Need for vigilance as 2022 will likely be a bumpy ride

Houses of Parliament

Keep a careful eye on British politics warns EDDC chief - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We were missing two of the four adult children this Christmas. However, together they made sure that Santa delivered a thrilling compensation, a (surprisingly low-cost) digital projector. Moreover, Santa had sent this to our home in Colyton without any wrapping paper, which allowed my wife and I to go in together for an inexpensive screen, measuring around 4 x 2 metres.

Therefore, our house became like Screen 7 in a multiplex between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. For under £200 in total, we had the illusion of a cinema in our own house.

I can imagine younger readers tossing this article to one side, pitying an old fool so easily thrilled. Yet if you’re 60 like me, your home screen until your teenage years was black and white, 16 inches wide, and only had three channels. This new phenomenon is as magical to me as being given my blue E-type Jag pedal car at Christmas 1966, brought in from the garden shed to the absolute wonder and gratitude of a five-year-old.

So, if I have any remaining readers, you may be interested in what we watched, although as I suspect that is unlikely I will only share two titles, Don’t Look Up and The Rescue, which I am afraid you may need to subscribe to Netflix or Disney+ to watch.

The Rescue is simply the best crafted, most thrilling documentary I have ever seen, telling the 2018 story of the rescue of a dozen youngsters from a flooded Thai cave system. It’s produced by National Geographic, whose skills can only be matched by our own BBC in such things.

We found ourselves with a small connection to the telling of the story when the absolutely heroic cave-rescuer, Rick Stanton, stayed at our mini B&B in 2019. It took two days for him to disclose what he had done, and we were able to advise him, with backgrounds in the business, on the law protecting the rights to his own story. Together with fellow Brit, John Volanthen, he had effectively devised and then led the entire rescue.

Coming through every pixel in the doc was both men’s genuine humility. Please do watch it, but just to mention that at one point we learn that they and many of their other British rescue assistants, who flew in as the peril increased, had been bullied and isolated as children, badly so. They had all, separately, turned to the extreme lone sports of pot-holing or cave diving where it didn’t matter if the dumb mob had decided you did not fit in. You were judged not on what you said you can do, but on what you did, life and death the reward system. Deeply moving.

Then, Don’t Look Up, the best film satire since Team America or Life of Brian. In essence, an asteroid is heading for earth, so how do we react? Five-star cast, hugely funny, utterly unpredictable, but the message I’m taking from it is the mocking of the moronic response of US breakfast TV, conspiracy theorists and the truth-inverting social media.

We need this wake-up call because the equivalent of the US’s Fox News has now arrived in the UK – GB News. It is hard to believe this travesty has been given a licence to transmit. It’s on Freeview – have a look. Its Christmas plum was Nigel Farage’s interview with Donald Trump. Exactly a year after this thug incited the riot at the Capitol building. Farage was nodding like a poodle as he fabricated further on the ‘stolen’ election.
In the UK, we must be vigilant this year. We have a PM keen to evade the consequences of Brexit and the corrupt commissioning practices of the pandemic, and now there is a compromised mouthpiece out there ready to do his bidding. Be vigilant, East Devon, in 2022; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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