So, it’s 2017
This is a slightly longer version of something I posted on Facebook this morning. This was partly because I checked Timehop and saw I did something similar on fb last year, and habits/traditions have to start somewhere, don’t they?
Anyway, this is where we are now:
The London Olympics was five years ago. I know! FIVE YEARS! Doesn’t that opening ceremony seem a very long time ago now? And doesn’t Britain seem a very different place from the one the Danny Boyle created his Opening Ceremony paean to?
Ten years ago, back in 2007, we were in a world before the financial crisis, and before George Osborne as Chancellor, though he and his porocophile chum, dish-faced Dave, were busily complaining about how over-regulated everything was. That turned out well, didn’t it?
It’s been ten years since Steve Jobs stood on stage and did his full PT Barnum to launch the first iPhone. Whatever you may think about Apple, remember what mobile phones looked like before that.
It’s twenty years since Tony Blair became Prime Minister and did that stage-managed victory walk into Downing Street.
It’s twenty five years since 1992, and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. Carter USM managed to headline Glastonbury.
Back in 1987, when I was halfway through my A Levels, The Simpsons first turned up in the Tracey Ullman Show, Margaret Thatcher signed the Single European Act, Michael Jackson released Bad, George Harrison released Cloud Nine, the Sisters of Mercy released Floodland, and an up and coming band from LA called Guns N Roses released a little thing called Appetite for Destruction. I wonder what happened to them…
Forty years ago, I was seven. It was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. And because it was the Jubilee, the Sex Pistols released God Save The Queen, and Never Mind the Bollocks. While there was punk, a whole load of other stuff arrived too: Oxygène was released in the UK, as was ELO’s Out of the Blue. It was also the year of Star Wars and Close Encounters.
My parents were married in 1967, on the day Radio 1 began. Three months before, Sergeant Pepper was released, at the start of the Summer of Love. It was also the year the first mission in the Apollo project launched, and you needed a pair of sunglasses to deal with some people’s clothes.
Sixty years ago, Elvis was a bright new start, and the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. Fiat also launched a little car called the Cinquecento (that’s 500 to us).
Ten years before that, in 1947, the Second World War had barely end. Many of the international institutions that persist even today, such as the IMF, were founded. Much of this was underpinned by the introduction of the Marshall Plan. India was about to enter its final months under British rule before partition. Anne Frank’s diary was first published. On January 8, David Jones is born in London.
In 1937, Britain was only just getting used to having a new king after the abdication of Edward VIII in December 1936. Across Europe fascism was on the rise, with Hitler in place in Germany,,Mussolini the ruler of Italy, the the continuing civil,war in Spain. This was also the year of the Hindenburg disaster.
In 1927 Heisenberg first postulated his Uncertainty Principle and Charles Lindbergh flew the Atlantic. The Roaring Twenties was in full swing; the depression and the crash was another two years away.
A century ago, the Great War still had nearly two years left to run, though the mood was turning following events such as the Battle of the Somme the previous year. The US joined the fray. All of these things had wide-ranging effects, including in Russia, where the tsar was deposed and the Soviet Union was founded.
One hundred and eighty years ago,.it had been a mere five years since the Reform Act of 1832. The princess Alexandrina Victoria became Queen. One of the final acts of her uncle, William IV, was to place his seal on the Royal Charter of the University of Durham.
Three hundred years ago, In 1717, the Act of Union between England and Scotland was a mere ten years old. It was also the year that saw the birth of the mathematician D’Alambert and the actor, David Garrick.
600 years ago, Henry V restored English as an official language of England, using it in Royal correspondence for the first time in 350 years.
And finally…it is 950 years since construction began on the Tower of London.