Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The year in review

- Gordon Brown says that "Britain is better placed than most to withstand the global turbulence". Famous last words.
- The Government nationalises Northern Rock but privatises the profits.
- Actor Heath Ledger dies age 28.
- Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair says he's optimistic about peace in the region.
- Barack Obama wins the Iowa caucases unexpectedly. Hillary Clinton starts worrying.

- French President Nicolas Sarkozy marries former supermodel Carla Bruni.
- Nine civilians are killed 'accidentally' in Baghdad by US forces.
- Shannon Matthews, a nine-year-old girl from West Yorkshire, goes missing. The Sun offers a £20,000 reward.

- Business Secretary John Hutton argues that "more millionaires are needed" in Britain.
- Heather Mills is awarded £24.3m in her divorce settlement with Paul McCartney.
- Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Socialist Party secure another four years in government with a general election victory in Spain.
- Police find Shannon Matthews and arrest her mother and relatives on suspicion of abduction.

- Media tycoon and right-wing politician Silvio Berlusconi wins the Italian elections.
-In Austria, it is reported that a man called Josef Fritzl had incarcerated his daughter in a custom-built cellar for 24 years, raped her and fathered seven children by her, leaving three of them in the cellar.

- Labour suffer a humiliating defeat at the local elections. Brown admits it's a "bad night".
- Boris Johnson defeats Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral elections.
- Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin announce their £3m wedding.
- On BBC1's Question Time, chief moron Richard Littlejohn accuses Polly Toynbee of "not living in the real world". Because he does, doesn't he?

- The Government narrowly wins the 42 days detention vote.
- The UN Security Council accuses Robert Mugabe of not allowing free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
- Yet another Big Brother hits the nation right in the face. It's the ninth time in eight years.
- Football: Spain win the Euro 2008 after beating Germany in the final.

- British newspapers discuss the escalating problem of knife crime.
- Max Mosely wins £60,000 in his privacy battle against the News of The World. A rare instance of tabloid bullying being legally condemned.
- Labour is trounced by the SNP in the Glasgow East byelection.
- Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon is accused of abusing Bloc Party's Kele Okoreke.

- War erupts between Russia and Georgia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- The Bejing Olympics kick off amidst controversy over China's crap human rights record.
- Alistair Darling gets massacred by the Tory press for simply admitting the truth: this is Britain's worst economic crisis in 60 years.
- Barack Obama becomes the official Democratic nominee for the White House.
- Jeremy Paxman talks underpants and says middle-class white males are discriminated.

- John McCain's running mate, bible-belter Sarah Palin, is the talk of the town.
- The subprime mortgage crisis escalates in the US. The investment bank Lehman Brothers goes bust. In Britain, Bradford & Bingley are part-nationalised.
- Movie legend Paul Newman dies aged 83.
- The expression 'credit crunch' is literally everywhere.
- Pink Floyd's Richard Wright, 65, says farewell.
- The Sun's Fergus Shanahan pens the most appalling article of the year.

- Iceland is in the throes of a financial collapse. There are severe repercussions in Britain.
- Peter Mandelson becomes Lord and returns to the Cabinet.
- The US Presidential campaign reaches fever pitch.
- Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are in the nation's bad books.
- In the wake of a botched TV appearance, the tabloids decide Kerry Katona is bad again.

- Barack Obama is the new American President.
- Prince Charles turns 60.
- A report into the failings in the case of Baby P kickstarts the Sun and the Dail Mail's crusade against left wing councils, single mothers and social workers.
- Busy with Baby P and Karen Matthews, the country's tabloids don't seem particularly interested in reports of a British Fritzl.
- The charity single "Heroes" recorded by the X-Factor finalists reaches no.1.
- 188 people die in an islamist terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

- A series of riots erupts in Greece.
- In the US, President elect Obama names his cabinet, including Hillary Clinton.
- David Cameron accuses banks of having been irresponsible.
- Gordon Brown says he has saved the world.
- Woolworths, MFI, Zivvi and Whittard are the latest victims of the economic crisis.
- A debate starts on the idea of bailing out Jaguar.
- An Iraqi journalist throws two shoes at President Bush during his final visit to Baghdad.

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