Roger Ratcliffe looks backwards… to 2018

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I think we’re all pretty glad 2018 is finally over, and looking forward to what 2019 has in store. I have been casting a backwards glance over the past 12 months with a mixture of merriment and melancholy to see if the year’s momentous events offer any pointers to the future.

In politics, Theresa May made good on her promise to provide strong and stable government, with the strong and deeply unpleasant smell coming from the Westminster stable making everyone retch. The inevitable leadership challenge against May was mounted early in 2018 by her party’s ultra-Brexiteers or, as David Cameron preferred to call them, the swivel-eyed loons. Fearful she was making promises in her negotiations with Brussels they had not the remotest intention of keeping, May was replaced by the swivel-eye-in-chief, Jacob Rees-Mogg. He immediately announced he was disposing of the name United Kingdom, and henceforth we would again be known as Great Britain. There would be a new Golden Age of Victoriana, complete with boys under the age of 10 climbing chimneys to clean them of soot, and rough sleeping on our streets brought to an end through the reintroduction of workhouses.

His speech on entering Downing Street after returning from kissing hands with the Queen at Buckingham Palace rang through the rest of the year. “Where there is harmony may we bring discord…” he began before an aide whispered that he’d got Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote the wrong the way round. The irritated look on Rees-Mogg’s face suggested it was intentional.

Across the Atlantic, Donald Trump was told he was going to be impeached. Defiant as ever, Trump called a press conference to say that he was so so against impeachment. No one in the entire history of the world had been more opposed to it. He hated peaches with a passion. He was perfectly okay about being impeared. He loved pears. He might even be up for being impappled. He was a big fan of Apple, since the corporation was helping to Make America Great Again. Most of all, though, he would like to be imporanged. After all, wasn’t orange his favourite colour?

Russia continued to cause trouble with computer hacking, even ensuring a monumental victory for the country’s entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon with a cover of a famous Lonnie Donegan song. Despite Putin On The Style being awarded “nul points” by every country, at the end of the contest the scoreboard showed Russia to be the clear winner.

At the Oscars, a disaster movie won the best picture category for the first time since Titanic. In this remake, called Brexit, the visual SFX were absolutely stunning, especially when the White Cliffs of Dover collided with the EU coast. The lifeboats were full of the very rich, while everyone else sank beneath the waves.

In football, no one could predict on 1 January 2018 that Manchester United would win the Premier League, but that’s how it looked on the final day of the season. However, the club’s celebrations were abruptly curtailed when it was discovered that Manchester City had disappeared so far over the Premiership horizon they couldn’t be seen. As Fergie once said with his usual talent for hitting the nail on the head: “Football…bloody hell.”

Happy new year!

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