Blue Monday and ‘unclear’ deterrents…

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Apparently today is Blue Monday – officially the “most miserable day of the year” according to the Daily Express this morning. The Sun raises our spirits with the thought that one in four animals suffer from depression.

I have to say that our cat didn’t appear unusually downhearted this morning, just the same content, empty-headed self, blissfully alert to all of life’s varied opportunities (new tin of food, push the biscuits on the floor, pop outside, come back in for a long sleep, scratch something you’re not meant to scratch).

No, I’d say cats had it sorted.

Today might be Blue Monday if you are Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader is pictured on the front of The Sun as a giant bomb (“OFF HIS WAR HEAD”) for saying that the UK should retain the fleet of Trident submarines but send them to sea without any nuclear warheads.

Mostly this idea has not been well received in the newspapers, with the Sun’s reaction being the most extreme, dismissing his “peacenik plan” while an academic in the Daily Telegraph describes the idea as “patently daft”.

I think it probably is mad, a crazy compromise brought about by Jeremy Corbyn sensibly hating nuclear weapons while at the same time not wishing to alienate union members who fears jobs will be lost if the nuclear deterrent were scrapped.

Yes, a daft idea – but surely no more regrettable than us not being able to even talk about dismantling our nuclear arsenal. Is it sensible to want to blow £100 billion or whatever – the figure is never precise, but it is huge – on a questionable insurance policy?

Politicians on all sides cling to our nuclear deterrent because they like to look strong, to cut a military swagger in their pinstriped suits. But does our blind adherence to nuclear bombs still make sense in a changed world?

Such questions are worth asking, but Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to, in effect, shell out billions for the guns, as it were, but not supply any bullets does seem half-baked.

And this is a shame because his honest opposition to nuclear weapons is, to this voter, one of his more appealing qualities.

As for Blue Monday, any day of the week must seem blue to the Labour leader as he looks to see how his latest statements have been disparaged or ridiculed in the newspapers.

Away from politics, there is advice in the papers this morning about circumventing this supposedly dismal day. Suggestions offered to lift the post-Christmas blues include hitting the sales, booking a holiday or saving money by “shopping around for the best deals on insurance, energy and credit cards”.

That last one is, if you don’t mind me saying, absolutely the bloody pits. It comes, unsurprisingly, from someone on a price comparison website. I’ve never been on one of those and never will. This obsession with moving everything round drives me mad. And if I spent the day doing that I’d been cast into the deepest pool of blue.

Let’s just pretend this is any other Monday, blue or otherwise; just a day with all that offers, good or bad. Or repel the blues with cheerfulness. Smile at the demons and screw up the newspapers with their dreary advice.

Perhaps not the Daily Telegraph today, in which psychologist Linda Blair says that you can “choose to believe that it will be a nice day, in which case you’ll be more likely to notice the high points”.

Hardly sensational advice, but sensible. Go for a walk, walking is good. And I hate to say this but perhaps you shouldn’t read the newspapers (especially if you are Jeremy Corbyn): that way you wouldn’t even know about Blue Monday.

Newspapers mostly remain a force for good if you ask this inky-fingered laptop surfer – but sometimes they fill their pages with desperate nonsense. Especially on a slightly dour Monday after Christmas.

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