Editor’s comment January 2014
PUBLISHED: 11:12 02 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:02 02 January 2014
Cotswold Life’s editor, Mike Lowe, shows off his ambitious foresight, looking ahead not to 2014, but 2024!
It’s at this time of year that editors across the country sit down with a mug of Ovaltine and a chocolate digestive to pen an uplifting and encouraging message for their readers as we head into 2014. But that’s a bit boring, for me as well as you, so let’s give it a spin and instead think about what might be happening in 2024. Here are the headlines:
I am glad to tell you that the redevelopment of King’s Square in Gloucester could be only months away. The Golden Egg building, which was demolished a decade ago, has finally given up all of its archaeological secrets and Parisian-style street cafes and a nice fountain could be in place by the end of the year. [Note: This is eerily similar to the story we printed on the front page of The Citizen on the first day I began my job as editor of that fine newspaper... in 1989. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.]
In transport news, the horrendous jams on the A417 from the Cowley roundabout to the Air Balloon pub could soon be solved. The latest plan under consideration by the Highways Agency involves loading traffic onto a conveyor belt of large gliders and then flying cars and lorries down to Brockworth. Meanwhile Fifth Great Western has defended its punctuality record on the Gloucester to Paddington route on the grounds that the man with the red flag can only walk at 4mph.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is facing a difficult year in Parliament. Since the public’s disillusionment with party politics led to a complete overhaul of our democratic system whereby only centrally-funded independent candidates, fully accountable to their constituents, could be elected, the quality of our representatives has increased ten-fold. However, as Boris says, it can be a little like herding cats.
On the food front, I am delighted to announce that the Star Bistro, the invention of Cotswold chef Sir Rob Rees, has just gained its first Michelin star. The inspectors were particularly impressed by a dish of locust and dragonfly terrine with a bee sauce. Meanwhile the government’s Budget for Beef campaign, under which families pay into a savings fund all year so they can afford a prime cut of Cotswold topside at Christmas, has been judged a great success.
The controversy over car-parking charges in Cirencester continues, with the council insisting that a fee of £137.50 an hour is not to blame for the difficulties faced by local retailers and is definitely not, oh no, subsidising a council tax rate that hasn’t increased in a decade.
Finally, in rural affairs, the gradual repeal of the ban on hunting has now returned the sport to the pre-2004 situation, with the only remaining restrictions being that the Master must wear a Kiss Me Quick hat at all times while at least one terrier man must carry a peacock in a saucepan.
So there we have it. Happy New Year... even if it is a decade early.
This article is from the January 2014 issue of Cotswold Life.
For more from Mike Lowe, follow him on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor