Why I hate New Year’s Eve

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I’ve detested New Year’s Eve for decades now. It was OK when I was a teenager and attending local dances – there was the chance at midnight to kiss as many girls as you could get close to. But that was yesteryear. Now I find the fake bonhomie and yelps of delight at the start of a New Year just depress me. And then there’s the Honours List.

Where do you start with such a thing? OK, briefly: the ceremony involved in becoming a knight – walking backwards in case the monarch would get insulted – is only matched by the thought that there are people who are keen to impress their superiority on others by signing themselves as Sir or Dame or whatever matches. Then there are the lesser baubles like MBE and OBE. Proud to be a member of the British Empire? Stop, my sides are hurting.

For English people to accept such tokens from their non-elected Head of State, often while on their knees before her, is ludicrous enough. For Irish people – people who might even describe themselves as nationalists – to get all moist at the thought of getting to Buckingham Palace and actually coming within spitting distance of the monarch is beyond parody.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t give recognition to people who have genuinely served their community. But heading up a university or being well paid for being a skilful sportsman or woman, or for having made hefty donations to the right British political party –  spare me.

.And yes, I know the Pope dispenses papal knighthoods. The same applies. Although at least he was elected by a college of cardinals.

32 Responses to Why I hate New Year’s Eve

  1. Argenta December 31, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I presume you would make your feelings known to Paddy Barnes if you ever met him face to face !!

    • Jude Collins December 31, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Well, Argenta, if he asked me I’d tell him. I try not to have one opinion with one group and a different with another. Don’t you?

      • pretzellogic December 31, 2014 at 11:48 am #

        “Meanwhile the chances of Paddy morphing into Rory are slim”

  2. PeadarW. December 31, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Well said Jude,to be given an award from people who haven’t done anything of substance in their entire lives isn’t much of an award.
    As for Irish people sullying themselves by kneeling in front of England’s queen for some useless award is frankly disgusting.

    • paul December 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      GRMA. ” the great only seem great because we are on our knees.. Let us arise”

  3. ANOTHER JUDE December 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    The so called honours system is just one of many reasons why I want to see the British leave my country and take their outdated imperialist claptrap with them. I detest it and refuse to watch any of it on the tv. Grotesque doesn`t even begin to cover it.These worthless medals, which see people scramble over each other to attain one, prop up the whole unfair edifice, from Betty Windsor down, everyone in their place. Occasionally handing one out to a lollipop lady or dinner lady changes nothing. Dear God, let it end soon, at least on this island.

    • RJC December 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      Doug Stanhope articulates these sentiments quite eloquently (with some swearing)



  4. Iolar December 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    The Captains and the Kings

    “Far away in dear old Cyprus or in Kenya’s dusty land, where all bear the white man’s burden in many a strange land… .”

    Spare a thought for those impecunious chancers who are unable to buy back the Gainsboroughs and who have had to sell land and the family silver to pay the heating bills. How did they get the land in the first place? What a question to ask. Now that is not cricket. Time to draw a line and move on just like the international financiers and industrialists made up of the world’s richest individuals and families. They instigate wars to control governments and countries through the manipulation of debt incurred through periods of war.

    There is also a sight to be seen in the Holy See. The Vatican Palace Pauline Chapel bears a plaque which acknowledges the generous financial support from some of Ireland’s businessmen (?). No, we shall not mention subprime lending, given the day that is in it. Perhaps though there is a need for a diet of worms?

  5. Brian Mac Domhnaill December 31, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed. At least the Earl of Tyrone had the honesty to say that of all the titles bestowed on him ‘the O’Neill’ was his proudest. What really annoys me is the recognition given to such foreign titles by our ‘national’ broadcaster … so Tony O’Reilly is introduced as Sir Anthony, Bob Geldof as Sir Bob … I have often thought that we should all legally change our names to include ‘Sir’, so that RTE will be forced to introduce everybody in this way … such a strategy would surely undermine this servile relic of empire. Áthbhliain faoi mhaise duit, Sir Jude!

    • Jude Collins December 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Go mba hé duit, Brian…

  6. Patrick Fahy December 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    A look at the list of recipients makes me sad and sick in equal measure. That the British government is able to flatter people whose backgrounds are the antithesis of privilege into accepting useless plaudits fin the name of a long gone empire which in its prime despised and exploited them. I am doubly saddened that some from the nationalist community for no reason other than to satisfy huge egos have become Irish Uncle Toms.

