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2007: This Blogging Year

2007 was an interesting year, perhaps primarily because it was the year when a lot of things didn’t happen. That might seem an odd statement, because clearly most years lots of things don’t happen. But this year has been one of many unfulfilled expectations.

I didn’t discover what religion actually is, despite fairly extensive efforts. My readers and I did manage to have a pretty good debate on the issue – just never came to any real conclusion.

Rather than things improving as promised, the situation regarding junior doctor’s jobs reached new lows this year. I certainly expected that once such a low had been reached, the Government would be forced to get its house in order – how wrong I was.

Despite confident predictions, no-one actually faced charges in the Cash for Honours row, which was frustrating for many.

On top of that, the majority of teenagers didn’t pass their A-Levels this year, M&S didn’t move in a completely new direction (though did gain £3.5m), and mobile phones didn’t advance quite as far as we’d hoped. And the Queen didn’t storm out of a photo shoot.

As well as seemingly predictable things not happening, many unexpected did happen. Completely unexpectedly, even to me, I actually said something nice about Tony Blair, and he himself appeared on a hard news programme outside of an election campaign.

Floods devastated swathes of the UK, and the Church blamed the gays – like some many other people.

Celebrity Big Brother managed to spark an international race row, Sky and Virgin Media had a puerile fight which still hasn’t been sorted, and the world of premium rate phone-ins caved in on itself.

I did manage to have a bit of a guilty laugh at this poor chap’s expense, the Vatican published Commandments for Driving, and we mourned the death of Rose Tombe – well, a bit.

A terror attack on Glasgow airport shocked everyone, though didn’t lead me to the conclusion that terrorists are evil. The disappearances of Alan Johnston and Madeleine McCann generated acres of media coverage – to date, only one has been found. And I was shocked last week to hear of the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto.

Oh, and then there was the small incident of half the country’s bank details getting lost in the post.

And then, I guess, there were the predictable things.

Blair left office, Brown and Co came in, didn’t call an election (despite dithering), and the scandals and muddled thinking continued apace.

In terms of sjhoward.co.uk, you helped to generate over seven million hits this year alone – well over double the number achieved last year, and the first book of the site was published. I started writing for Trinity Mirror regularly, which was nice. And the site put on a little weight.

And that was, essentially, 2007.

All that remains is for me to thank you for sticking with the site throughout the year, and invite you to continue reading in the new year – I do hope you will.

This 1,241st post was filed under: Blogging.

Benazir Bhutto has died

Benazir BhuttoEven days after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the impact for the homeland she loved so dearly is still far from clear.

The tragedy of her death is certain: A 54 year-old who had spent much of her life fighting for true citizen-led democracy in Pakistan silenced not through reasoned argument but through mindless violence. The first female leader of an Islamic nation in modern history killed whilst trying to improve life for her fellow citizens. Her three children left without a mother, her husband without a wife.

I only hope that the violence of the last two days in Pakistan is short-lived, and that people will continue in her tradition of arguing eloquently, powerfully, and persistently for true representation of the people of Pakistan and against dangerous extremism.

A full and detailed obituary for Benazir Bhutto is available on Guardian Unlimited or BBC News.

May she rest in peace.

This 1,240th post was filed under: News and Comment.

Wishing you peace and happiness at Christmas

This 1,239th post was filed under: Miscellaneous.




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