Tuesday, January 03, 2012

And a happy new Euro to you too

As the economy recovers, England win the 2012 European Cup as a celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee while the London Olympics are a worldwide triumph.

What more could we ask from the coming year?

We may as well look forward to it with a sense of optimism; we might otherwise persuade ourselves our prospects are as gloomy as Greece’s.

But the coming 12 months could be triumphantly happy for the country.
Take the economy. All the official statistics are pointing south but that doesn’t mean we’ll actually be hit by another recession.

The best brains across the entire European Union – the largest economic bloc in the world – have spent months sorting out the crisis with their single currency.

All the pundits predict the implosion of the Euro and financial crisis in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

But the best brains in Euro-politics can’t all be wrong, can they?

Despite evidence to the contrary, they must know what they’re doing. So we must assume they will guide the Continent’s currency to broad, sunlit uplands.

As a result, our own economy will pull back from the brink of recession and, as optimism returns to the whole of the EU, we’ll see a revival in our own fortunes.

We will export more and create the jobs necessary to replace those being lost through public sector cuts.

This could all start to become obvious as soon as Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget in March, when the turnaround in the mood of consumers and the positive predictions for the future will get a further boost.

The Chancellor will realise that to give the economy an extra shove in the right direction he needs to introduce significant tax cuts.

This will lead to a reduction in VAT – and a drop in the rate of inflation as a result – as well as lower taxes for families to counter the last few years of wage freezes and rising costs.

As a sense of enormous well-being sweeps the country, celebrations begin for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

The Monarch, with Prince Philip newly-restored to robust good health by her side, will tour the country to general acclaim and gratitude for her years of devoted service.

The trials and tribulations her family has faced over the long years of her reign will count for little when set against the new recognition of the debt we all owe to Queen Elizabeth II.

The mood of support for the Monarchy spreads far and wide – even to Scotland, where the people abandon thoughts of independence from the rest of the United Kingdom and reaffirm their loyalty to the Crown.

With all this new-found national confidence, it is no great surprise to find England beating France 5-0 in their opening match of Euro 2012.

The contest, which takes place in Poland and the Ukraine, is not without its dramas and back at home there are growing complaints about the shortage of Polish plumbers.

Even so, the nation is glued to the TV as England’s team of perfect gentlemen compensate for the disaster of the last World Cup to make their way into the thrilling final where they beat Germany 4-2 after extra time.

After a month to take all this in, we are again on the edge of our seats as the Olympic Games get off to a spectacular start in London.

The opening ceremony is neither boring nor embarrassing – a world first for the Olympics.

Luckily, there are no strikes by air traffic controllers, public transport workers or refuse collectors.

The public sector unions have calmly accepted changes to their pension arrangements because the hard-pressed taxpayer can no longer afford to be as generous as in the past.

Among other benefits, it means all those fears about terrorism scares and chaos on London transport are proved groundless as the entire event goes off without a hitch.

While the British team scoops a record number of medals, the greatest winner is the nation itself.

Visitors go home reporting on how hospitable the people are, how good the food is and how extraordinarily punctual the public transport has become.
They even give five stars to the traditional British weather.

Indeed, the reputation of this country is so enhanced around the world that even the tourists who stayed away to avoid the Olympics crowds come rushing over as soon as the games are triumphantly closed.

By the time of the autumn party conferences, Ed Miliband has finally accepted that, as long as he remains leader, the Labour Party doesn’t stand a chance at the next General Election.

So he stands down and the party elects Mrs Balls, Yvette Cooper, as its first female leader.

It doesn’t make much difference to Labour’s standing in the polls but at least it gives a boost to the British fashion industry which was in the doldrums a little because the Duchess of Cambridge has had to limit her public engagements since giving birth to a daughter.

When we come to look back on 2012, we will remember it nostalgically as the year everything went right.

You never know…

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