Have a happy festive season!

Back in 2021 I wondered whether the year could be worse than 2020. It was. And this year, 2022, has been worse still: for New Zealand, certainly, it’s featured a month-long occupation of Parliament grounds that ended with a street battle such as New Zealand has not seen since 1913. We have rampant inflation created by Reserve Bank mistakes in 2020-21, which the Reserve Bank has chosen to cure by throwing New Zealand into a year-long recession.

Into this mix has come an overdue but catastrophic fall in house prices – by which I mean the risk is that part of the population will end up owing more than the property is worth, all while interest rates spiral into the stratosphere and jobs disappear, courtesy (once again) of the Reserve Bank. I used to work for them, incidentally – and I never saw anything like the circus they’re currently putting up, a farrago of basic mistakes that have sent the country careering from wild excess to crazy austerity, all at the cost of everyday people.

And that’s without the international situation, which grows worse by the week. So yeah, it’s been tough. I’ve been focusing on trying to make a living as a writer, which is increasingly difficult. One of the casualties has been this blog, to which I haven’t had the time to pay full attention for a while.

A scene from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Public domain, via https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

Still, it’s Christmas. Time for a pause, time to take a break and – hopefully – reset everything for a better 2023.

As I said last year, I hope the festive season brings you joy, time to relax, and a moment to enjoy the company of friends and family.

Have a good one, my friends. And I’ll be back blogging next year. See you in 2023.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2022

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18 thoughts on “Have a happy festive season!

  1. I think everywhere seems to be really struggling after world events. After 13 years of austerity our government’s plan, after Truss tanked the economy, is… more austerity!! Genius stuff.

    Still, Merry Christmas and have a great New Year. We can hope for better things in 2023. There’s always wine in the meantime. Or at least tea. And escapism in general.

    Or in my case 10 days off shortly. Gonna enjoy that, fo sho!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This austerity idea, all the while wealthy billionaires get wealthier by the day, seems fairly universal, but I suppose politicians think it’s fair. After all, the poor have had it too good for too long – time the rich got something. Hopefully 2023 will be better. Or 2024. Er – shall we try for 2025?

      Tell me more about this curious idea of a ‘holiday’ (whatever that word means). 10 days off? Next thing everybody will be asking Bumble the Beadle for more gruel,

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      1. “the poor have had it too good for too long – time the rich got something” – Exactly what Truss said earlier this year. The Tories aren’t on planet Earth, sadly, but it does seem universal with politicans.

        I’ll take my 10 days orf (British way of saying it) to stick it to the system. At least in a minor way.

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        1. Don’t get me started on politicians! Here in NZ our PM, Ardern, who’s made a brand of being ‘kind’, referred to the leader of a minor party, David Seymour, as an ‘arrogant prick’. As far as I can tell this wasn’t really an insult, more a kind of clear statement of fact. Anyhow, Mr Seymour took due umbrage and Ardern had to apologise. Seymour then had the Hansard extract printed, signed it, got Ardern to counter-sign it, and they jointly presented it in a frame to charity auction which apparently raised $60,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Only in NZ, a small island nation which appears to be located on the outskirts of Wibble, a city on Mars. (Story is here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300768092/jacinda-ardern-and-david-seymours-arrogant-prick-charity-auction-reaches-60000 ) Time for a week off…

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          1. That’s… well, $60,000 to a good cause I guess. That wasn’t covered in the UK. The Telegraph is saying she’s turned NZ into a “nanny state” but they’re always complaining about that here.

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  2. I agree that 2022 has been a rather nasty year overall. Here in Canada we had our capital’s central area (although not Parliament itself) under occupation by the “Freedom Convoy”. The Federal Government invoked the biggest cannon in its internal order arsenal – The Emergencies Act. A Parliamentary enquiry was convened to investigate if this were a case of overreach. We are still waiting the official report, but much of the evidence garnered suggests that the unprecedented use of the Act (first time ever invoked) was or should have been completely avoidable save for an abysmal failure in leadership at all three levels of government. Civil liberties and human rights in Canada seem to be more and more fragile and subject to the whims of a small coterie of insiders with dubious motives.
    We too are watching economic conditions deteriorate and ordinary folks struggling ever more to meet basic needs. We have some big talkers running both our internal and foreign affairs while stifling some no-brainer economic winners in the name of going above and beyond for climate change prestige.
    Nevertheless, I hope for better things for all well-meaning and fair-minded people, and the best for you and all your readers.

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  3. The world seems to be a particularly rough place right now. I just keep trying to remember that I have a front row seat to some kind of major moment in history. Enjoy the holidays, and may 2023 bring you much joy and success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And the same to you and family. As for being in the front row of a major historical moment – yes, absolutely. I think the next few years will be on par with any of the great pivotal changes of the last few hundred years, maybe more so. A fascinating time to be in, really.

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  4. Wow, Matthew. I thought we had it bad in UK what with the Johnson debacle, the Truss debacle, the crazy renewal of austerity, the Brexit Elephant no one can talk about, a wave of strikes that government ignores, the BoE raising interest rates to stop inflation caused by energy prices, the Ukraine war and the conundrum of how much to help, which never gets discussed… Sounds like NZ has its own crosses to bear. All to a background of climate breakdown and inevitably more chaos. Crazy times! Enjoy the ‘festive’ break!

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    1. Thank you – and I hope you have a good one too. The NZ situation hasn’t particularly made world news but it’s been big enough here. I used to work for the Reserve Bank and the way it’s lost grip is astonishing. But here’s to a happy festive season and – hopefully – a better 2023.

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  5. Australia hasn’t lurched into recession…yet…but it’s on the cards with the Reserve Bank pulling the same levers as its equivalent in NZ. I don’t know what the right levers would be, but as someone on a fixed income [pension], making ends meet is becoming harder and harder with each week. What truly scares me is that the measures agreed to by Federal parliament [mostly] will not bring our utilities explosion down, they will merely make the explosion smaller. Which means things will become a lot worse before they have any hope of getting better. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is having a bonanza. That makes me angry. I would really like to see world governments lower the boom on all of them.
    The sooner our dependence on fossil fuels dies a death, the happier I’ll be. -sigh-
    In the meantime, I wish you and yours an oasis of peace over the holiday season. See you next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have but one lever: setting the wholesale price of renting money (AKA Official Cash Rate). It’s a very blunt hammer for dealing with the subtleties of mass human behaviour, which is what the economy actually constitutes. They forget that, sometimes. Doubtless all will become clear in the next few months, but meanwhile, as you say, let’s look to an oasis of peace over the holiday season! All the best, and see you in 2023!

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