  7. Antonio December 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Seems Barnes is the Tele’s new hero – not for winning an Olympic medal but for accepting an MBE http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/

    • Wolfe tone December 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      Does this mean paddy Barnes is not to be left alone near children now? And if I have concerns I should ring Esther ‘see no evil,hear no evil’ rantzen?
      Fair play to rantzen she has been rewarded for keeping schtum and pretending she didn’t know about sweaty Betty’s friend and national treasure Jimmy sovile. : )
      athbliana faoi mhaoise dhaoibh.

  8. RJC December 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Only the great and good make the Honours List – Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall…

  9. Alex December 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Jude my man. Spot on as always.

    • Jude Collins December 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Grma, Alex

      • paddykool December 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        I think I’ll appoint you Sir Jude of Norneverland . You can keep the title for life and even pass it on to your offspring of choice. From this day thence all men will bend their dimpled knees to thee. Happy New Year …now wear it with pride .If anyone questions you , just say the Mighty Perk and I said it was alright.

  10. ASR December 31, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Paddy, in fairness to him, has expressed his concerns about the requirement of head guards in amateur boxing since the rules were changed to do away with them. Ironic that he’s now able to see the effects of this decision first hand.# 2 horses.

  11. neill December 31, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    The festive spirit died very quickly here I see….

  12. Perkin Warbeck December 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Mention of the Buckingham Palace Backstep, Esteemed Blogmeister, prompts one to wonder if the New Year needs a new song?

    After all while the soundtrack of Hogmany has been hogged by ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (braw and all thou it be) its half-twin (older by a week) Christmas has stimulated at least 2014 songs, from carols to beer barrel polkas, at the last computation.

    With due deference to the sublime Spike Milligan, he who hitchhiked to a galaxy the rest of us groundbound gremlins can only guess and guffaw at, it could be called, tentatively:

    -I’m walking backwards for the New Year.

    And New Year’s Eve being the Gateway to the New Year (NY so good they named it twice) one’s Dublin thoughts automatically turn to the Gate Theatre on Parnell Square. (Although geometry heads prefer to refer it its location as the Parnellogram. Which is factually correct though poetically not so.).

    The Gate Theatre has as its capo di tutti capi none other than that miracle of modesty himself, (pray be genuflecting with due deferential doffing of one’s duncher) : Michael Colgan, OBE. And is in annual receipt of a wheelbarrow amount of the taxpayer’s dosh.

    Now there are those carping critics amongst us (Dia idir sinn agus an t-uafas) who claim he is in no way qualified to walk in the high-tonguedbuckled, pinkish pumps with their curved heels,so reminiscent of the regency, and favoured by his predecessor, that multi-faceted genius and towering man of the theatre, Micheal (pronounced Meehawl) Mac Liammoir, No OBE.

    Needless to remark, Perkie’s inner Harold Hobson is not numbered amongst that sour lot.

    When Meehawl Mac first landed on Liffeyside from his native Thameside, it did not take him long to acquire an awesome fluency in the lingua franca of the leprechaun. So much so that when his theatre first opened its, erm, geata back in the 19 Thirties he painted ‘Fir’ and ‘Mna’ on the doors of the Necessary Rooms.

    This caused the Bwanas of Bardas Bhaile Atha Cliath/ The Dublin City Fathers to go into a tailspin of outrage: ‘This is no way to diss our byelaws: zounds ! one could catch verruca from such signage !’

    Such indeed was their umbrage at this narrow-minded declaration one might have thought that ‘Fir’ and ‘Fir’ had been painted on both doors.

    The redoubtable Meehawl dutifully retaliated by adding signs in seven extra languages on each door, including, one believes, in Serbo-Croatian itself. If the first monolingual signs shocked the shoneen sensibilities of the Bwanas of the Mansion House it was nothing to what the extra, erm, seacht did.

