WE are certainly living in the strangest of times.

But there have been bad times before.

And yes, it’s true, the wheel turned and we came through those bad times.

I was a young child during the Cuban missile crisis and can still remember the feeling of impending doom as the USSR faced off against each other.

I can recall the recession of the mid-1970s including the 1973 oil crisis, stagflation, the decline of traditional British industries, inefficient production, high inflation and industrial disputes over pay.

Throw into the mix average inflation of more than 24 per cent in 1975 and it all added up to a pretty grim time.

And if you thought that was bad, those of us old enough will recall the horrors of the 1980s government led by prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

By choice, Thatcher introduced deflationary policies including spending cuts and the use of monetarism to reduce inflation.

This was coupled with a switch from a manufacturing economy to a services economy that saw thousands of jobs lost.

The peak came in August 1984 when unemployment stood at 11.9 per cent.

It wasn’t a fun time.

Surely things would get better after that.

Well no, they didn’t.

We were hit with another recession in the early 1990s.

Black Wednesday happened on September 16 1992 when the British government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), costing the economy billions and sending unemployment soaring to 10.7 per cent.

Then we had the ‘great recession’ of 2008, brought about by the banking crisis and the deepest UK recession since the Second World War.

Of course, that ushered in firstly the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government in 2010 and then a Tory majority government and 10 years of austerity and cutbacks and that wasn’t a barrel of laughs, was it?

So here we are.

We now have a combination of a pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918 and an impending no-deal Brexit.

And as bad as things have been since March, there’s every likelihood it’s going to get a whole lot worse.

What was needed was a competent, talented, focused prime minister and government to lead us through the pandemic and the subsequent economic turmoil.

Sadly, most of the competent and talented Tories were sacked by Boris Johnson for expressing their reservations over the national self-harm of Brexit and were replaced by those whose sole talent seems to be a slavish devotion to the cult of Brexit.

Truth be told, I am frightened.

Brexit on its own would have been enough to demand the full attention of any government.

The pandemic on its own would have been enough as well.

I’m just not convinced this government has the ability to manage one of these issues, let alone two (and we have plenty of evidence to support my assertion).

Add to that sorting out the economy and things are looking pretty bleak as we go into 2021.

I wonder how all those ‘Red Wall’ voters are getting on now.

Yes, the wheel will continue to turn but to adapt a phrase my father often used: Vote in haste, repent at leisure.

While we’re on the subject of the pandemic, I don’t suppose it came as any surprise when Warrington was put under increased coronavirus restrictions this week.

It was pretty obvious it was going to happen after we were softened-up for it by a number of statements from the council.

I don’t have a problem with the extra restrictions but I am perplexed by one or two of them.

What, for example, is the logic of closing pubs and bars at 10pm?

Is there an assumption that if they were allowed to stay open into the early hours people would become increasingly drunk and in their inebriated state forget about social distancing and good hand hygiene?

Or is it much more subtle than that?

Maybe the 10pm curfew is a psychological message to the town’s young revellers that the current spike in cases is all their fault.

One piece of good news in all the gloom.

Warrington Hospital has been shortlisted for a London Business School Innovation Award thanks to its work on the now famous black boxes that are ordinarily used to help sleep apnoea patients with their breathing, but were converted to be used as an alternative to ventilating those being treated for Covid-19.