Despite starting the year under lockdown, and despite the disaster that is Brexit and the uncertainty of quite how catastrophic it will prove to be, many are entering 2021 in the hope that it will be a better year for Scotland, the UK and the planet.

Most positively, on a global level, we will soon see Donald Trump leaving the White House, voluntarily or otherwise. Trump is, of course, still refusing to accept defeat. In fact, there is speculation that he may boycott Joe Biden’s inauguration. This would be only the second time in recent history that an ex-president has failed to witness the swearing-in of his successor, the previous time being the inauguration of Lyndon Johnson, when John F. Kennedy had a pretty watertight excuse for not turning up.

Over the last four years, many lazy commentators have compared Trump to Adolf Hitler. However, they did deal with defeat in much the same way. Hitler spent his last days hunkered in his underground shelter, refusing to accept that the Allies had won World War II. Trump, when not tweeting about being cheated in the election, has been hiding on the golf course. Both of their careers came to an end in a bunker.

Biden may not be the most inspiring or exciting politician on the planet, but he is a great example of someone refusing to give up on their dreams. He has been trying to reach The White House for thirty-six years. In UK terms, that is akin to Neil Kinnock finally becoming Prime Minister. Coincidentally, Biden allegedly lifted large chunks of a speech by Kinnock, when he first ran for president in 1984. I can only speculate as to how confused the voters must have been at the Connecticut primary, wondering why one of the candidates was making such a fuss about Militant infiltration of Liverpool City Council.

Of course, it’s not just Trump leaving the stage. Towards the end of 2020, we also saw the back of Dominic Cummings and The Yorkshire Ripper. It’s difficult to tell who was the more evil of those two. Only joking, of course, everyone knows it was Dominic Cummings.

Here in Scotland, we finally have a summer to look forward to, having eventually qualified for a major football tournament for the first time this century.

While the team had a fantastic unbeaten run in games behind closed doors, leaving us to think that the Tartan Army had been holding them back all these years, it would be a boost to have supporters in the stadiums and watching the games in fan zones across the country. Wearing a kilt and a ginger Jimmy wig, getting legless and dancing in fountains, singing ‘We’ll be Coming Down the Road’ or ‘Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie’ just won’t seem the same if we can only do it on Zoom.

That will, of course, be possible, if enough fans have had the Covid vaccine by June. That is, of course, the vaccine that we will be importing from Belgium, assuming all the millions of the phials of the much-trumpeted vaccine are not held up for weeks in lorry parks in Kent, or stuck in forty-mile traffic jams on the M20. That’s if they ever make it through the endless customs checks and paperwork that will exist on each side of the Channel if this blundering, feckless government continues its game of bluster with Brussels.

Hopefully, we can look forward to a better year once the treatment is rolled to everyone, although some are sceptical. Indeed, as it has mainly been administered so far to people over the age of ninety, it’s far too early for medics to establish whether incontinence, memory loss or death are side effects of the vaccine or not.

UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has said that he too would be prepared to take his jab live on TV ‘if it were to save lives’. However, I’m reckoning this was a slip of the tongue, and that he meant to say he would do so ‘if it were to save my job’.

Maybe other ministers should also volunteer to do similar public-health related stunts. Like Michael Gove getting a prostate examination live on TV. Or, Jacob Rees-Mogg undergoing a much-needed vasectomy without anaesthetic live on TV. Or, Priti Patel having to shit on a stick to provide a stool sample, live on TV. That would be one way to put smiles on the public’s faces at the start of 2021. Happy New Year.

Vladimir McTavish hopes to be performing again somewhere, sometime, and in person before the end of 2021!