Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Worst Year of Your Lifetime

According to an historian, 1812 was the worst year in British history, mainly because the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, was assassinated, 20 Luddites were hanged, we were at war with France and America, the monarch was mad and there had been a series of disastrous harvests.

This led to me think about the worst year of my lifetime. I reckon it would have to be 1973. The economy was riven by strikes, power cuts were the norm ... and we joined the EEC.

Personally, 2005 wasn't too hot either? Which year would you nominate?

65 comments:

bj said...

1812 wasn't all bad. It got a jolly nice overture, for one thing.

klaxon said...

2008!

We have had 11 years of disastrous Labour rule, we have an appalling and corrupt Government, the economy is about to nose dive, crime is rising, taxes are spiraling, inflation is on the up, our country is now run from Brussels be people I din't vote for and can't sack, looks like we are about to have a Democratic US president and my drain is blocked with decaying leaves!

On the upside, the Scots want independence!

Paul Linford said...

Politically, I think the worst year of my lifetime was 1979, for fairly obvious reasons.

Personally it was probably either 1974, when my grandad died, or 1997, a year in which I found myself to be - thankfully temporarily - rather alone in the world.

Anonymous said...

2005 was awesome! If only for Wales winning the grand slam. Seriously, that's all of that year I can remember.

Anonymous said...

KLAXON SAID:

"...we have an appalling and corrupt Government, the economy is about to nose dive, crime is rising, taxes are spiraling, inflation is on the up..."

January 2008 under Labour is soooo different than Januray 1996 under the Conservatives

Paddy Briggs said...

1968. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - to coin a phrase.

Worst: Deaths of Jim Clark, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy. Vietnam ablaze. Russia crushes Prague Spring movement. Saddam comes to power in Iraq.Violence at Democratic convention. D'Oliveira affair. Nixon President (UGH!). Powell's vile Rivers of Blood speech. Biafra. Humanae Vitae. RUC violence against civil rights marchers in Derry...

Best: Students protested about Vietnam, civil rights, injustice, etc. (Remember when students had consciences?). Civil Rights Act passed in US...and I met the lady who was to be my wife in Berlin in April!

scrooge said...

1997, no explanation needed....

Newmania said...

Hmmm, saw an article in the DT saying that 44 was the most depressed year in your life and I am 44. Wouldn’t that be your worst year Iain ? Lets see what are the contenders
Year of first divorce?
Year of double redundancy and end of City Career with child and wife to support

I think periods of financial insecurity are the worst and that is why I have an almost uncontrollable loathing of my taxes going to keep public sector drones in Gold plated pensions.



By The Way Iain ..... looking around the blogasphere on Conway Twitty he is taost its just too bad have a look at the ministry of truth or Adam Boulton or Guido or anyone its indefensible. You say you never blog what you would to say to someone’s face , what on earth would you say to his face . I `ve got some ideas and its not as if I have ever got much into this puritanical with hunting much anyway


The Party will suffer for this and Cameron has to act quickly . the failure to do so makes a most unwholesome comparison with his trigger happy attitude to Mercer

Helen said...

1812, eh? That would be the year in which Wellington won most of the battles in Spain and Britain beat the United States, preventing an invasion of Canada. Not to mention the publication of Humphrey Davy's "Elements of Chemical Philosophy" and the fact that for the first time London's streets were lit by gas, making them a good deal safer. But hey, none of that can compare with students demonstrating against Vietnam right up to the moment draft was abolished and American students lost their conscience, followed by their British counterparts. Oh and let's not forget what the outcome of that was for the Vietnamese and the Cambodians. Sheesh!

Tim said...

Well, personally, the same year as Paul Staines... 1986.

But for very different reasons, I assure you.

Not that Nick Wood said...

2007. The year GB became PM and instantly revealed that he'd been lying about the EU referendum. The year Northern rock crashed and the lies and damned lies GB had been telling us about the economy became apparent.
Anon 10.48 - the obvious differences were that the economy wasn't about to crash in '96 (otherwise GB's boasts about 15 years of growth couldn't have been made) and that when the Tories were involved in financial sleaze (rather less than NuLab, the Tories prefereed sex sleaze) at least it wasn't with taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

1066 was not such a good year from what I have heard!

mirthios said...

