This column first appeared in the Manx Advertiser.
As the fug of 2013 wisps away in the night, like a quietly forgotten political promise, it’s time to turn our attention to what the coming year ahead has in store for us.
Yes, we once again dust off Old Speller’s Almanack to see what’s in the stars.
Year of Culture
As year-long celebrations of the cultural wealth of the Isle of Man are a deserved success, the biggest triumph is that all Tynwald members learn the true value of books and don’t try to close any libraries.
Allan Bell decides to get some front line experience and acquire hands on knowledge in the mechanics sector. But when he looks at requests for assistance, he gives a low whistle and warns darkly: ‘This is going to cost you.’
The year’s weather, as usual, confounds headline writers and motorists. Police issue guidance to say that if it has got dark and is chucking it down with rain it’s okay to switch on your headlights, even if it’s 2pm. Meanwhile, the word ‘scorcher’ makes a welcome comeback as soon as there are back to back days of sunshine.
The battle for telecommunications dominance continues apace as everyone down the pub pretends to understand precisely what 4G means.
The threat of more cuts looms. As teachers fear another caning from the Bell administration, the chief minister sighs and confesses: ‘This is going to hurt me more than you.’
People continue to criticise the open skies policy for air travel while forgetting just how expensive it was to fly with Manx Airlines. The same people also spend the year pressing for genuine competition on the seas for the Steam Packet. Fortunately, no one pays much attention.
Becomes a key part of the local history curriculum in schools.
Confusion abounds when the 2013/14 seasons finishes two weeks after the 2014/15 season starts and newly promoted teams don’t know who they should be playing next.
Allan Bell spends a week with consultants at the hospital to explain his government spending plans for the vital health sector. ‘This might hurt a little,’ he says more than once.
Follow Paul on Twitter: @Norbertsdad
Back to Paul Speller Media news page