Shirley Tart: I love this country

A colleague reckoned we couldn’t write these columns at the end of this momentous week, even these momentous months, without including all the extraordinary happenings which have stamped them.

But it’s not easy to squeeze them all in – and even when you try, historic events keep on tumbling out of the ether.

I could comment on a whole host of things without a mention of Brexit, with no mention of the upsurge in knife crime, and barely pausing to inspect Mr Corbyn’s seemingly useless efforts to impose his will on the Brexit process.

Instead, we go on, into the new year while clinging to a few remnants of the past. I hope we can all make them better. But many past troubles must be laid to rest as well. It won’t be easy.

For instance, the United States has just killed Iran’s second most important military man, inviting what will surely be top trouble there.

And talking of which, this leads us to unlikely Australian President Scott Morrison who went on his holidays as Australia burned, now in every state, and frankly, didn’t seem to quite address the challenge, nor what it meant, when he came back from Hawaii early.

It might be an “I told you so” from all those who have been warning, indeed threatening, about the imminent collapse of the global climate.

If nobody hears or even listens, there will be a much heavier price to pay.

That’s how the world and progress works.

There was another little hint of trouble here. According to our very own Met Office, we had the second warmest and wettest weather in the UK over the past 10 years.

I wouldn’t say that had my first vote for action but when you think what might hinge on it, they would be a close second. I think.


Closer to home, we might think about the ongoing issue of rail services, which become such an unbelievable mess sometimes despite new trains, apparently more of them and puffed up pride on how the situation will improve.

So how did first day travellers on one line find themselves corralled onto coaches or simply stranded?

My own rail travel troubles will always be second only to the memorable occasion a couple of years ago when I got my head trapped in those automatic doors between carriages. No jokes please.

The one member of staff on duty said that was funny (but not in the sense that it was amusing) because he had walked through them several times already that morning and hadn’t got his head caught at all.

But he could call an ambulance to be at a station way down the line if I liked. I didn’t like.

However since I was going to interview a priest at St Paul’s Cathedral, I needed to make sure that I didn’t look as though I was a drifter with a bruised head.

Actually, I’m a very ordinary soul who is immensely privileged in the lifestyle I have.

I love this country and want to help keep it working. So that is my new year pledge.

As well as wishing every one of our dear readers, and everybody else’s come to that, peace, joy and good health.

I hope to see many of you in the year ahead as well. God bless!

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