Last night, just as I went to bed (seriously, grow up), I did something that always pleases me (sheesh). When I turn the light off, I get a little thrill every time, just watching the LEDs fade slowly away in the darkness. I have no idea why this is so delightful, but it is.
It’s like that moment when you immediately see four pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that fit together.
Or when you hear someone say the word ‘Fireman’, and automatically do an impression of Mickey from The League Of Gentlemen.
Or when you pass a car wash on a hot day, and it sprays you with a mist of cool, refreshing water.
Or when you make the perfect cup of tea.
Or when you compose a text message without any typos first time.
Or when you first land on the moon and step down from the ladder and get your opening line right.
In the 1990s, Norway realised that its windfall from the discovery and exploitation of North Sea Oil would eventually come to an end. Where the UK had used this new revenue to fund massive Thatcherite tax cuts, Norway realised that it had to protect this money for future generations. With audacious foresight, the country began investing all of the oil revenue into assets abroad.
The sovereign wealth fund is now worth over a trillion dollars.
It owns 1.3% of every listed company in the world, and is ethically managed, sometimes even voting against large companies such as Apple on corporate governance issues.
It is worth $192,000 per person in Norway.
And the Government allows itself to use 4% of the fund in its own budget.
The fund is growing so big that this number might need to be revised downwards.
No doubt there are valid counter-arguments to this approach, and that the way the UK did it was sensible too, but I can’t help feeling it’s another way we pissed everything up the wall (see also Right To Buy).
It’s been a bad year, for so many people, for so many reasons. It might be cathartic to list all the bags that have been filled with shite, and use creative swear words to vent some pent up impotent rage, but that would make this blog about eight days long, and we’d still only scratch the surface.
That said, I have figured out one simple thing we can all do in 2018 that will stop things getting worse and worse every day.