Being honest, all I am able to offer by way of a seasonal felicitation is the hope that 2022 is no more than half as bad as I anticipate. If it turns out as I expect then many of us will be looking back with nostalgic fondness at the last couple of years. It would be foolish to make specific or detailed predictions. Things are far too volatile for that to be sensible. But there are some general points that can be made with a degree of confidence.
The pandemic will persist. New variants of the virus will appear more frequently. Some of those variants will pose particular threats. There is a strong possibility that one variant might be a real killer. That the pandemic will persist is as close to being a certainty as makes no difference. In principle, it is possible to eradicate a virus within a closed population. In practice, this would require an isolation regime far more rigorous than either governments or people are prepared to undertake. Where there is inadequate isolation there is transmission. Where there is transmission there is mutation. Where there is mutation there is danger.
The misery caused by Covid and the precautions that must be implemented, however inadequate, will be massively aggravated by the consequences of Brexit. The worst is still to come. This too is as certain as it needs to be to make welcoming the new year a bit of a sick joke.
On the constitutional issue, it will become clear that there is to be no free and fair referendum in the lifetime of this parliament. It is entirely possible that there will be no referendum at all and thus no progress towards restoring Scotland’s independence. There is almost no possibility of a referendum in the form that is required. If there is a referendum it will either be on terms dictated by the British state or it will be some kind of non-binding consultative exercise. No more than an opinion poll. Totally inconclusive.
I reckon that’s enough to be going on with. If you are sad enough to feel you must respond to this rather than have a party of some sort, please remember that I don’t do faith.
On a personal note, the new year brings the need to make a decision regarding the future of this site. The annual subscription is due mid-January. I have three options. I can pay the fee and keep things going as they are. (This is NOT a plea for donations. While I am very grateful to those who chip in a few quid here and there, I knew what I was getting into when I launched the blog. I am quite prepared to cover all costs if need be.)
The second option is to move to a site hosted on my own web space. I already have a hosting account and am perfectly capable of setting up and administering a WordPress site. Well! Maybe not “perfectly” capable. I’m a bit rusty and not as quick to learn as I once was. This option means lower cost but more work. I’m not keen on work. More accurately, I’m far from keen on having to work. I find I am easily stressed and more affected by it than when I was younger. But the option is there. And it is what I had been planning. Although “planning” may be too grand a word. Better to say “intending”. Though now I come to write it that term also seems a bit strong.
The final option is to pack it in completely. And I have to say that this is the option to which I am increasingly drawn. The problem is that I don’t know what else I could do. I’m sure I would find something. But I have been so preoccupied with the constitutional issue for the last decade that walking away from it won’t be easy.
Anyway! That’s my dilemma. If it’s the worst problem to confront me in the coming months then I shall count myself lucky. May you all be just as fortunate.