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Unforgettable events in a year best forgotten: Mitch Benn’s brief guide to 2021

Who could forget the last 12 months .. even if we all want to? MITCH BENN looks back at 2021 and some of the key events that made it such an, ahem, interesting year.

Just some of the people who made 2021 such a, ahem, interesting year. Capitol riot man, Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo and TV's Piers Morgan


Epiphany, the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas and the day on which, traditionally, Christmas decorations are taken down.  At the Capitol in Washington DC, overenthusiastic volunteers arrived in their hundreds to take down the decorations and, in the process, nearly succeeded in taking down the whole building and, indeed, democracy itself.


The aforementioned shenanigans having failed to derail the American democratic process (this time), the inauguration went ahead two weeks later of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.  All over the world, friendly nations watched in awe and reverence as Bernie Sanders somehow managed to upstage the entire event simply by wearing oversized mittens and looking a bit bored.


The mega-freighter Ever Given jammed the Suez Canal for nearly a week, having run aground while apparently trying to traverse the canal sideways, never a good idea even when your vessel ISN’T 400 metres long.  After six days the ship was dislodged; there’s still some confusion as to how, although there was a global shortage of Ex-Lax for some weeks thereafter. 

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Prince Philip died, two months short of his 100th birthday, thus preventing what would otherwise have been the shortest distance ever travelled by a telegram.

MAY 29

Carrie Symonds submitted her application for the Nobel Prize for optimism by marrying Boris Johnson, a man for whom “fidelity” means something to do with stereos. Despite Mr. Johnson being twice divorced, the couple were allowed to get married in a Catholic service in Westminster Cathedral, thus proving that even GOD’s rules don’t apply to Boris.


At the G7 conference in Cornwall, the leaders of the world’s leading economies managed to get some meetings done in between celebrating the fact that Donald Trump wasn’t there.


Having been hounded out of Britain for the heinous crime of being royal while black, the Duchess of Kent – and her husband – gave a frank interview to Oprah Winfrey which was seen around the world and created such a surge of sympathy for the couple that Piers Morgan self-destructed on live TV. Morgan, meanwhile, couldn’t even succeed in his attempt to become Britain’s Most Annoying Piers.


Health Secretary Matt “Hands” Hancock brought a premature end to a glittering career by getting off with his aide Gina Coladangelo right in view of a CCTV camera. It’s still not known who leaked the images but I’m sure having to leave the Health Department in the middle of a botched pandemic will have caused Mr. Hancock no end of distress. I’m sure he never once glances at the news and thinks “Boy, am I glad that’s not my gig any more”.


Freedom Day! Boris Johnson attempted to weaponise nominative determinism by ending all COVID restrictions, because the virus had been defeated once and for all and NOT because he was bored with it. Satisfied with the success of this effort, he is understood to have decided to declare the date of the next general election as Everyone Votes For Me Day.


An unexpected beneficiary of the billionaire space race, William “Captain James T. Kirk” Shatner followed a lifetime of pretending to go into space by actually going into space (and becoming, at the age of 90, the oldest human yet to do so). Whether more movie and TV stars follow in Shatner’s chemtrail remains to be seen, although we understand that Sean Bean has NOT been invited to participate (there’s life imitating art and then there’s just asking for trouble).

A couple of non date-specific ones:


Not to be confused with LFTs (although in the age of Cameo it can only be a matter of time before some cash-strapped sleb tries to flog their used COVID test online for a million dollars), Non- Fungible Tokens turned the art world on its head as “digitally unique” virtual items started to be snapped up for vast sums of money by people who, presumably, have been to Salt Bae’s ten-grand-a-head steakhouse a few too many times and are running out of things to squander their obscene wealth on.

The good news is this very column is a Non-Fungible Token!  The bad news is that now you’ve read it you owe me half a million pounds.


Has ever an issue so split the people? Have we ever been so divided? Has there ever been such a gulf between sensible responsible adults on the one hand and swivel-eyed delusional lunatics on the other? Can we ever come together again? Do we really want to come together with those dingbats? Can’t we just load the vaccine into tranquiliser darts and hunt the nutters down? Would that really be so bad?

Ah, whatever. At the risk of tempting fate, a very happy 2022 to you all.

*Braces self*

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