Once upon a Christmas past, "Cliff" meant Richard, not fiscal. We can't ignore the looming budget disaster across the pond. The cross-party failure in Washington DC is much more ominous for our futures and more likely to actually happen than the enjoyable nonsense of the Mayan non-end of the world, but it's just so depressing, watching grown rich men (nearly all of them) play party politics with the future of the American economy, and perhaps our own (p6). This is the fortnight for President Obama, a fine and humane man, to make that leap to becoming a great president.
With every year that passes it is harder to cling onto the vital nonsense and ephemera that we need to escape into during the festive period. So many of us have more worries than we did, if not one year ago, then certainly five. There are, of course, exceptions. At a recent dinner gathering I listened in, semi-detached, as a table full of people without a financial care in the world talked as if the recession had never happened. One was a senior banker, of the sort that would be resisting even the minor reforms that the Government has been forced to recommend, let alone the genuine change that the critical Banking Standards Commission has suggested (i's front page yesterday).
You can't escape the cliché that Britain is polarising ever more into haves and have nots. In my humble opinion, this will be the most significant trend of 2013. But it is not quite 2013, and it is almost Christmas and although i is here every day next week bar Tuesday, you may not be. So, may I wish you all festive greetings with the hope that you have some fun and frivolity with your nearest and dearest. We'll see the rest of you on Christmas Eve, come on boys, time to get shopping!