Westie's Christmas Message, 2014

Hi there Everyone!

Here we are again - another year, another dollar, with both it seems to be even shorter than last year!

CAPNews hopes that your lot is as you would want it and that you are suitably prepared and ready for the festivities and celebrations about to commence - and that you all have a wonderful, joyful and peaceful Christmas and that 2015 brings us all health and happiness - we could all, surely, do with both!

A few years ago our Gracious Majesty made reference, in her annual Christmas address to her subjects, that her year (at least) had been something of an 'Annus horribilis'. Well, while we can't naturally speak for how her lot might have been of late - although from an outside reflection, it does seem to have been a bit more promising, what with royal romances, weddings and heirs to the throne - thankfully in that order! - CAPNews feels that her reversion to the Latin could well be aptly applied to the state of the World's affairs over the past year!

What with the behaviour - atrocities would be a more appropriate word - over the past twelve months, of some of its subjects - particularly of some of the peoples from around the 'middling areas' - it has been far from a good year! Memorable maybe, but sadly for all the wrong reasons.

Until this last year, CAPNews suggests that many of us would never have heard of the word 'caliphate' or the term 'ISIS' - whereas now barely a news broadcast goes by without some reference to one or the other, or indeed some other dissident radical group - in association with yet another quite appalling terrorist abomination somewhere, bringing misery or death to many people. Indeed of the two conditions, some of the atrocities have been so horrific that death has sometimes been the better of the two outcomes!

What it is that brings any human being to perpetrate the sorts of horrific attack on a another human being, is quite beyond belief - and in many (even indeed most) instances, on innocent women and children of their own communities and beliefs.

Many argue that 'yet again, religion is behind it all' - many of those carrying out the dreadful acts even claim to be doing what they do, because 'their God is telling them to do it'! How appalling is that! No Deity, whichever one might believe (or indeed disbelieve) in, would ever encourage or condone such actions! Insanity would be the closest that one could come to, in explaining such evil but that would do a dis-service to those sadly suffering a mental disorder. How it will all end, one can only hope - but with the weaponry around these days, the world is in very worrying and dangerous times!

Thankfully, while 'some' may have been trying to destroy the world - or at least those of us who have different beliefs to their own - nature over the past year seems to have been doing its best to balance things out, by 'quietening down' a touch. True, while there have still been a few 'natural' disasters, which sadly, have still caused dreadful misery to many, they don't appear to have been not quite so prolific, or devastating, as in some recent years.

If anything 2014, seems to have been as much a year of remembrance - what with the tenth anniversary of the tsunami coming up on Boxing Day, and 2014 also being the Centenary of the start of the First World War. Both events have brought sombre reflection, and it is hard to realise that it is ten years since the dreadful tidal wave swept across the Indian ocean, leaving over a quarter of a million people dead and another one and a half million homeless, in its wake.

Seeing and hearing some of the recent programs on the television and radio of how things are today for so many of the people effected - and indeed hearing some of the amazing stories of people's survival and how they have rebuilt both their homes and their lives - has been truly inspirational and uplifting. With that sort of human endeavour, there has to be some hope for the future - despite the horrors of the misguided!

If any further proof was needed that there are still many who value life - and indeed demonstrate the deep respect for those who have lost theirs - one only had to see the field of ceramic poppies that was 'planted' in the moat surrounding the Tower of London during the year, to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War and to remember all those British men and women who gave their lives fighting in it, for - lest we forget - the freedom and liberty that we so enjoy today!

In the final days drawing up to Remembrance Sunday - when the last of the 888,246 poppies was 'planted', reflecting each and every one of those who had lost a life - many tens of thousands of people flocked to the site to pay their own personal, silent and sombre homage to all who had died in that dreadful - and many still believe, futile - conflict.

If there was anything that could have brought home the horrors of warfare, its total senselessness and the ultimate price paid by so many, then the Tower of London's poppy field, was it!

Inspirational and Magnificent!

When it comes to 'Inspiration' however the top prize must go to Malala Yousafzai who, jointly with Kailash Satyarthi, was duly awarded the Nobel Peace prize for 2014, for her work in the struggle against the suppression of female children, and their right to receive a proper education.

Malala was the young Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, following her much publicised work as a female activist for female education, which was at the time, banned by the Taliban. She had to be air-borne to England where she underwent a very delicate (indeed very dangerous) operation to remove a bullet from her brain.

Following intensive care in England, she fully recovered to continue her challenge to the bigotry of the Taliban, carrying on her work to promote children's education and young girls rights in particular, in the country of her birth, as well as the rest of the world.

Acknowledgement of her efforts, and the courage she showed, was universally acclaimed when she was honoured with the joint award this year - following which she was then invited to speak to the whole assembly of the United Nations.

If ever the world was making a statement to those oppressing the advancement and development of young females generally, then that acclaim must surely be it! A truly remarkable young woman!

As for the rest of the year, and to lighten the mood - on a totally trivial note - England's gallant footballers and cricketers demonstrated their total ineptitude with admirable (not to say of course, embarrassing) stoic resilience and fortitude, whilst the Scots tried (but failed) valiantly to sever the ties of the Sassenachs' bondage! True they did win some concessions for their cause towards self determination and governance, but it was, we fear, something of a hollow victory! (Now come on all you Scots, be fair, give the Editor a bit of licence, he's really only joshing! Honest!)

It was good to see that some efforts (apparently) are being made to make the Bankers accountable for all their misdeeds, and the resultant suffering that the rest of us have had to endure over the past few years - they really are a greedy, thieving rabble! Hopefully the miscreants will one day get their comeuppance, and some retribution will be forthcoming, but we advise not to hold one's breath!

It's very disappointing that the pedestals of so many of those in the institutions - such as the World of Entertainment, the Clergy, Politicians, the Medical and Legal professions - that as children, we tended to look up to and respect, are today crumbling! We suspect that it is not so much that these citadels are, as such. falling down but that our awareness is now putting them where they have probably always been anyway. Frankly they are just part of the human race like the rest of us - but sadly, that means there will be some 'failing' along the way!

Anyway, that's enough for the moment. Let's end on a high and optimistic note! While there may have been a few 'downs' there have been plenty of 'ups' and CAPNews reckons 2015 is going to be a great year.

So, lets wish that for all their madness, the dissidents in the world will come to their senses and stop their marauding and violence, neighbouring peoples and those of different beliefs and culture will learn to live together in tolerance, harmony and friendship - despite their differences - that governments will work harder together to better the lots of their respective peoples, and somewhat flippantly, that the Trustees of the CAP Pension Scheme will have a re-think on their decision to cap the pre 1977 pensions, and finally and most importantly of all, that England win the Rugby World Cup being held in England next September!

CAPNews trusts you all have (and for those of you who may only be reading this next May, had!) a marvellous, joyful and happy Christmas and that 2015 is an Annus Mirabilis ('Wonderful Year') and brings you good health and everything you wish for!

Cheers for now!

Westie

Read the 2013 missive here