Worst ever year? 2008 - trust me!

Not that Nick Wood said...

Anon 11.36
Au contraire, in 1066 some distant ancestors of mine picked up some rather nice estates in the North of England. Sadly subsequent generations pissed them away.

GM said...

hmmmm. 1666, although it offered the chance to rebuild the city! Or any year in the 14th. century! Who was the historian by the way?

Albert M. Bankment said...

Personally, every year has been worse than the last, for the last 12. Perhaps 2008 will buck the trend.

drwho said...

Bunch of bleedin' doom merchants the lot of you. You don't know how lucky you are. When I were a lad ....

Anonymous said...

I think Iain that your worst year will be 2008. So many important issues, and largely you seem interested only in novelty items and lists - buck up lad.

Vishal said...

Why no post on the Conway issue?!? Why hasn't Cameron kicked him out yet?!?

Penfold said...

1997.

When NuLab ascended to power over us.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

We were indeed at war with France in 1812. But this was because of the Treaty of Tilsit of 1807, in which, in an early attempt at the EC, Napoleon tried to close mainland European ports to British goods. The Tsar was a signatory but kept backsliding, so the Cosrican parvenu invaded Russia and met total and utter nemesis, losing 590,000 of the 600,000 men he invaded with.

Hilariously, the invasion was only possible because British textile companies in Manchester and Liverpool, bidding via proxies, won the tenders to supply him with the greatcoats his army needed (this is historically what helped Courtaulds get so successful).

So he broke his own trade blockade to punish somebody else for having done the same.

The sale of greatcoats was approved by the British government on the basis that if the mad bugger wanted to invade Russia, we should do everything we could to assist him.

So 1812 turned out pretty well.

Anonymous said...

1707 Treaty of Union.

So passed its sell-by date.

Vindico said...

Ah. Would have to be 2005. Horrible year of depression and mental anguish.
Best year was 2003 by a mile.

Troll Patrol said...

I hope 2008 will be the worst year ever for:

Hillary Clinton (after the shock electoral defeat)
Gordon Brown (ditto)
Derek Conway (spending less time with his family)
Martin Amis (just because)

dearieme said...

Hanging Luddites isn't all bad though obviously it would have been more ironic to send them to the Guillotine.

Anonymous said...

I reckon, for me, 2007 takes a bit of beating... I was diagnosed with cancer, my mother died, my long-term girlfriend dumped me on Christmas Eve and Gordon Brown became PM.

On the other hand, my SIPP did quite well - not that I'm sure I'll live long enough to draw it! :-)

Glyn H said...

Your point about 1973 is well made. Derek Conway, who should immediately resign his seat - this was pure (and substantial)abuse of public money; no if, not buts - sits for Bexley and Old Sidcup which was the seat of Edward Heath. The man who became wealthy despite never having had a proper job and who died before he was properly and publicly exposed for the lies and deception which he told to get us in the the EU, as now is. Must be something fetid in the air around Bexley and Sidcup.

Alfie said...

18:12 was pretty crap last night - my dinner got burned in the microwave, because I was watching the 6 o'clock news...

The worst year I can rememember? Take your pick from any of the last ten. New Labour have systematically made this country into a complete basket case. They've taken sleaze and incompetence to depths that wouldn't be tolerated in a banana republic. Prescott, Falconer, Vaz, Mick the (incomprehensible) Speaker, Byers, Blair, Brown, Mandelson, Cambell, Iraq, .....

God Al-bloody-mighty, what a shower - the list could go on and on, but I am in danger of topping myself, I'm so fed up. Yup, this former Labour voter of 30 years duration reckons the worst decade ever has to be 1997 - 2007.

And for that, I have to thank New Labour.

Anonymous said...

Where's your Conway comment, Iain?

Left Luggage said...

1984-1985. The miners' strike. Yorkshire was in a civil war and the rest of the country never saw it.

Anonymous said...

Man things have changed a bit since 1812 haven't they! The PM got assasinated and that was a /bad/ thing!!

