8 December 2016

2016 - What the Hell Happened?

In years to come, when they look back at 2016, people will ask “What the hell happened”.

It has been the year that the celebrities died en masse.  David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Prince, Muhammed Ali, Terry Wogan to name but a few.  Some of the brightest and well loved lights of the music and film industry who will be missed by so many.

The year that the UK shocked everyone, including themselves, and voted to leave the EU by a tiny margin of just 4% of the vote.  The year that saw hate crimes rise by 300% after the referendum.  A year where half a nation believed lies and one racist, sexist, bigoted man over facts and common sense.

The year that America went mad and voted Donald Trump to be their president.  A man who has the attention span of a two year old and is so easily irked that he tweets insults at three in the morning.  As I am writing this, he has just been made “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine.

It is interesting to note that that same accolade was also given to Hitler in 1938.

The year where woman in the UK campaigned to remove tax from tampons, only to be told that the money would be reallocated so that they could pay for their own domestic violence support.  The year where a woman is being sued by her own embryos.  

The year where some states in the US are forcing women to bury or cremate the remains of an abortion or miscarriage.  A year where just yesterday, Ohio put the abortion limit down to six weeks; when most women do not even know that they are pregnant.

The year where millions of refugees have been forced to leave their homes relocate across the Middle East and Europe.  A year where the far right (and the Daily Fail) have got such a hold in some people's minds that they were wanting to check the teeth of migrant children for their ages.  A year where people like Katie Hopkins said "Rescue boats? I'd use gunships to stop migrants".

The year where mass shootings at schools and colleges seemed to happen every other week.  Yet the shooters were not called terrorists, but simply misunderstood and troubled.

The year when a certain footballer's retrial was successful for him, purely based on other men's testimony who were not there on the night, but merely testified that the girl in question liked sex.  

A well loved and brilliant MP, killed by a terrorist of the far right.

I could go on, but you get the picture.  You know.  You have lived it, as we all have.

Looking back, I cannot see much good in 2016, but there has been.  A little.

The campaign on GoFundMe for the rape victim mentioned above that raised over £26,000 to be shared between Rape Crisis and the victim herself.  The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement that is successfully highlighting the prejudice faced by black people by the police and society in general. 

The safety pin movement, started after the UK referendum and continued after the Trump win.  More people standing up and objecting, speaking out against what is wrong rather than watching from the sidelines.

The 2016 Paralympics, where Paralympians for the first time achieved more medals than the able bodied Olympians.  When the world, finally, started to realise that disability is not something that has to be hidden and felt sorry for.

We are better than the year we have just experienced.  We can behave better, we can learn, we can change, we can stand up for what we believe in.  I still believe in people.  We have to stand up to hate.  We have to stand up for the people that need our help.  We have to show compassion.  

To quote Winston Churchill:

"Never, never, never give up."


  1. To quote the film that made Prince an international superstar, Purple Rain, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome The Revolution!' As in there's going to have to be a revolution to stop the madness going on. Every year has its number but I am alarmed to see some of my heroes pass away and the results of the American vote. Here's to 2017 being a better year for everyone.

  2. Well said Vicky. This year is f*cked and I only hope next year is better or the best we can all hope for mankind is to be eradicated by a giant meteorite. ;)


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