Thoughts for the year ahead
2013 has not been the best of years. We’ve lost Margaret Thatcher and Sir David Frost and the word “selfie” has entered the Oxford English Dictionary. The economy has not got better – despite the nonsense spouted on the BBC – and the slaying of Private Rigby summed up the very lowest level humanity can reach.
This year, our coalition government failed to truly get to grips with our problems, yet the Labour party under Miliband proved to be just as irrelevant an opposition as when Iain Duncan-Smith ran the Conservatives. Our only hope is for a Conservative victory in the coming year’s General Election.
2013 brought with it also yet more allegations of abuse by personalities and politicians. Whilst some of those will fade away in the next months, it is unlikely that faith will be restored in once great institutions such as the BBC unless this cancer is cut out for once and for all. Operations Yewtree and Fernbridge need to be properly concluded with urgency.
Another priority should be the resolution of the phone hacking scandal and proper regulation of the press, charity and finances. The toothless Press Complaint Commission was a true disaster and such organisations as the Charity Commission are equally lax in their dealings with badly run charities. The banking sector is – as revealed in the 150 responses we’ve had to our ‘What’s on your mantelpiece?’ series – “bankrupt” and, as rightly argued by the likes of Gina and Alan Miller, it is time for the regulators to be replaced.
On a more positive note, we should celebrate the arrival of Prince George and the efforts of such people as the Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafazi this year. Such moments of hope should drive us all to strive towards better times.
Overall, however, “the 13” has proved unlucky for so many and frankly it is a year that deserves to be banished. We welcome 2014 with gusto.
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