Zorro

Anna Sole said...

1945, when this country adopted the failed solutions of socialism, from which it has still not recovered e.g. a health system costing as much but providing less than most other developed countries.

Rylanddoyle said...

Worse year = 2009/10 if Labour loose... i suspect that loosing a GE when you are loosing power and going out of office is far, far, far worse than loosing when you didnt think you would win in the first place.

too young to recall 79 (only 15 then and more interested in train spotting lol); 83 is a hazy irrelevance for although i was a party activist by then, labours policies were bonkers and there was no expectations; 87 similar but not quite as painful; 92 not a suprise as was working in London and it never felt as if Labour were doing to do well in SE London where i lived/worked.

thus 2009/10 is going to be a biiiiiiiiiggg painful year i suspect.

if i may suggest -
best year - by a massive distance - 1997

in no particular order -

marriage, birth of daughter, Glamorgan winning the County Championship, taking part in an opening partnership of 156 in local cricket village derby and May 1st

an awesome quintet! very strange how that run of good things all came together

Whishart said...

Worst Year ever 1707 the year the Parcel of Rouges Sold Scotland for English Gold

Worst Year in Lifetime 1979 when Thatcher came to power and tried to destroy Scotland

Best Year to Date 2007 the year that Scotland began on the road to Independence May the 3rd will live long in the memory as the Day Independence became Inevitable and saw the start of the destruction of the Scottish Unionist Labour Party

simon said...

Political:Easy-1990 (late). Quite simply the biggest piece of political kamekazi by the Conservative Party. To get rid of The Lady and install a quasi-Heselslime government was simply madness. The ruptions STILL have not healed! Personal: 1978-85. School-ghastly. Hated EVERY minute. I'd like to have a 'quiet' word with a few teachers who were ,quite frankly, appalling. The plus- they are probably dead now! Yipppeeeee!

northernmonkey said...

1992 - Black Wednesday and the Tories got re-elected again.

Johnny Norfolk said...

For me the worst year was 97 when labour came to power. I knew what would happen and it has.

I remember Wilson & co, and I vowed then I would never support labour again after what the did to our country.

tory in assault probe AAAAAA said...

No the worst year was 1938 when we surrened to nazi control of the czech and slovaks.
The best year was 1944 when finnished kicking nazi butt all the way back to Berlin.

Second best year 1973 we joined the greatest superpower on the planet.
By the way why do you not talk about tory Pensions man http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2008/01/29/tory-mp-nigel-waterson-in-assault-probe-89520-20302315/

Hain had to resign when the police arrested him.

Yak40 said...

1995
Career trashed by redundancy at an age where "regrouping" is near impossible.

You can pass all the laws you want, but "ageism" will always be there. I got pretty good at spotting the signs.

Now, thank God, I'm out of the workaday world tho' with a lot less income than planned as of course the pension took a huge hit as well.

At a societal level 1997 was hardly a year to celebrate and it's just gone downhill from there with no real end in sight.

Norfolk Blogger said...

2005 was a great year. I got a new job, moved, got engaged and politically it was great.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Best year: 1984 - 1985. The year the miners' decades of successful violent extortion finally came to a screeching halt.

I remember whooping with joy at the TV coverage of handfuls of brave mounted police fearlessly charging mobs of feral, screeching bullies. The police were outnumbered by hundreds to one, but they went in and fought for democracy and liberty in the most matter-of-fact way.

Finally, finally these filthy Labour cowards got their idle, hate-filled skulls cracked open. God, it was fantastic to watch! The spirit of liberty was in the air and no mistake! Now their stupid little Potemkin villages have all gone and good riddance.

I think of that poor taxi driver Scargill's vicious thugs murdered, and those four poor children left without a father by socialism, whenever I read this:-

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours
and yours


Sleep in peace, David Wilkie; you won, in the end.

Anonymous said...

1941 - Worst part of the blitz. Loss of HMS HOOD, REPULSE and PRINCE of WALES. Japanese attack on Singapore started which would result in British empire's greatest ever defeat. Britain standing alone until joined by USSR - Mixed blessing as Hitler's attack on the USSR ensured that eventually half of Europe would fall under the monstrous tyranny of Stalin.

verity said...

