WELL, it de end o' de year, dis de last nummer o' de famous Punch fo' 1973, an' de ole man wid de sieve comin' on an' layin' about him, also de noo baby waitin' in de wings, it a time when everyone gittin' sentimental, includin' me, only dis mornin' I bin down to de cells an' loosenin' de thumscrews on de ex-Home Seckertary a notch or two. He lookin' up at me wid de gratitude, an' gittin' a kick in de bonce fo' ole lang swine, dis bein' a period when everyone doin' de remmemerin' etcetera.
Wot kind o' year it bin? Well, lookin' back through de official Gumment transcripts, tapes, graffiti in de Cabinet khazi an' so forth, I findin' some astonishin' gaps, an' it not surprisin' where R.M. Nixon findin' hisself in sim'lar circumstances, people failin' to realise how de system breakin' down at moments o' stress, ain't nobody's fault; take de gap durin' March, fo' instance, where de tape-recorder breakin' down durin' de top-level discussions wid de ex-Minister o' Finance over appropriatin' de requisite loot fo' renovations to de Presidential go-kart track: jus' goin' to show dat de famous Jap workmanship not all it cracked up to be, can't even belt a ex-Minister o' Finance over de cranium wid dis Sony item widout de spools flyin' out.
Still, it possible to see, even wid de omissions, where Uganda suddenly comin' to de fore as a major worl' power in 1973. In January, we was still cratin' up de Asian brudders an' sisters an' floggin' de used cars, an' yours truly was havin' to go up in de flyin' saucepans to Pluto an' sim'lar in order to git de requisite international standin'. By de end o' de year, I was whippin' aroun' in de noo Maserati an' de troops was manoeuvrin' de Russian tanks (or at leas',' studying how to open de doors), an' not puttin' too fine a point on it, me an' Uganda now holdin' de balance o' power in de civilised worl'.
I turnin' out to be a kind o' international Jiminy Thorpe.
Also bin a great year fo' de Punch magazine, wid a unprecedented boom in de profits on account o' everyone rushin' down de papershop fo' de noo Idi Amin Column ev'ry Wensday an' de readin' pubberlick overjoyed dat de magazine gittin' a bit o' de serious political comment in at last. Dis explainin' why de Noo Statesman circulation droppin' like a pig wid de colic, an' de Spectator an' de Lissener sheddin' editors like scurf; Punch now de only serious weekly worth de name, an' de way I hearirl' it, even de staff o' de famous Times shufflin' about an' sayin' "Where de gas oven?"
Lookin' at de back nummers, I see where I bin standin' aloof a bit dis year: Commonwealf Conference, de Douglas Alec-Home birfday binge, de Ammiral's Cup Race, de Royal Weddin', de Henry Regatta, all takin' place widout me, but everyone noticin' de conspicuous abbersence, jus' goin' to show where de diggnified silence gittin' you. If de mountain not comin' to Mahomet, pretty soon people gonna start mutterin' "What de hell happenin' to dat bloody mountain? What it gittin' up to?" an' nex' thing they know, BAM! they got ten zillion tons o' granite fallin' on top of 'em.
So all in all, it bin a damn good year. In de words o' de famous Rev. Martin Luther King, "We on de move, now!", de main difference between him an' me bein', o' course, where he goin' roun' carryin' a bible an' sportin' de dog collar an' me goin' roun' carryin' de pop'lar sawn-off Sten an' sportin' de tin vest; a fac' wot goin' a long way towards explainin' why de Rev. King kickin' up de daisies an' Fiel' Marshal o' de Fleet Idi Amin still ridin' high on de hog an' leadin' de coon peoples on to de real promised land where de Maseratis zoomin' aroun' all day an' any Asian brudders or white sisters wot steppin' out o' line findin' a T-34 comin' up de front path wid de one-o-five millimetre lobbin' ordnance into de bes' sittin'-room wid de notorious pinpoint accuracy, soon as de Royal Uganda Tank Regiment findin' out wot dis millimetre item is.
Wid which oppertimistic note, I signin' off an' wishin' a Happy Xmas to all de readers. Mus' rush an' stuff de holly now, can't have de ex-Home Seckertary missin' out on de Chrissermuss dinner. Us great leaders always got time fo' de little considerations!