    Curiously enough, that other promethean puncher of judies, Spike Milligan (see above) ran into a similar type of teanga turbulence. Shortly after he has been lowered into his bed of clay, as they say, his headstone was duly hoisted up with the following inscription in leprechaun: ‘Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite’. / ‘I’m so ill I could kill for a pill’

    This led to a certain flutter in the dovecotes of Chichester Diocese which initially caused a considerable thumping of the aisles in exasperation with the weapon of choice, the crozier.

    It would not be courting the damsel of exaggeration to say Michael Colgan, OBE chants from the same hymnsheet as his counterparts in Chicester on this matter. In over 30 years of his dazzling stewardship the Free Southern Stateen’s Second Official Theatre has avoided all temptations to stage even one production in the Free Southern Stateen’s First Official Patois. (Despite the dosh. See W for Wheelbarrow above).

    It takes a certain type of genius to tip through the tulips for thirty years while thinking only of dandelions. Maybe not the genius of a Meehawl Mac Liammoir, but genius nonetheless. Let it not be gainsaid.

    A world-renowned devotee and collector of relics of St. Samuel A’Becket , it is rumoured that Michael Colgan once even threatened to pull a pricey production of ‘Waiting for Godot’ unless its one and only word in leprechaun was snipped.

    -More than my OBE’s worth, he was heard to mutter.

    That word, of course, is ‘camogie’ which occurs just before the end of the first act. (Check it out, check it out).

    But that wasn’t the reason why the Gatemate of Pinter and Peer Gynt was duly conferred with his Buck House Bauble.

    Perkie’s theatrical theory is that it resides with the staging in recent years of the deeply bowel-moving ‘The Speckled People’. Though not written as a play it begged on bended knees to be allowed to don the motley. And so was duly adapted for the Gate by the Gate where the receipts could barely keep up with the revolving of the turnstiles.

    Its story was stark in its simplicity: it dealt with a sensitive boy who was brought up in a bilingual home in the southern Dublin burb of Glenageary where the Hausefrau was a German speaker and the Kaiser was that exercise in tautology: a Gaelic fanatic.

    To wonder which language came up smelling of Die Rosen – that of Brunhilde or that of Bridie- would at this stage of the game, be on the superfluous side of stating the OBEvious.

    Seemingly, this production came to the ears of one, Hausefrau Saxon-Coburb-Gotta and the rest is no longer a mystery.

    One understands that the doors of the Necessary Room in the (Brandenburg)Gate were duly marked ‘Herren’ und ‘Damen’ during the run. That Glenageary is ‘Valley of the Sheep’ in the leprechaun is perhaps coincidental with the fact of this coming Chinese Year of the Sheep.

    As Esteemed Blogmeister might say about the New Year: baaaa, humbug.

    Curiously, one Una Mullally cat, recently of this parish bulletin, merits a mention. ‘Mullally’ in the leprechaun means, erm, ‘speckled’. Given her New Year wish for the silencing of the Shinners in (surprise, surprise) The Unionist Times could it be that…..?

    No, better not. More than her OBE’s worth.

    In the meanwhile Perkie’s inner perennial New Year disapointee must content himself yet again to a repeat viewing of Star Wars.

    More Obi wan Kenobi than OBE, alas, once more.

    With the two Guinnessesses, Alec and Arthur, as companions

  13. Freddy Mallins December 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    I think Paddy has been naive and has done his fellow Nationalists a disservice, frankly. Better he had graciously declined and made known his reasons for doing so. That might help educate those British subjects with little or no knowledge of Irish history.

    • paddykool January 1, 2015 at 1:31 am #

      I’m afraid not Freddy ..I’ve declared by royal ordinance that Sir Jude of Norneverland can now graze his geese anywhere he damn well pleases…and who ever said he was nationalistic in any way whatsoever anyway? ?

  14. giordanobruno December 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Jude
    I feel it is the other way round for me. I hate Xmas for the enforced jollity and sheer dragged out length of it all. The New Year does not bother me so much.
    As for the honours list, best just to ignore it. (Wasn’t Gerry a Baron for a while?)
    If the Queen wants to dole them out and some people want to accept them well let them tear away. Ditto the Pope.
    Anyway best wishes for 2015, to you and the usual suspects

  15. Greertoronna December 31, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Whatever your misgivings Jude about the New Year celebrations and the questionable awards, it is an appropriate time to thank you for your terrific blog. I look forward to it every day. And thanks to all your contributors for their thoughtful comments and even entertainment (take a bow PW!).

