and disdain at the state of Britain in general. It was, he said, a society becoming more divided with each passing year; a lonelier and more unequal society where social mobility "hasn't just seized up" but in 2012 had actually gone "into reverse".

More people were financially squeezed, while "senior executives pay soars and, even at the top of public service organisation such as the BBC, fortunes are flung at failures"...

A third of the House of Commons went to public schools. So did nine out of 10 judges and one in three medical students.

"The arts, low and high, are dominated by them. The BBC is a private-school old boys' and girls' association. They edit most newspapers, even the Leftish Daily Mirror and the Guardian", he wrote...

The truth was that the summer was an illusion. "We are not a united kingdom, we are not 'all in this together'". 
Splendidly curmudgeonly stuff. I'm not quite sure about Buerk's idea for curing for the nation's post-Jubilympic hangover, though:
Turning to 2013, Buerk said it was "not just seasonally appropriate but wonderfully paradoxical" that "redemption" from the pervasive gloom would come in the form of a royal baby.

"What the Olympics was to 2012, the royal heir… will be to 2013,' he wrote. "Maybe the BBC will even get its title right".
Full rant in The Guardian

Buerk despairs of living in a sclerotic, hierarchical society, where a child's life chances depend less on her or his talents and capacity for hard work than on being born to the right parents. It would be a great antidote, he thinks, to focus our attention on celebrating of the birth of a Very Important Person whose relative importance is entirely due to an accident of parentage. Hmmm... Because, as any fule kno, big events like a royal baby, the Jubilee or the Olympics are far more important to your inner well-being that anything you might do for yourself.

I know I'm in danger of being labelled a whinging killjoy here. To show that I'm not opposed to widespread jollity on principle, I'll close with the joyful celebration of a VIP nativity from the Bonzos:

Add that to your playlist if you find yourself having a bad heir day. And a royal babytastic 2013 to you all.