So the wassailing and drinking and pigging out has been done. The relatives have mercifully left. You have taken many, many medications to restore to yourself a certain cloudy consciousness and are beginning to wonder what the year ahead holds in store. Keep taking those medications, then — because here is 2013 in full. I’d stay in the shed if I were you.
Several countries which took part in the exciting ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 announce new laws to prevent women from smiling, buying shoes and hogging the TV remote. Worried about the possibility of defeat in next year’s referendum on independence, Sir Alex Salmond further lowers the voting age to five for human beings and just two for ‘all antlered animals’. North Korea launches another rocket but they mix up the quantities of vinegar and baking soda and it just covers everyone with foam. Moody’s lowers the UK’s credit rating from AAA to a new category, ‘You must be joking, mate’.
A gay Muslim couple in Bradford, Tariq and Mohammed, become the first in Britain to be married in a traditional Islamic ceremony. Several famous supporters of the Hacked Off campaign reveal that they need ‘statutory underpinning’ of their septums. Egypt bans women from ‘disagreeing about things’.
Visiting experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency suggest that Bradford may be habitable again ‘in about 8,000 years’. New evidence suggests that the late Jimmy Savile may have visited Aberfan, in south Wales, shortly before the disaster which killed many children. A number of British TV celebrities sadly freeze to death in the Arctic Circle, which they have visited to highlight the problems of global warming. Their remains are eaten by polar bears.
The country is jubilant as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce the birth of a baby boy. There is some unease over the apparent fact that the infant has big black wings and a beak. Sally Bercow ‘tweets’ that when she is bored she plays a game of paper, scissors, stone with herself, but has yet to win. Sir Alex Salmond announces that suffrage for the referendum on independence will be extended to ‘ornamental boxes of shortbread’.
The Daily Mail reports that cancer is caused by everything. A man in Leicester achieves national celebrity status when it is revealed that in a recent council by-election he voted Liberal Democrat. It is later revealed that he did so ‘accidentally’. The Polish government announces that there are now only 17 people left in the country.
Animal rights activists stage a protest when it is revealed that the new royal baby is being fed a diet of live mice and guinea pigs. The Libyan government makes it illegal for wives not to give a clear and precise explanation as to what the matter is, when asked. Pakistan and Zimbabwe announce that both countries will be sending officials to monitor the Scottish independence referendum. The Eurovision Song Contest is won by the only entrant, Germany, with a radical dubstep version of the Horst Wessel song.
Much of Rochdale is demolished in an operation to take Darren Spink, ‘Britain’s Fattest Northerner’, to hospital where his fat will be siphoned off and his lower intestine replaced with an Aldi plastic carrier bag. On Desert Island Discs, Abu Qatada chooses the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’ as the record he could not be without. The new royal baby is said to be roosting on the roof of Windsor Castle and ‘staring balefully’ at tourists. A power cut in Bermondsey results in the arrest for hate crimes of 86 people who are heard to have complained about a -‘blackout’.
All of the regions of Spain, except for Castile, vote to leave Spain, explaining that it is ‘an absolutely awful country and we never really agreed with bullfighting’. Tunisia bans women from ‘being a bit arsey’. The UK is revealed to be in a record-breaking quintuple dip recession; but there are ‘green shoots’, according to George Osborne.
The last remaining BBC disc jockey not currently incarcerated is arrested for ‘probably having done something a bit iffy’ in the early to mid-1970s. George Osborne is forced to admit that the ‘green shoots’ were actually a plate of chives he had forgotten to put back in the fridge. A man from Halifax, West Yorkshire, is awarded the OBE for being ‘the last northerner with a proper job’.
Labour MPs demand action be taken against the royal baby, which has been seen ‘swooping down in a menacing manner’ over large swaths of Berkshire. Part of the House of Commons is destroyed when another Labour MP, Keith Vaz, explodes as a consequence of an enormous build-up of self-regard. On Halloween, the Archbishop of Canterbury insists that the Anglican Church must welcome communicants from the UK’s lycanthrope, zombie, wicca and undead communities.
In the space of just ten days, seven director-generals of the BBC resign because it is revealed that they are ‘absolutely bloody useless’. Sally Bercow reveals, via Twitter, that her husband possesses multiple sets of genitals; she does not reveal precisely how many, but it is thought to be at least five or six. The people of Belgium vote to abolish Belgium because, according to one voter, ‘it was only ever just a giant, flat, Wembley Stadium where England gets to play against Germany every 30 years or so’.
Thinking he is playing a game of Grand Theft Auto, President Ahmedinejad presses the wrong button by mistake.
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 29 December 2012