Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016

A time of reflection is upon us. As this year draws to a close and 2017 approaches it appears most won't be missing 2016 anytime soon, and will be happy to see the back of it.

It's certainly been a roller coaster year in terms of global events, with an unusual number of high profile celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks and shock after shock on the political stage.

Politically...

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in November, "beating" his opponent Hillary Clinton (even though she got 3 million more votes), despite a divisive election campaign, in which everyone seemed to get a fair share of abuse, whether you were a woman, of a different race or disabled, in this respect Trump was very inclusive in his approach.

Yet after all the scandal and controversy and a bit of help from the Russian government, 2017 will see Donald J. Trump become the 45th President of the United States (I feel sick just thinking about it).

But of course prior to that the UK had its own political shock, with the Brexit vote in June, which resulted in 52% of voters, voting to leave the European Union, a process which is due to officially start in March 2017, with the triggering of article 50 (this blog post isn't really building up my hopes for 2017!).

Celebrity deaths...

Then we come to the celebrity deaths, which have most recently claimed the lives of Hollywood icons Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, mother and daughter, who died 24 hours apart, in 2016's final cruel act, which came just days after music legend George Michael, died unexpectedly at the age of 53.
Other high profile celebrity deaths of the last year include:

David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Kenny Baker, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Liz Smith, Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra Jr, David Guest, Chyna, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Juan Gabriel, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gene Wilder, Alexis Arqueete, Arnold Palmer, Leonard Cohen and many more! (I have missed some, not out of disrespect, just out of the fact that there are so many!).

Terrorism...

This category of bad news from 2016 is by far the most heartbreaking. It's sad to think I have probably forgot some of the terror attacks from the past year, simply due to the fact that there have been so many.

On July 14, 86 people were brutally murdered in Nice in France, when a cargo truck was deliberately ploughed into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais. This was followed by a similar attack more recently, just before Christmas, when a truck was driven into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people.

And lets not forget the Pulse Nightclub shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 49 people on June 12, most of which were LGBT.

Following the attack, President Obama called the attack a hate crime and being LGBT myself it certainly felt like an attack on our community, I will never forget the day that news broke.
I'm just going to mention one more incident, and again just to point out - missing an incident does not mean any disrespect, it simply means there were sadly so many!

Though this particular event wasn't considered a terrorist attack, I certainly think it should have been considered so! What I am referring to is the murder of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox, by a far right extremist.

Cox was simply attending a constituency surgery in Batley and Spen, when she was shot and stabbed to death just days before the EU Referendum, the first murder of an MP in the United Kingdom for decades, a death which sent shot waves across the country, and resulted in increased security around MP's.
The man responsible Thomas Mair, was charged for murder but did not face terrorism charges, a move which I believe was a failure on the part of our legal system, and showed nothing more than pure racism! The attitude that if you're white you can't possibly be a terrorist. Lets hope that rubbish attitude goes out the window in 2017.

Personally...

When I assess the year, of course I base it more on how its personally been for me, in my life, and from that angle 2016 has been a great year for me.

I moved from Sunderland to Birmingham to start a new job, and then started studying for a Masters degree in Social Media, at Birmingham City University.

So what have I really got to moan about? I'm not going to let 2016 pull me down and if you're sitting depressed at the state of the World after a brutal 2016, I suggest you do the same! We need to enter 2017 with HOPE that we will begin the fightback of the sane!

My hopeful predictions for 2017:

Donald Trump will be impeached and thrown out of the White House.
Le Pen will fail miserably in the French Presidential Election.
A General Election will be called in the UK, to see if we can get rid of Theresa.
Nigel Farage will be deported to some remote island in the middle of nowhere.
The people of Syria will finally be allowed to find some peace.
Ed Balls will return as an MP following a by-election (I am not Labour supporter but this would be a great story, following Ed's Strictly run).

Who knows if any of these things will happen, but I will live in hope that 2017 will be a fantastic year for all of us. The point is - We can't change the past, but we CAN shape the future. - My New Years resolution will be to live by that statement!

So I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

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