So. 2011 is almost over. What have we learned from the year?
Politics: while many in his own party continually fail to “get” the new politics, Young Dave, for all his faults, continues to understand the art of Coalition, and also understands the art of making grand gestures while actually doing squit – as with his not so jolly good trip to Brussels. The Coalition held together, which suggests it really could make it for a full term. In the meantime, Mil The Younger did not instantly change the world, which caused the overmonied and undertalented hackery to pronounce him not only a rotten lefty, but a useless one.
Press And Media: it may still not have occurred to some who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet that they have finally arrived in the Last Chance Saloon, even as the Leveson Inquiry is sitting and their dirty laundry is being pored over by a generally unappreciative public. The Screws departed the scene to sighs of relief by all those other titles that added readers as a result. The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) showed yet again that it is utterly useless as it was seen to be absent during Phonehackgate. And Paul Dacre downgraded much of his swearing to merely calling his underlings “f***ing tossers”, but still failed to retire.
USA: the Republican party found no shortage of C-listers willing to take on Barack Obama, despite none of them – even Mitt Romney – looking like credible candidates. This was a turd that not even Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) could successfully polish. CNN remained in third place in the cable news ratings, except when their sister channel HLN pushed them down to fourth. And the country’s most trusted newscaster was still fronting a programme on Comedy Central.
Climate: another tranche of “Climategate” emails arrived, and was talked up by Christopher Booker and his representative on earth James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, but by now the public was largely unimpressed by all the fact free ranting and found more interest in what David Attenborough had to say. So Delingpole and Booker kicked Attenborough, without success.
Astroturf: groups like the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) have come under increasing pressure to say who pays the bills, while blogs like this one have shown just how little grassroots they really have. Broadcasters and some newspapers are getting wise to the TPA.
Blogosphere: it still required the otherwise hated MSM to get stories broken. The right and libertarian leaning blogs started to lose edge and credibility. This was as predicted and is entirely the fault of those running them.
And finally: we are, as last year, no closer to a grown up debate on drugs. Have a happy and peaceful New Year.