There is a wry comment made about Irish politics that if after having been briefed fully about the political situation you think you understand it, you haven’t been listening.
Much the same must go towards any traditional expression of happiness for the New Year now dawned. If you are happy, you simply do not know what is going on – not least with the appalling situation in South East Asia. On that basis, to wish our readers a happy New Year seems somewhat inappropriate.
But it is not just the aftermath of the tsunami that casts such a cloud on proceedings. This year, there is going to be a general election. Barring a miracle, it seems almost certain that we are going to see another Labour victory and even, possibly, a further decline in the fortunes of the Conservative Party.
Anyone with any political awareness and an understanding of how we are governed, and how we should be governed, cannot help but feel gloomy at the prospect. I cannot be alone in wondering quite how much longer this nation can survive under a Labour administration.
As if that is not enough, many pundits are quite seriously suggesting that 2005 will be a year of recession and some go further to predict that we could well see an economic collapse on the scale of the events that triggered the 1929 depression.
On top of that, experts in the energy field have been warning that the current electricity supply situation is so fragile that the national grid is only one crisis away from disaster. With just a small adverse event, we could see the lights going out all over England.
Returning to the political situation though, what is now last year was the year a new government took over in Brussels, our government – in many areas or "competences" the supreme government of the United Kingdom.
If I have never before felt so entirely out of tune with my own government, it is partly because it no longer resides in Westminster and Whitehall but in Brussels.
That government rules without my vote and thus without my permission – a sentiment shared by many of my fellow Englishmen (and women) – on which basis it and its collaborators in the British government lack, in my view, any legitimacy, democratic or otherwise.
In a year when I found myself twice locked up for refusing to pay taxes to this government, I felt I owed it to myself in a small way to prove that which none of us should ever forget – particularly those who rule over us: that, in the absence of consent, they rule by coercion. In the final analysis, they must exercise their power by depriving us of our liberty, using whatever level of violence is necessary to achieve that end.
It is only personal fear, and the effects of state violence on my nearest and dearest, that force me to conform with a government I detest – both governments, actually, the one on London and the one in Brussels.
This year, those governments are going to expend time and energy – and some of my money – on convincing us that we should vote to give our government over the water still more power to exercise its baleful rule.
With that, I make myself – and you all – one promise. We (and I know I can speak for my colleague on this) will expend all our available skills and energy on seeking to frustrate these travesties of governments and do our very best to bring this nation closer to the state where, once again, we can call ourselves a democracy.
Much of that energy, perforce, will be directed through this Blog – which we see as a prime weapon to counter the insidious propaganda of our enemies. Thus, if I cannot feel comfortable with wishing you all a happy New Year, I can at least wish you a productive year, and offer you the hope that, by the end of this December coming, we are that much closer to achieving a mutual goal.
I will leave my respected colleague to express her own wishes, in her own way.