IT’S with great trembling and much tribulation that I come to confirm rumours of the return of the 1970s to be true. Bellbottoms – the antichrist of fashion – seem to flap from around every corner.

Politically, the signs have been there for some time: oil prices, stagflation, strikes, Cold War, corruption, poverty, paranoia, lies and scandal. But it was either the resurrection of Kate Bush – back at the top of the charts, pop-pickers, as Johnnie Walker might say on his Sounds of the 70s show, currently one of the most listened to programmes on Radio 2; or the revival of fathoms and bushels by the dead-cat abusing Boris Johnson and his imperial weights and measures nonsense, which forced me to admit, with unbounded horror, that I’m back living in the decade of my childhood.

I should state clearly, though, that in terms of the Seventies Redux, one of the few positives is the return of the Bush – Kate that is, the deliciously weird and wonderful. Less so, the reintroduction of the avocado bathroom set – which is now ‘a thing’ if that’s possible to imagine. Interior design has lurched back into a world of vomit inducing patterns and colour schemes that look like an explosion in a spaghetti factory. When it comes to the avocado bathroom, I’d personally prefer the reintroduction of the death penalty.

A comeback of 70s politics is the least of our worries. There’s no decade in human history in which politicians haven’t been boils on the buttocks of civilisation. Although the similarities are fierce: the UK in an endless post-imperial psychodrama over Europe, tension in Northern Ireland, and culture wars-a-go-go. It was the 70s, after all, with its ballooning in mass media, which saw the creation of western culture wars, starting with abortion in America – once again back on the table, with Roe v Wade ready to be chloroformed 50 years after it passed into law.

What’s really goat-getting is the adulation of 70s influence in art, culture and style. From our safe distance, we look back on the decade of doom, selecting all the moments that please us or seem culturally significant: punk, disco, new wave, ska, the golden age of American cinema, Play for Today, a flowering in the novel and drama. But really the 70s was mostly Are You Being Served, Grandstand, and the horrendous, pointless noodling of prog rock, the most godforsaken musical genre in history, yodelling included. We’re even having the same rows over comedy – only now Ricky Gervais is the new Bernard Manning.

Hippy fashion has made its hideous return. For pity’s sake, clogs and crochet tops are back. The dungaree – a word that should never be uttered – is ubiquitous.

Of course there were some nice bits in the 70s. Two good summers, right? Mostly, however, it was a period of miserably making do and random abuse. Television was a holding pen for sex offenders; the boss could grope any passing woman at work. Jimmy Savile was our most popular entertainer. My P3 teacher once made me write to him. I was obsessed with Hammer Horror films (even Hammer got sucked into 70s sleaze with sexploitation trash like Lust for a Vampire). So on the recommendation of Miss Whateverhernamewas I asked Jim to fix it for me to visit Hammer’s studios. Thankfully, Savile was busy otherwise I’d have spent a day wandering around crypts with Uncle Jim. I still praise the Fates for their mercy.

The sex offender free for all never really dawned on us at the time but the miserable making do certainly did. Clearly, we weren’t all poor. But I certainly was. My parents married young and didn’t have two brass razoos to rub together throughout most of my early childhood. Memories of family dinners are dominated by visions of baked beans and packet Smash. To this day, if I see beans and mash, I scream.

None of my friends went on holidays – except to whatever crappy seaside resort was nearest. For me, that was Portrush, as I’m from Northern Ireland. In 70s Ulster, Portrush was like Blackpool with balaclavas. We once stayed in a B&B where the landlady played organ music at midnight, then checked your door was locked and everyone asleep. It was horrifying. Today she’d be carted off to an asylum but in the 70s this was perfectly acceptable.

Seventies parents were also pretty random. Baby boomers thought nothing of throwing Abigail’s Party downstairs while the kids listened in goggle-eyed disbelief up in bed. They went to work; we had latchkeys. Meals were never really complete until someone blew fag smoke in your face. But then doctors and teachers loved their tabs too.

For those of us who survived the 70s relatively unscathed, however, childhood had idyllic moments that would seem impossible for kids today. Dodging the flak of abusive TV stars and dysfunctional adults, if we lived we can look back on a time of unfettered play. Children had freedom. We’d go out in the morning on summer days and not return until dusk, running wild in fields, building huts, catching bees, climbing trees. All very Swallows and Amazons. Clearly, there were a significant number of child abductions but that never really seemed to weigh heavy on the minds of most of our baby-boomer parents.

The 70s were also stubbornly beige. I don’t mean sepia-tinted through half forgotten memories. I mean the 70s were actually beige – most of the food had the hew of a half-dead camel. And god, the clothes we wore. I recall a tank top I was forced to don that should have by rights either seen me exiled from society, or removed from the care of my parents.

So here we are. In the goddamn 70s again. The good thing is that once the 70s reprise is over, it’ll be time for the 80s to make a comeback. And the 80s were much better – remember all the colour, the cool tunes, the unmissable TV. Oh yeah, and Thatcher and Reagan, Protect and Survive, terrorism, strikes, dole queues, Stock Aitken and Waterman, dayglo deely-boppers. Need I go on?