NHS Rainbow Boy by State of the Art

Trying to make sense of 2021 – part one

Or #WTFhappened

2021 was too much of a strange one to try and sum up in one episode of Fiskal Policy.

So this week I’ll take a look at key events (through the medium of ‘episodes’ rather than an in-depth look at what actually happened) for the first six months of the year.

Next week I’ll take on the optimistic summer and the doom and gloom of the last six months of the year.

Not an amazing January

The year started with me waking up wondering whether I’d really seen Andy Burnham giving a speech in the Hacienda.

Job cuts at work meant I applied for quite a few jobs and managed to keep the one I had.

Jerry Springer by JHoch
Jerry Springer would want you to be good to yourselves (“_MG_3222” by justinhoch is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Geralt and the Senator Bernie in the Bath by @Hey_Davy
Imagine Bernie Sanders in the bath with Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher – you don’t need to imagine because here it is! (Picture from Twitter @Hey_Davy https://twitter.com/Hey_Davy/status/1353043998492000258?s=20 )

Sadly, applying for jobs meant I didn’t have as much time to devote to writing Fiskal Policy as I would have liked.

This is why we ended up with gems about Jerry Springer, Bernie Sanders and his mittens, and Daphne and Celeste.

WTF happened in February?

February is supposed to be the month of love (well Valentine’s Day is) and a time of hope after the darkness of January.

This year it didn’t look like anything was going to improve and the closest I got to love was observing while a man bought a pack of Viagra in preparation for his day of love.

To add to the loved up theme, Kim Kardashian announced she had filed for divorce from Kanye West.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West - larger
The woman in the red top looks absolutely repulsed at the scene unfolding before her eyes – Kim and Kanye in more loving times (“Kim-Kardashian-Kanye-West-venezia-compleanno-alexis-it-14” by myalexis is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

March marked the start of spring(ish)

TikTok has been a big part of my life throughout the pandemic, especially cooking videos.

Back in March I predicted big things for Poppy O’Toole. Now the self-titled potato queen has a cookery book out, 2m followers on TikTok and I’m predicting even bigger things for her in 2022.

It was also the first anniversary of me moving to Croydon. It has been a strange time but it has, mostly, been a good time.

Lockdown portrait one
One Friday afternoon I became part of the Generation Lockdown photo series by Fiona Ingvarsson
NHS Rainbow Boy by State of the Art
The Rainbow Boy mural was painted in locations across Croydon and beyond by artist State of the Art (also known as Chris Shea) during the pandemic

All aboard for April

Nowadays they are fighting about Christmas gin but back in the spring the fight was all about caterpillars. Well, chocolate caterpillar cakes to be precise.

Yes, while scientists are fighting Covid, M&S and Aldi are spending their time with courtroom battles about food and drink.

Daily Telegraph writer Pip Sloan did a taste test to discover which caterpillar cake is the best
Count Binface landscape image from @CountBinface
Count Binface hopes it will be V for Victory on election night as he bids to become the next mayor of London (Image is from @CountBinface Twitter account)

And in political news, Count Binface took on Laurence Fox at the ballot box.

They both lost but we all know who was really the biggest loser.

May was a difficult month

In May the family of murdered private detective Daniel Morgan was supposed to have finally been able to read the report by an independent panel, which was set up in 2013 to look into their loved one’s death.

But back then it seemed as if the Home Secretary Priti Patel was doing her darndest to stop the truth from coming out.

The Fiskal Policy episode from May 23rd explains what happened.

Alastair Morgan and his partner Kirsteen Knight talk to Hardeep Matharu and Peter Jukes at Byline Times about Home Secretary Priti Patel’s intervention in the publication of an independent report into the death of Daniel Morgan

June – phew, what a scorcher (although I don’t remember it being super hot)

The overwhelming message from June is that you don’t have to be in it to win it.

This is a pandemic and all the rules have changed.

I won a stand-up comedy competition without standing up. Yes, you read that correctly.

Up The Creek 2
I thanked the academy but never expected to win a comedy award (Picture courtesy of Paul Green)
Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice
a)This shot is incredible b)Remember the days when bands could get up close and personal with fans – this was back in 2018 when Wolf Alice played Debaser Strand in Stockholm (“Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice” by Demed is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

And proving I’ve still got it as a music critic I proclaimed this year’s Wolf Alice record to be the album of the year.

Some might say I called it a bit early but six months on I know my choice was the right one and so do lots of other music critics.

It isn’t too late to ask for it for Christmas.

Have a great Christmas and see you on the other side for part two of the year review.

Stay safe for another week!

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