The idea that 2016 was a bad year is not an especially new one; from the deaths of prominent celebrities to political developments causing society to become increasingly divided, there was a general consensus that 2017 could only get better. However, my own experience over the last 12 months started with a general malaise and more than anything, the first half of this year felt confused and sluggish.
In a strange way, I saw this same pattern reflected on the political stage as the year went on. The snap-election was called to provide a definitive answer to Britain’s political divisions; if the Conservatives won then they would
have a clear mandate to handle Brexit negotiations while if Labour won then they could have begun an ambitious and controversial program of anti-austerity reforms. Instead of a clear outcome, the result was a Tory government propped up by a national party that most voters could only form an opinion on based off their Wikipedia page.
However, my first indication that the global stage may be improving came with the tidal wave of allegations against Hollywood stars and high-ranking politicians. These allegations are being treated extremely seriously is a sign that society is finally moving in the right direction. These offences existed as ‘open secrets’ for decades but only in 2017 have they finally come to public attention.
While the idea of harassment in Hollywood and Westminster being taken seriously may not seem particularly uplifting, it is incredibly important that these issues can finally be the subject of public scrutiny.
2017 may not have been the perfect year to serve as a palate- cleanser after the train-wreck of 2016, but I am cautiously optimistic that 2018 will see the continuation of the upward trend that started towards the end of this year. Besides, I hear there’s going to be a wedding…