My older desktop PC is back at Fast Micros in Westbrook for repair this morning, having: given up the ghost' at boot-up; a regular event you'll recall. I've lost track of the number of times Windows has crumbled over the years and has to be re-installed. It's a Pentium 4 but with so much on it, I'm reluctant to swap it out and simply back-up to the Dell Inspiron laptop I'm typing on now.
I know that Fast Micros will have it up and running again pretty quickly so I'm not overly worried. One day though, I'll have to bite the bullet and buy a new one but I'm dreading the hours of re-installing programs that this involves.
With the New Year just in front of us, I would like to look forward to an optimistic twelve months ahead but predictions for 2010 are far from encouraging. The bookmakers won't offer good odds on VAT not going up to 20% and petrol looks set to hit £1.35. The chances of Israel and or America bombing Iran's nuclear facilities remain dangerously high and you'll have noticed that China is flexing its muscles, now that it owns most of our debts. A General Election may bring a change of government but no end to the pain that has to be endured, for many years to come, if we are to climb out of the deep financial pit that we have been dropped-in by this Government and its policies.
Meanwhile, our armed forces are making daily sacrifices in Afghanistan, while Al Qaeda thrives in Yemen and Somalia, radicalising young men with impunity in a number of British Universities, sufficiently enough to persuade them that God rewards exploding underwear.
What strikes me when I speak with ordinary people on the streets on the doorstep, is when they commonly start a conversation with "I'm not supposed to say this but…" a sense that we live in a Police state where one is no longer able to freely express one's views in private conversation for fear of being overheard and arrested. Feelings and opinions run strong and Government appears to have few if any answers to the antagonism and the distrust felt by the general public. This has to change or the pressure cooker that now contains our society may one day find a channel to angrily express itself in the very manner that New Labour fears most.