31 December 2055
The deaths of the Earl of Sedgefield, aged 102, and Mr Gordon Brown, 104, brings to a sad conclusion the most remarkable and prolonged feud in British political history.
It would, of course, be improper to speculate on the precise circumstances before the inquest, but police have confirmed that at around 2.30 p.m. on Christmas Day two elderly men were involved in a fracas at the Golden Handshake Nursing Home, the opulent country house in Surrey favoured as the final home of many wealthy civil servants and local government employees.
Khuraburi is a small town on Thailand’s Andaman coast, 140 kilometres north of the tourist isle of Phuket. It was spared from the tsunami on 26 December 2004 because it was shielded by the island of Koh Pratong, which was not so lucky. Several villages on the island were totally devastated, particularly Bak Jok, whose population has now been completely relocated to the mainland, and Baan Talae Nok, whose waterfront is eerily still, lined with trees dead from over-salination and a lone flagpole as the only reminder of its former beachside school.
This year will be remembered as the one in which the psychopathology of Britain slipped down the toilet. Just last month the imagination of the nation’s television viewers was captured — some would say hijacked — first by the comedy show Little Britain, with a series of sketches about a geriatric woman who is oblivious of her own urinary incontinence, and, secondly, by the sight (courtesy of infrared cameras) of Carol Thatcher taking a night-time pee beside her camp bed on I’m a Celebrity — Get Me Out of Here! And there’s no point in telling yourself that I’m the sad one for watching these programmes, or that they are fringe entertainment.
In all his speeches and interviews since becoming the new Conservative leader, David Cameron has had little or nothing to say about foreign policy, other than to talk vaguely about the ‘security of the British people’. Yet a radically new approach to Britain’s role in the world surely ought to be a key aspect of Conservatism, not least because Tony Blair’s own record in foreign affairs has proved so disastrous and, indeed, unpopular with the voters.