British PM Johnson | REUTERS TV

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We seem to be going through a period of global uncertainty at the moment to say the least! As crisis after crisis stack-up in grim regularity, many of us might ask ourselves - “what have we done to deserve this?” Apart from the odd glimmer of positivity, nothing, yet nothing, could be described as good news at the moment at either a national or international level.

Just as Prime Minister Johnson announced all remaining Covid related restrictions in England were being lifted we all witnessed the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military driven by a seemingly more than slightly unhinged President Putin.

However, if you should think about it, a sort of global nervous breakdown has been in operation for quite some time now. From the divisiveness of Brexit to the shadow of global warming where the Glasgow summit for climate change delivered…? Well, not very much at all really.

Furthermore, was Donald Trump really President of the United States for four years and Jeremy Corbyn happened to be the leader of the Labour Party? Hey, and I’ve not even mentioned Covid-19 and the battle to diminish it after two long and stressful years. By the way - does anyone actually still believe that this worldwide pandemic happened naturally and didn’t somehow start life in a Chinese laboratory?

Without being unduly cynical (okay I will be!) the current crisis in eastern Europe has probably saved Boris Johnson’s political bacon for the moment, but we should perhaps wait-and-see what the Metropolitan Police make of the goings on in Downing Street when the rest of the country were being ordered (not urged - ordered!) not to meet with anyone socially outside of our own households. Taking a more worldwide view of the present, or upcoming crises in the making, we have the Chinese desire to bully Taiwan into submission, not forgetting that any accusations regarding potential and real cyber-warfare actions are usual aimed at our Chinese friends.

Indeed, I suppose there is much to be depressed about as we all go about our daily business, hoping against hope that common sense and restraint will win through. But when was the last time this marvellous state of affairs actually happened? Optimists like to measure the world in which we live at the moment against that of the period immediately after the trauma of the First World War. This remember was a decade that was memorably known as the Roaring Twenties; an era of decadence - if you could afford it, and a precursor to the economic slump of the 1930’s. I’m afraid that seeking comfort in recent history might be somewhat of a dead end.

Nevertheless, for all of the above, we would be less than human if we didn’t harbour some positive thoughts about the future. Spring is on the horizon and travel restrictions are being lifted and so a family holiday may not be ‘verboten’ as it has been for some time now. Indeed, I am so determined to be overly optimistic in the second part of today’s column that I would like to share with you some of my hopes for the coming Year of Our Lord 2022.

Wouldn’t it be great if Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is suitably joyous and the Duke of York and the Sussex’s have a problematic diary clash? Then imagine the joy if we should be lucky enough to have a fib-free-year emanating from Downing Street and an electable and sensible opposition to take over from the present government if it should make a fool of itself once again? I would also be most grateful if the following modern fads were laid to waste - as in, got rid of immediately. Let’s start with ‘gender neutral’ public toilets, as I know of not one person who thinks them to be anything other than a grotesque and dangerous aberration.

Next to go would be any type of self proclaimed social media ‘Influencer’ and although I know it to be impossible to manage successfully, what about banning for life from television or the media, anyone who hasn’t got any noticeable talent, other than to wear much-too-much makeup and naturally - er, huge eyelashes? And that’s just the blokes!

Meanwhile, back in the real world things could get worse before they get better. For instance it seems that Donald Trump, if not jailed for tax evasion and many more outstanding alleged crimes, seems to be lining himself up for another attempt at four years in the White House.

Scotland and to a much lesser extent Wales will probably continue in their attempts at independence and if truth be told, that is electorally up to them - but, what they both have to be aware of is that in constantly seeking that goal they could well permanently damage their relationship with the rest of the union. Energy and fuel prices will not be falling back any time in the near future and so the ‘Green’ lobby might have to climb down from their comfortably off middle-class high horses and explain to working people why fossil fuels can’t be extracted from the earth below them as they will not be able to heat their homes properly if that doesn’t happen.

In constructing this list of future pros-and-cons I have punted quite a few controversial thoughts, of which some I don’t care for very much myself. However, some of these issues will be front-and-centre over the next few years and they wont go away by ignoring them. After the past few years I think that most sane people would wish for a period of singular normality, where it’ll feel good to be bored again. Now then, wouldn’t that be nice for a change?