Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Reason to Celebrate Amidst the Misery of the Global Recession; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Reason to Celebrate Amidst the Misery of the Global Recession; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Keith Hann

AS one of Britain's more fanatical monarchists, I am greatly looking forward to celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - one of the very few genuine "once in a lifetime" events.

I have vivid memories of driving to London on an old A-road during the Silver Jubilee celebrations of 1977, passing through village after village hung with bunting that must have been carefully put away after the Coronation, judging by the number of South African and pre-maple leaf Canadian flags on display.

These may have finally succumbed to moths by the time of the Golden Jubilee in 2002, but the left's eager predictions that the public would refuse to celebrate half a century of Elizabeth II turned out to be spectacularly wrong. My hopes are accordingly high for the week ahead, even if the weather forecast My hopes are high for the even if the sounds dubious sounds dubious and we can no longer afford to turn out the Gold State Coach for a grand procession to St Paul's. But will the positive impact on my personal morale be reflected across the nation as a whole? On the one hand, we have Sir Mervyn King warning that the loss of GDP caused by an extra bank holiday may be enough to tip the UK into recession for a further quarter. On the other, retailers tell us that they are looking forward to an pounds 800m spending spree that may partially make up for the thoroughly depressing 2012 they have endured so far. True, their other hopes are pinned on the generation of a "feelgood factor" by sustained good weather, a strong showing by England in the Euro 2012 football championships and a series of British triumphs in the Olympics. None of which looks massively more plausible than my decision to base my retirement strategy entirely on a big win in the National Lottery. Though I do at least usually remember to buy a ticket, thus raising my chances by a mathematically insignificant degree.

Above all, I greatly need some happy memories of the Jubilee to banish from my mind the defining image of 2012 in Britain so far: the team of 50 paramedics, firemen and police officers half demolishing a house in South Wales in a pounds 100,000 operation to release a 63 stone teenager from her bedroom. …

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