It’s snowing again outside, and I caught a cold from my Monday run, but at least I can sit in my nice, warm, centrally heated flat, unlike the poor buggers who have to rough it on the streets (and unlike my poor wife who has to sit in the University where they have apparently turned off the heating in the afternoons in a bid to save money by freezing lecturers to death).

In Germany there’s been a discernible rise in poverty since they introduced the so-called Harz IV laws five years ago, despite falling unemployment. Homelessness is on the rise, as are the number of soup kitchens and charity shops for the poor, and yet the politicians are still talking of further reducing benefits, knowing that it’s a cheap populist theme they can always score points on. To me it comes across as obscene in one of the richest countries in the world. Anyway, I wrote a poem about it to get it out of my system, and you can read it here.

Woke up this morning to grey skies painted on a white background, and so cold I couldn’t squeeze my hand-cream out of the tube. On top of that, this is my first post of the new year, and it’s not even just any new year, it’s the start of a new decade, so I’m feeling pressured to write something insightful or witty or moving, or all three, while my eyelids feel like they’ve been plastered to my eyes with super glue. This is not a good start to the morning.

Okay, let’s get the new year stuff out the way. Have a good one. My new year’s resolution – not to make a new year’s resolution because I wouldn’t keep it anyway. This is just another little device designed to keep us feeling dissatisfied with out general state of being so that we keep consuming like the mad little buying bunnies we have become. I live in a state of luxury, the only thing I need is a bit of perspective, not new year’s resolutions, to make things better! I do, however, promise to stop snarling at lonely bankers in the street. They need all the help we can give them!

And what will the next decade bring? Well, whaddya think buddy? Ya think it’s gonna get better? (I used to love Spiderman comics – all the villains used to talk like that…) Let’s see what could happen if the world were a good place:

  • Israel and Palestine could come to a long-standing cease-fire and begin rebuilding their war-torn relationship.
  • The world’s religions could engage in serious dialogue with one another eschewing repression and violence on religious grounds.
  • Russia and America could ratify the nuclear arms treaty and do away with those extremely useful weapons of mass destruction.
  • The world’s nations could come to a binding agreement about climate change which distributes the cost fairly between rich and poor countries.
  • There could be massive investment in alternative energy sources, relieving us of our reliance on fossil based fuels.
  • Rich nations could write off third world debt – without screw you conditions.
  • Rich nations could engage in fair trading with poorer nations and allow them to build up their local own economies, reducing poverty all-round.
  • Oh, and so much more…

Isn’t that nice? Isn’t it touching? Isn’t it bordering on doo la la insanity? Let’s wake up now – what will the next decade really bring?

  • There will be war and strife in Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Africa, Iraq, and anywhere else where you can make a quick buck with weapons sales, stealing natural resources and repression of hapless peoples behind very high walls.
  • The world’s religions will continue bickering and sniping at each other like little children arguing over whose got the best God.
  • Russia and America will slowly rebuild their stockpiles of tactical weapons until someone has a little accident.
  • The world’s nations will not reach an agreement on climate change until Britain is sinking and Venice is no more, Beijing is uninhabitable and New York, well, let’s not talk about New York. The agreement will be enforced by Nato strike troops dressed in wellies.
  • Bankers will giggle at the amounts of money being invested in alternative energy, and be the only ones able to afford a gallon of petrol after they get their bonuses. Heating bill related suicide will be a new phenomenon in richer countries. Electrical home appliances will come with a built-in bicycle, and communal cycling for evening lighting will be a duty for all.
  • The divide between the rich and the poor on all levels will grow to extortionate levels, with the introduction of the 25 hour 8 day working week for your average unemployed labourer and rich countries only lending to poorer ones on the condition that they sign over their sovereignty, wealth and inner organs for a piddling 73% p.a. The auction of cute little third world children to worthy bankers will be the newest television hit.
  • And lots more where those came from…

Okay, okay, so maybe I had a bad hit of the winter blues this morning, well, greys.