Careful, we hold the trump cards

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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You would normally look back at the year when it is at an end but recent events have forced me to examine 2016 with immediate effect.

It has been an odd year, a weird year, a year where things that were not supposed to happen, actually did.

It’s almost as if something has fundamentally changed, the world seems to have spun slightly off its axis and completely upended the status quo (No, not the denim clad beat combo).

It’s a year that has dispensed with the services of an inordinate amount of talented people; David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett and Muhammad Ali have all left the party, leading some to speculate that 2016 is a cursed year.

Indeed, anyone who has witnessed the dancing (?) of Ed Balls on Strictly, or the rapping (?) of Honey G on the X Factor, might be inclined to agree with that theory of supernatural malevolence.

The joke is usually over by now on these shows, but in 
this year of the strange, who would bet against them winning?

After all, nobody foresaw the minnows of Leicester beating their much richer rivals to the Premier League title, if we had, we would all have paid off our mortgages by now and been spared the sight of Gary Lineker in his smalls.

But perhaps the biggest jolts have been political ones, with the aftershocks still being felt all around the world.

First we had Brexit, which stunned this country’s ruling political elite and then in America Donald Trump upset the liberal applecart completely, by winning the race to the White House, a building which will probably now get a coat of gold paint.

Both results were a huge shock for the establishment, but both events showcased perfectly the frustration and anger of the disenfranchised, the ignored, the people who have been left behind.

I have cautioned our local politicians before, both here in this column and privately, about ignoring public opinion and failing to listen to common sense.

Cable cars and solar farms aside, Marco Cereste came up with some great ideas for this city, but he was ultimately undone by his ego and a failure to communicate his vision to the public.

Like it or not though, under his stewardship as leader, the city centre has been completely transformed, although I can only eat so much food, so how about a couple of new bars to improve the night time offer (give Mick Thurlby a call at the Crown in Stamford, he knows his onions)?

It might be dangerous, but recent events have proved that we are prepared to put a rocket underneath the whole system, just to see what happens.

2016 has proved that anything is possible and some are worried that this could this be the start of the west’s very own Arab spring, with established parties and systems falling across the globe.

Political leaders, locally, nationally and internationally had better start listening to the people that elect them because it seems we, the little folks, have had enough.

The genie is out of the bottle; heed the warning or prepare to be Trumped.