Prime Minister Gordon Brown has brought days of speculation to an end by announcing that there is no longer any need to say Happy New Year to anyone, although the White Paper isn’t expected to get through Parliament until June.
‘During the first week of a new year it is very much standard practice to offer the greeting to good friends (or to “auld acquaintances” in Scotland),’ he told the House, ‘but as the second week gets into full swing, a social awkwardness kicks in and there is a lack of clarity. It is an etiquette tightrope and few know what to do for the best.’
Gordon Brown went on to say that although he understood people’s concerns about this sensitive subject, he really did have more important considerations to address, ‘like whether we call this year twenty ten or two thousand and ten. We are hoping to make a decision on that before the year is out.’