And when I say well, I don’t mean that things are going well. I just mean W-e-l-l…
You see, we have in the UK:
the slowest wage growth since Napoleonic Wars;
the worst productivity for 2 centuries;
a national debt which has doubled in 7 yrs;
the highest inflation rate for 5 years;
the lowest ever UK credit rating;
the highest ever trade gap;
a budget deficit still £50 billion, despite 7 years of austerity;
debt standing at £1,940,773,400,000 and climbing at £5,170 per second, so heaven knows what it will be when you read this.
Additionally, hospitals, GPs, schools, roads, transport, council services are all chronically underfunded and collapsing under the strain of cuts and of trained and qualified people leaving the sinking ship. And of course, to save money, the government is going ahead with the disastrous, underfunded, badly set up and even worse managed Universal Credit, which sees people wait for months for their benefits, a part of a benefits system to which may be attributed the deaths of thousands of people.
As if that were not enough, the UK is dealing with the most difficult and complex issues it has faced, at least since world war two.
And in charge (and I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek), while all this goes on, we have a bunch of squabbling, badly behaved, incompetent pests, who find it hard to keep their trousers on, and dependent for their majority on a party made up of people who really believe that the world started 6,000 years ago and that the Giant’s Causeway was created late on THAT Saturday night, after which God rested!
So all in all, not too well, rather than well, I’d say… but what do I know?
I’m just gonna sing a wee song with my musical director here.
Those of you who have followed Munguin’s New Republic, and his old one too, for a long time, will know that I’m a ridiculously big fan of Petula Clark, who, over the years I’ve been to see in hundreds of places and on a few occasions got to sing with. Today (Nov 15) is Petula’s birthday. Not that I suppose she’d thank me for mentioning it, but it’s her 85th birthday.
She is celebrating it in the way she does best. She has kicked off a concert tour of the USA with a new English language album “Living for Today”, so she’ll be singing, which is what she likes to do better than anything else.
She’s just spent the summer in Québec making an album of French Canadian songs with young upcoming Québecois writers and producers. When she finishes the USA tour she will be touring Canada with her new French album. By the time all this is over she’ll be pretty nearly 86 years old.
She has now been in show business for 77 years.
You may or may not like her music, but what you can’t ever knock is her boundless energy and enthusiasm.
Bon Anniversaire, ma chère Pétula.