BJ - Funny!

Nixon is now coming to be recognised as a great president. Don't forget who opened up China. The Prague Spring was sad, but and Martin Luther King was was sad, but everything else, I can live with. Oh, except the ignorant students protesting Viet Nam, which they couldn't identify on the map, all with their Ché posters. Plus wot Helen said.

I agree with those who cite the year Anthony Lynton Blair slithered under the door of No 10.

Who was Jim Clark, btw?

Anonymous said...

There was a time, during the late afternoon of 13th February 1997, when I thought that this was going to be a pretty bad year. I was divorced at 10 AM and made redundant at 2 PM! Some time later I started to realize that there were some silver linings after all.

The redundancy payment just paid off the divorce settlement so I was a few hundred up on the day. I walked into a job paying over 30% more salary some 2 months later and I then set about putting away as much as I could for early retirement, now an easier prospect as the former ball and chain was no longer my problem.

The new job started on May 1st 1997, I had thought of this as a date to remember, but then I remembered the change of government on that day. Perhaps every good experience is matched by a bad one?

Anonymous said...

Last year, without a shadow of a doubt.

Mugged on my birthday, resulting in some pretty bad damage to my teeth.

A rather unpleasant spiral into a pretty heavy bout of depression.

My family life pretty much fell apart

etc.

Thus far 2008 is much better, however!

Londoner said...

1990, November, was as bad as it gets politically. It also, by arithmetic necessity, marked the end of the wonderful 1980s, a decade never equalled in my adult lifetime for its economic and political excitement.

As it happens 1990 was also a pretty terrible year for me personally, so that was a double whammy.

I think I'd plump for 1974 rather than 1973 as the post war low point, stock market down 70% from a recent high, Mr Benn at Industry, unions triumphant, chaos on both sides in Northern Ireland (Protestant workers' strike, as well as the IRA) and Mr Heath blundering to two election defeats, the second one having called for a national Government 10 days before polling. But personally it was rather a good year with first youthful ambitions (University of choice) fulfilled. Also things started improving from then on, which is more than one can say for 1990. Whilst the personal stuff had picked up by about 1993, in terms of public life we didn't start moving forward again until about 2004 and then only very gradually and haltingly.

Ross said...

In 1812 I think we were also at war with Nepal. Fighting three wars to a reasonably successful conclusion simultaneously is pretty impressive.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

1973 for me too and 1988 (lost my sister to breast cancer)

Travis Bickle said...

Any year Liverpool football club have ever won a trophy has been pretty depressing. Fortunately the next few years look quite good on that score.

On a slightly more serious note 1973 was shocking, the year the quisling Heath sold our country down the river on the basis of a complete lie.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think 2005 was terrific. England won the Ashes and all was well with the world

Joel

Stan!! said...

Clearly 1789 -the year of the French -Revolution-was an absolute bummer of a year. Far from promoting democratic control, the French Revolution ended up transferring power from the aristocracy to an "enlightened" elite that proved even more illiberal. We are still living with its effects...

Atlas shrugged said...

Sorry to depress people.

In my most humble and honest opinion.

However bad we may have thought the last 40 years or so may have been, one thing in my mind is sure.

We will all be looking back in a few years, describing every one of the last 40, as "very golden" ones.

MikeyP said...

It has got to be 1997, as some astute commentators have already noted. The year that signalled the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom!

Paul Burgin said...

1990-1993, when the economic recession bit hard and we had such comforting statements from the likes of Norman Lamont of the "if it isn't hurting it isn't working" variety, and 2001 when the we faced the worst terrorist atrocities since World War II
That said, 1989 was avery good year, when communism fell in Eastern Europe, and 1997 was a very good year as well, although I think you and most of your readers would disagree with the latter point ;)

Ted said...

1812 and 1973 had a lot in common. In one we were ruled by a madman, in the other George III was on the throne. (Sorry, cheap I know and George wasn't that bad).

Actually the way 2008 has started, it's going to be on everyone's hit lit.

