Peter Rhodes looks back on a year of Census, floods and making history - with jabs

As 2022 approaches, this is how the year 2021 unfolded in this column...

York Minster - hard up?
York Minster - hard up?

January: Tony Blair's old mate Lord Adonis says the campaign to rejoin the EU starts now. Only in his own fevered imagination, I fancy.

February: One reader admits she had a lump in her throat (on being jabbed against Covid-19): “It felt like making history, being part of something bigger, something global.”

March: On the 2021 Census: What will historians 200 years from now make of the bewildering so-called professions of 2021? What on earth was a blogger, a vlogger, an influencer, an exhaust-pipe fitter, a vicar or a reality star?

April: How can India reconcile its creaking, ramshackle health-care system with the fact that every year the Indian space programme gobbles up 2,000 million dollars?

May: The art of diplomacy is being the one not to blink first. I couldn't help noticing that the new US Secretary of State is Antony Blinken.

June: York Minster reports a £2.3 million deficit, the result of Covid lockdown decimating the tourist trade. I dare say the Lord will provide, although it will probably be the taxpayers who sign the cheques.

July: The EU is bunging the Dutch mussel industry more than £770,000 to promote mussel eating among reluctant 25-35 year-olds. That's one more Euro-bill we won't have to pay.

August: Britain's climate tsar, Alok Sharma, admits driving a diesel car but insists: “My next car will be an electric vehicle.” In other words, as the old prayer goes, “Lord, make me better – but not yet.”

September: Camilla Long declares in the Sunday Times that Michael Gove “has been the most influential politician of the last decade.” Not Nigel Farage, then?

October: The second jab: Avoid too many layers. Bare those arms for this great national effort. In the spirit of Lord Kitchener's famous recruiting poster, Your Country Needles You.

November: Rain, more rain, local flooding, washed-out bridges, piles of rubbish, rats, queues and all-pervading dankness. I bet the first resolution agreed by the COP26 delegates will be never, ever to meet again in Glasgow.

December: Abba blather. My profound thanks to the reader who points out that if Benny and Bjorn had been Steve and Dave, the group would have been Asda.

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