Don’t whinge – there’s lots to be grateful for

The moaning and hand-wringing has reached deafening levels.

The internet memes are out of control. If you spend more than 10 minutes on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll be overwhelmed with the sense that 2016 was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.

According to received wisdom, 2017 will be even worse.

Well, there’s a few problems with that analysis (not least that Brexit and Trump were both voted for by a majority of the electorate).
In fact there are many, many things to be thankful for.  Political engagement is on the rise.


Here’s my list of reasons why we should all cheer up a bit:

1. Millions of people disengaged with politics started caring again. People who never voted before because they felt ignored have re-engaged with the political process after the EU referendum vote. (Don’t like how people voted? Sorry, that’s how democracy works.)

2. We are living longer than ever before. Figures show that for those aged 65, men can expect to live for another 19 years and women a further 21 years.

3. The giant panda is no longer endangered and China has banned the ivory trade – a game changer for elephants.

4. Fewer children are dying as child mortality drops.

5. A peace deal was reached in Colombia after 50 years of war.

6. It was a great year for women in politics, with a female Prime Minister, First Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland and women leading the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives.

7. And there was good news for the environment, with US carbon dioxide emissions at their lowest level since 1991.

8. Islamic States has lost swathes of territory.

9. Sri Lanka managed to eradicate malaria.

10. GTX had its best year ever.

(Sorry about that last one – I couldn’t resist)

So i think we should all sit back and be thankful for all the good that 2016 brought.