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Paul Kirkley: An alphabetical autopsy of a suboptimal year – we are not living in a Barbie world

Firstly, are you okay?

I hope so. Because, let’s face it, it’s been another suboptimal year on this benighted rock we call planet Earth, hasn’t it? What with… everything. But congratulations on making it to the end. And before we bury 2023 for good, there’s just time for my traditional alphabetical autopsy of the highs and lows – okay, mainly the lows – of the past 12 months. After which, let’s never speak of it again. Agreed?

A is for Age Limit. Specifically, Rishi Sunak’s plan to raise the smoking age limit by one year, every year, until eventually no-one can buy cigarettes at all. Which, to be fair, is not a bad health policy – but it does mean that, at some point in the future, we’ll face the delightfully bonkers prospect of 75-year-olds popping into the newsagent’s to illegally buy fags for their under-age, 74-year-old mates.

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