Lakelander said...

Verity:

Who was Jim Clark?

From Wikipedia -

Jim (or Jimmy) Clark OBE (4 March 1936 – 7 April 1968) was a Scottish Formula One racing driver.

He was the dominant driver of his era, winning two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and more pole positions (33) than any driver up to that time. He also competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, and won it once, in 1965.


He died at Hockenheim in 1968.

You are probably too young to remember....

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with having a Prime Minister assassinated? If they were all tidily put to death at the end of their stints (like kings in primitive tribes, or in Pakistan for that matter), then we'd have something to feel good about.

Clothilde Simon

David Boothroyd said...

"If it isn't hurting, it isn't working" was actually a John Major quote not a Norman Lamont one.

Worst political year of my life? Possibly 1987, third term for Thatcher despite all that was known, puts through the poll tax and section 28. Possibly 1973 when Heath's catastrophic mismanagement led to rampaging inflation and the first post-war year in which British output fell, and prosperity through EEC membership had not had enough time to come through.

Heath was the worst post-war Prime Minister (worse than Eden, certainly); his triumph in securing EEC entry is really down to the pro-market Labour MPs who agreed a secret deal to stop the European Communities Bill being amended or defeated.

Anonymous said...

Best of years was 2001 - jolly japes at work, career on a roll.

Worst of years was 2004 - a real 'annus horribilis'.. narrowly avoiding a nervous breakdown after working for an @r$eh*le of a boss and his bitch of a manager.. Truly the 'axis of evil'..

Luckily escaped, with a golden handshake, and things have been improving ever since.

My only advice to anyone out there is - if they are giving you that much $h!t - just take a walk - you will find something better. Don't even worry about screwing them for a big redundancy payoff - your health is far more important.

ordinary housewife said...

politically you couldn't get worse than the first month of this year!

However, being somewhat self-centered -2006 - my mother-in-law died, my son was mugged by three of our coloured brethren who broke his ankle, someone bashed into my new car and my beloved German Shepherd died (dog, not teutonic sheep handler)

Oscar Miller said...

2001 was a very bad year. Foot and mouth handled abysmally by the government making a wretched situation worse; dreary dreary election with dreary dreary result; Intifada and horrendous suicide bomb attacks in Israel followed by the fascist 'anti racism' conference in Durban that was dripping with anti-Semitism; all topped off by 9/11. And I was made redundant.

Philipa said...

1997 - I had just got engaged and started a fab new job then had a road traffic accident that, amongst other awful things, caused me to be paralysed from the waist down. I lost my job, my fiance, but none of that mattered compared to the pain. When I considered taking my life I was referred to a pscychiatrist who pronounced me very sane - you see, putting up with pain is difficult and medication gives rise to other problems. Sometimes you just want the pain to stop. That and the fact that no-one spoke to me in a wheelchair - I could ask an assistant a question and they would answer the person pushing the chair. Please don't do that. I'm out of the chair now but please, give a thought to people in wheelchairs, they do exist and can probably talk and everything!

Anonymous said...

"According to an historian, 1812 was the worst year in British history, mainly because the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, was assassinated"

No Iain. That historian was on the Today programme yesterday explaining that the point about the assassination was that people rejoiced in the streets when they heard the news. Helen is right, but at the time people were extremely depressed at what was going on around them. The killing of Perceval was seen as a bright point.

The real worst year was certainly 1066. True, Harold put a final end the the Viking menace that had tyrannised Europe for centuries but the cost was that England was subjugated to a pack of French-Viking mongrels who have ruled over, and ruined the lives of, the English ever since.

Anonymous said...

2003, entry into Iraq

Aristander of Telmissus said...

For political disillusion, there is 1992. In 1991 that puffed-up, absurd, over-promoted, strutting buffoon Norman Lamont announced that VAT would go from 15% to 17.5% as a one-year expedient to fund the ending of the poll tax. Guess what; in 1992 it stayed at 17.5%, as it has done ever since. At least Lamont's career was summarily trashed by the ERM débacle, so there was a modicum of justice, and some epicaricacy to be savoured.