SADLY, the path into 2024 is not strewn with rose petals.
This is a year of momentous choice — between sliding off a socialist cliff or sputtering back into life like an old biplane taking flight.
Who will seize the moment and transform UK plc into one of Europe’s most successful economies?
Did I hear anyone screaming: “Sir Keir Starmer KC”?
Does Labour’s leftie human rights lawyer, aka “Sir Shifty”, really float your boat?
Maybe your cheers were drowned out by shouts of: “Anyone but the Tories.” Especially with Nigel Farage on the prowl.
But Tory PM Rishi Sunak does at least believe in putting the “Great” back into GB.
Starmer’s priorities are the Labour Party, its six million public sector voters — and Brussels.
Veteran Labour MP Jon Cruddas nailed it yesterday: “It is difficult to identify the purpose of a Starmer government — what he seeks to accomplish beyond achieving office,” he said.
In the privacy of his own home, Sir Shifty may be kind and charming, the life and soul of the party.
But after four years as Labour leader he has proved a thin-skinned, humourless political dud.
Even as the keys to No 10 are pressed into his hand by suicidal Tories, he needs to rely for ideas on New Labour has-been Tony Blair and an even shiftier Peter Mandelson.
It was Blair who gave us uncontrolled mass immigration and smeared critics as “racist”.
Now it emerges he was a closet “extremist” who wanted to turn Tobermory, on the Scottish island of Mull, into a holding camp.
We do know “Sir Shifty” would tax us until our eyes bleed — including £28BILLION a year on zero emission fantasies — and splurge on pay rises for those public sector pals.
He will reverse Brexit, rejoin the EU, hand immigration control to Brussels and make UK taxpayers pay through the nose for more queue jumpers.
This shape-shifting peacenik masquerades as a soldier in battle fatigues but he won’t say what makes a man different to a woman.
Still, as Labour legend Nye Bevan said: “You don’t have to gaze into a crystal ball when you can read an open book.”
Dip into the horrible history of Welsh Labour, or London mayoral political pygmy Sadiq Khan, or Labour’s disastrous reign in Scotland before being swept out by the SNP.
Indeed, the SNP itself, a socialist tartan rabble, differs from Labour only in its insane obsession with independence.
Labour has wrecked the fragile Welsh economy by obsessing over Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
NHS patients flee to England for treatment they cannot get at home.
But the best “open book” of all is London, where Khan reveals the ugly side of Labour in power.
I am not talking about his looks. Khan thinks he resembles George Clooney!
In his seven sullen years at City Hall, council tax has soared 70 per cent, some motorists pay £12.50 a day to use a car plus a £15 congestion charge — to sit in gridlock.
Knife crimes run at 40 a day.
Drug gangs have turned streets into war zones.
Police stand by while pro-Hamas rallies paralyse the West End every week.
Yet it is Khan’s job to hold the Met Commissioner to account for a “professional, efficient and effective” policing.
Remember this, Khan’s driving ambition is to succeed Starmer as Labour leader and become our Prime Minister.
Read the book.
Wherever Labour holds power, voters pay through the nose for shoddy public services while action on crime, drugs, housing, schools and health care goes missing.
All this cash from hard-pressed taxpayers and motorists is squandered on the sprawling public sector — the hidden unemployed who “work” three days a week, from home.
The Stupid Party
Still feel comfy with Sir Shifty? You have a year to decide.
Nobody expects peace and goodwill to break out among warring Tories. They really are The Stupid Party.
But Sunak is at least getting the economy in shape.
Inflation is plunging.
We are on track to outgrow France and Germany for a decade.
Taxes will fall. So will immigration.
So here’s wishing you all a very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year, from cartoon wizard Brighty and me.
‘Just tell the truth’
KEMI BADENOCH fans won’t be surprised to see her leading Tory polls as favourite for next party leader, eclipsing her closest rivals Penny Mordaunt and Suella Braverman.
Until she emerged in the 2019 leadership race, the outspoken, gutsy Business Secretary was virtually unknown outside Westminster.
Since then she has trampled all over the eggshells so feared by other politicians, bringing a breath of fresh air to the fraudulent debate over race, gender and privilege.
Her recipe for a Tory revival is refreshingly simple: “Just tell the truth.”
Worth at least a tenner, if you’re going to the bookies.