Personally, 2017 was a year of successes. I graduated with a 2:1 from Anglia Ruskin’s uni, I achieved a 1 hour 30 half marathon and I managed to get a job! But that stuff aside what actually mattered from 2017 – well, I became an Uncle and our little family will never be the same!
The annoying bit:
The election further proved we are a nation divided, as if Brexit didn’t prove that already. It proved that there is a huge degree of separation between Politician’s at a local and national level and the people they supposedly serve. (This isn’t news) There is on the one hand despair for those people suffering due to continued austerity. Despair being shouted about by teachers, NHS staff (or whatever private company like Virgin HealthCare the government have helped snake their ways in), social services, police (if they are allowed) charities, voluntary agencies and food-banks. And they want and need change to help people unlike politicians, especially Tories, whose snobbery and lack of ability to empathise are as blatant as their empty words or often total ignorance to death and misery caused by budget cuts. