i Editor's Letter: Tonight is my least favourite of the year


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The Independent Online

Here's a letter few of you will agree with. It's only my opinion. My New Year's resolution is to better explain that views in i are only ever personal. This slot is not an “editorial” because it is written by the editor. There is no official i line on anything, despite what a few think; not gay marriage, fox hunting, the monarchy, cuts or the EU. Owen Jones and Dominic Lawson's views are rarely of the same hue.

So: tonight is my least favourite of the year. Everything that makes Christmas so wonderful, makes New Year's Eve so bad. It's an entirely manufactured, commercialised, selfish, crass and ugly night. Alongside Valentine's, it's the fakest night of the year. As Geordie Nick, our designer, says, it's “amateur drinkers' night out”.

What has NYE become other than a national booze-fest, with added pressure? If everyone else is indulging in enforced jollity at some God-awful party, why aren't I? Based on years of experience, I can assure you, you're really not missing much.

Whenever I criticise Britain's booze culture, readers accuse me of attacking poor people, as if rich people don't get drunk, or poor people don't have a responsibility to themselves and society. We need to take a long, hard look at a culture which says we can't have a good time unless we are pissed, trollied, sozzled, mortal or any of the gazillion other words we have for getting drunk. This matters.

What's the point of singing a drunken “Auld Lang Syne” if you have forgotten with whom you sung it the morning after? Pity the poor bar staff and 999 workers everywhere.

Um, Happy New Year to you all.