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Iain Anderson

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What Happened to the End of 2012?

Posted: 26/12/2012 23:00

Is it me - or don't you just feel that 2012 is going out with a whimper rather than a bang?

As I write this the world is supposed to have ended. While Mayan observers predicted the end of the world on 21 December, it seems many Britons went into hibernation in the middle of the month.

I'm told the biggest night for Christmas parties in London - still the biggest motor of the UK economy - was Thursday 13 December. With the inevitable hangover effects - I have found it more and more difficult to get hold of people in the week running up to Christmas than ever before.

My tweetdeck has been lighting up doing useful things with contacts on Linkedin - while email traffic has dropped into the floor.

The number of yellow lights 'on' on London cabs late night in the West End during the Christmas period seems to be at an all-time high. "It just seems people stopped working in the middle of the month," said one cabbie to me the other day. He was so keen to have my business he cut the fare by around 20%.

So what is going on?

Taking a long festive break became a right of passage in the UK from the late 1990s when large companies shut down for longer to prepare for the Millenium Bug. Remember that. All the lights were supposed to go off and your video recorder, computer and toaster were set to break down.

But while the end of the world did not arrive - more and more people have decided that a long festive break is now the norm.

The second major factor in my mind has been the financial crisis. Most people in work are working harder than ever before and, with the advent of 24 hour technology, we are all less able to switch off.

The third factor has to be four to five years of austerity - or at least continued economic uncertainty. It's having an effect on us all.

2012 proved to be a wonderful year for the UK. None of us will ever forget our golden summer of Jubliee and Olympic joy.

Perhaps that's it - we just partied too hard.

I see the Pope has joined the twitterati. Infact he has gone completely media-tastic writing an op-ed in the FT the other day. You have to read it. He points to encouraging more hope rather than fear in 2013.

Perhaps that's what we all need.

 

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