    • Jude Collins December 31, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Thank you so much, G – you’ve fired a final bright spark into my gloomy 2014. Happy New Year and thanks again on behalf of all…

  16. Argenta December 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    One wonders whether the D C A L minister will be so keen to be photographed with Paddy Barnes in future!!

  17. ANOTHER JUDE December 31, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Happy New Year to everyone here. Yes, that includes YOU Norma.

    • Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 1:30 am #

      Why thank you Jude, and the same to your good self.
      I still don’t agree with any off this nonsence I am reading. The sad thing is I won’t be here when George the 7th comes to the throne.
      But I do respect all your feelings on the subject.
      To all of you’s , I wish you all a happy healthy peaceful new year.
      Norma Wilson (Mrs).

  18. Sherdy December 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    Slightly off-topic but as its approaching new year I think those dishing out the gongs made a bad mistake in ignoring English judge Mrs Butler-Schloss.
    But then the good lady herself was just a little slow in giving her opinion on being bumped off that panel ‘established’ to investigate sexual abuse by the ‘great and the good’, mostly in England.
    She was complaining about her ejection and made the point that the victims of sex abuse were the last people who should have a say in the composition of the inquiry.
    While she had ‘every sympathy’ with them, their feelings about the abuse they suffered denied them the ability to be impartial, whereas she, whose brother may have been implicated in the cover-ups, had heard such cases previously and would be totally professional about the matter.
    Also the leader of the inquiry would have to be someone who could command authority, and therefore would be a member of the ‘establishment’.
    Some people think high court judges live in a bubble and don’t have day to day experience of life as the rest of us live it. Well didn’t she just prove that point today.
    Boundless arrogance and considering her superior intellect as a right to lord it over us. Insufferable!

    • Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 1:34 am #

      Sherdy

      Pot kettle…. Glass houses. I rest my case!
      Norma.
      The Irish have such LONG memories, and SHORT ones when it suits.

  19. John January 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    I can fully, fully agree with everything re: ‘Gongs’ and suchlike as you put into words so eloquently (as you do) Jude, and many of the contributors too. Since i became highly politicised in my early teens (many things sparked that off, not least having an Irish Mother – and growing up in the North-West of the UK, the emergence of that spiteful harridan of a ****, Thatcher and years of decimating Tory rule. The ‘Awards’ were (and still are) a joke to me – even this round of doling out saw one of the women who had to ‘excuse herself’ from being the ‘Chair’ of the Government Abuse Scandal was made a Dame – meanwhile Theresa May has kicked the Inquiry into the long grass (Election afoot wouldn’t you know it. Would’t want any old nasty secrets coming to light that might invariably involve Tories…)

    However, this time last year my perception changed – just the once – but highly deservedly so, for the Stepfather of two brothers i grew up with, one of whom is one of my 3 very, very closest friends. We’ve helped each other out many times, and he’s pulled me through some very dark moments. I was also close to his ‘late’ younger brother – different surname due to his Mother’s re-marriage to Dave – the man in question – who is now in his early 80’s (which you wouldn’t believe) – who, along with Tim’s Mother (who got a totally different award of her own) have worked tirelessly in the past few years since a certain devastating event happened…
    If you go onto the web, have a look at: http://www.eah.consequences.com
    It will move you.

    On a completely different topic – may i wish each and every one of the best blog contributors around a most Happy New Year indeed! – And the best blogger around – Jude! (You’re included there too paddy – you come as a bonus package!).

    (Try to make your mind up whether your staying or going this year Norma, and remember abuse isn’t a virtue – I’m long-lapsed and sceptical re: the ‘R’ word – but i do believe there was a Jesus – and i’m sure if he was around now, he’d be having a quiet word with you).

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      Thank you for those kind words, John – you’ve no idea how cheering it is to know there are people who actually read and respond reasonably (they don’t have to agree) to thing I write and others write here on this blogsite. I’m beginning to feel quite proud of the little community we’ve established here – there are some very smart people giving their various takes and responses to events. Your late lamented PM Thatcher once said there was no such thing as society, only people and their families. In a very small way, this site proves her wrong. With three elections conceivably coming up inside the next twelve months, there’ll be lots at stake. I look forward to it.