‘Winter is coming’. It is a phrase which captures a whole range of feelings, almost all of them associated with risk, vulnerability and the awareness that things are about to get a lot tougher than they were in the days of sunshine and warmth.
That is true whether it is Kings Landing in Game of Thrones, or the realities of the geo-strategic machinations of 2022 in Europe and elsewhere across the world – tough times are coming.
Russia has continued to cut off the supply of gas to Europe through the Nordstrom 1 pipeline. Supplying 40% of Europe’s gas (and more than that to Germany), that has been cut back by 90%, with the pipeline closure blamed on maintenance problems that have been created by European sanctions.
Inflation is running at historical levels, and across Europe there is increasing social and industrial unrest.
In the UK, we are facing scenes not seen since the 1970’s – mass strikes, the threat of power black-outs, fuel and food poverty affecting increasingly large parts of the population.
The UK has seen the transfer of power from Boris Johnson to Liz Truss, someone whom even her own party seems to dislike.
If there is one thing that can be certain as winter approaches, it is that if you have not made the efforts in the summer to prepare for the cold months, ensuring that your house is safe and warm, that the wood has been chopped, the grain stored and the livestock fattened, then Winter will be a hard and unforgiving time, and one that you might not make it through.
There seems to have been little forward thinking or planning at any level for the challenges that are undoubtedly coming, and that will affect each and every one of us, in some way or another.