Ever since Brexit, and particularly ever since Trump’s victory in November, the sneering classes have embarked on a never ending gloomfest, combined with the sort of pejorative name calling that they would unhesitatingly oppose if it weren’t directed at (old) white males. This has caused the rest of us a certain amount of glee and allowed us to coin the extremely useful word Schadenboner (or π•Ύπ–ˆπ–π–†π–‰π–Šπ–“π–‡π–”Μˆπ–“π–Šπ–— – it looks even better mit die umlauts in fraktur).

My schadenboner is impressive

Most wonderfully we are now coming upon the time of the year when the punditocracy do their “year in review” columns. Just hopping over to the Grauniad is a sure and certain way to have that naughty Schadenboner return in full glory, though I admit that Paul Krugman’s NY Times meltdowns are also Schadenbonertastic as are many other NYT and Wapo columns.

To return to the Grauniad, let me draw your attention to this woeful column by Polly Toynbee. It is filled with some absolute gems such as this near the start:

What has become of us, what will become of our children and grandchildren? How did our world turn upside down in 2016 and leave us with no hope? It was becoming a wailathon.
Everything liberal and left that people feel they have striven for all their lives seems suddenly to have been grubbed up by the roots and rejected. The dark world of Brexit, and the yet darker coming Trump universe, have snuffed out our sense of history.

But as we go down a bit we realize just why the poor lady (whose family wealth and writing income sticks her solidly in the 1% BTW) simply doesn’t get it

We were taught that history was an onward march: things would always get better. There were backward steps – wars, the depression, the Thatcher years – but surely the path to improvement and enlightenment would be found again.

It’s the throwaway bit about how the “Thatcher years” were a backward step that shows the problem. Ms Toynbee has no excuse whatsoever for her misinterpretation of the Thatcher years since she was an adult in the 1970s and should therefore recall the dire times pre-Thatcher. Mrs T unlocked a prosperity boom that lasted until 2008.

Similarly there’s the obligatory bit about Europe which is equally indicative and misleading:

Edward Heath took us into Europe and opened out a little our island mentality. The advantages seemed obvious: holidays, football teams, Erasmus, free trade, MEPs together in one European parliament must mean friendship with neighbours so like us in culture, history and democratic purpose.

What Mr Heath took the UK into was a thing called the EEC. It was an ECONOMIC partnership and a free trade area at a time (the 1970s) where tariffs were globally high. The EEC (and the EU) had bugger all to do with Football. or Erasmus (him being dead a few hundred years ago) and as for Holidays, that was more due to the lifting of idiotic currency controls than the EU. And as for cultural and historic similarities? I suppose being at war with Europe for most of the last millennium is a bit of shared history. Culturally the UK has been very unlike the continental European states in that it has been a maritime nation that looked out beyond Europe and also one that has managed to move from absolute monarchy to democracy with only one serious civil war. And she follows that up with the usual tonedeaf glorying of refugees:

Look how refugees fleeing despots and those touched by civil wars seek Europe as a haven of human rights, peace and democracy. This was ours; this is what we have just rejected, spurring ripples of rejection across the continent.
The refugee crisis can in large part be blamed on European politicians who bloviated over the Arab spring and gave no actual useful support to secular revolutionaries, along of course with Ms Merkel running her mouth off about welcoming them. The refugees aren’t being rejected in Germany and France because the UK has rejected them, they are being rejected because they rape and kill people.
Finally of course, one must not forget the obligatory there’s the Trump gloom
If there was a moment’s hope that Donald Trump would be muzzled by wise advisers, we have seen it dissipate with each new appointment. Here comes government by billionaires, climate change deniers, truth rejecters, human rights debunkers; erratic rule via Twitter at 3am.

Government by billionaires is a bit rich when we recall that the current US Secretary of State John Kerry is married to one while his predecoessor, Hillary Clinton, is a mere hundred millionaire. And, personally, the appointment climate change skeptics is one of the better things about Trumps picks, although I’ll say I’ve been remarkably impressed with most of them. I won’t say I personally would have picked them but they have been a lot more small government / libertarian and a lot less sneering-class statist than I feared.