Stop the World I Want to Get Off by Derek Wyatt (Published by KCWToday December 2016)
I shall be glad to be welcoming in 2017 in Havana. I have just about had enough of 2016.
It started so well. England won the Six Nations after the most appalling display at the rugby world cup which they were hosting. Clearly, the English football team wanted to better that effort and duly lost to Iceland (the country not the retailer) at the Euros.
One way and another Europe has dominated the year.
The referendum ended the political career of David Cameron. It was brutal. His political life had hardly started. True, he had been Prime Minister from 2010 -2015 but only because the wretched Lib Dems had gone into coalition for which Nick Clegg's opportunism finally saw the strange death of Liberalism. I am more sanguine about George Osborne and think his best is yet to come.
I was at a Breakfast the morning after the 2010 general election at The Ivy and I was asked: "What happens next?" I said "If Gordon Brown had any sense he would resign at lunchtime. HRH would then summons Cameron and ask if he could make a minority government work. He would have said 'Yes' ". The reason I thought that was because we were not yet out of the Recession (as we all know we are still not out of the Recession) and a minority government would have to find a middle way which would be good for the country. It just goes to show how little I know about politics.
Fast forward to that fateful day in 23 June, 2016 and hardly, a day has gone by without a Brexit story. It has seeped into every corner of our collective lives. It is never ending.
The referendum result surprised Londoners. It also surprised other liberal leaning cities like Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath and Bristol. It was, if you were a Remainer, possibly the most dysfunctional campaign any of us are likely to experience in our life time. The European cause was left like mustard on the edge of the plate.
Six months on my best bet is that we shall have a second referendum. Theresa May, our new PM, always knew that she had to complete the negotiations before she turned her eyes on campaigning for the next general election in 2020. She does not want an election which is in effect a referendum on a "Euro coitus interruptus". Nor does she want a succession of legal challenges in 2019 which ironically would end up in the European Courts.
So, she has to do the deal on coitus interruptus pretty damn quickly. It is not possible. It will take at least five years. The PM might want to do it in two parts: the political first as that is relatively easy and the economic second which is not. So Part 1 by 2019 and Part 2 by 2024. I would not bet on it.
The grist in the oyster is a certain Donald Trump. His reason to be is Pax Americana but it is too late. We are already sipping the at the saucer of Pax Confuciusa. America with a late bolt for tariffs, walls, fences, privilege and who knows what, is a country which has not understood that all empires fall.
Of this wonderful country in which I live, we are destined to lose our veto at the UNO, lose our way in Europe and lose our influence forever. I thought we were wiser.
These are more worrying times than any politician dare admit.