While his thrilling piece on just why the new year will be so utterly shit is focused, balanced and not at all too long, The Quail will summarise it for readers who are too busy to spare the 3 hours required to read it/translate it into intelligible English: it's all because of that cretinous lefty welfare state.
Make sure to check The Mail over the coming days for Pete's arguments as to why the following years weren't really all that bad.
- AD 43 - The year the Romans stepped up their invasion of Britain; Emperor Claudius decided he'd had enough of those mother-loving barbarians skanking up Britain's mother-loving planes, and it was time to kick some ass. Taking over from Caligula, whose military strategy had included ordering his troops to attack the water of the English channel, Claudius subjected Britain to seventeen years of skewering and rogering, which saw such highlights as the rape and murder of Old English poster girl Boudica.
- 865 AD - After around 70 years of the odd bit of pillaging and monk-worrying, the Vikings got bored and properly invaded Britain. By this time the Romans had grown weary of the terrible weather and gone home, leaving our fair isle easy pickings. The Great Army of the Danes conquered pretty much everywhere, feeling the time was right to start killing kings instead of the peasants and nuns they had become accustomed to. There was much burning, looting, sex crimes and general horror.
- 1348 - The Black Death reached England, promising such fun new fashions as subepidermal hemorrhages and gangrene. When it reached London, 30,000 of the 70,000 strong population was wiped out in scenes of pustulating misery and unimaginable pain. The plague ended up killing up to 40% of Britain's entire population, which isn't that bad really because up to 60% of some other European countries' populations were wiped out. Silly Europeans. A mutated plague, dubbed 'Plague II', returned in 1603 and killed 38,000 Londoners. This was also a bad year.
- 1642 - Things got so confused in the political arena that everyone agreed that the best thing to do was just to have a great war to sort the men from the boys. In a war that was arguably more exciting than John Redwood's battle for leadership of the Tories in 1995, King Charles marched his army upon London, thinking it would all be over in a jiffy. In reality, things didn't turn out that simple, and the war stretched on for six dull but bloody years, while Britain was effectively left without a government. Oliver Cromwell, who set himself up as Lord Protector of Britain while the country was busy fighting itself, infamously cancelled Christmas in 1645, just for the lulz.
- 1914, 15, 16, 17 - World War I, caused by a few really simple things that don't need spelling out here, claimed the lives of 994,138 British people over the four years that it ravaged most of Europe. It can't have been that bad though, as it came to be affectionately known as 'The Great War' by many people. Fortunately, WWI had no lasting consequences, and once it was over, it was over.
- 1919 - Britain was doing economic depressions way before America made them cool in 1929, and 1919 saw the beginning of a 25% reduction in the country's economic output that lasted around twenty years. Unsurprisingly, the great depression, as it was jovially known, was exacerbated by other European countries like Poland, who claimed to have been plunged into insurmountable debt by WWI. Seeing how awesome the depression was, the USA had launched its own brand a decade later (which is almost how long it took them to enter WWI) which promised to be bigger, better and run longer than Britain's.
- 1939, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 - WWI: The Sequel. A strange little man who would even give Melanie Philips a run for her money in the batshit mad stakes turned his grudge against an entire race of people into a programme of full-scale ethnic cleansing, forcing the more reasonable powers of the world (led by Britain) to respond with their biggest war yet. Despite support for his ideologies from one British newspaper, the general concensus was that Hitler probably didn't represent the best interests of world politics and needed dealing with. WWII resulted in over half a million British lives lost and as many movies about the heroics of American soldiers.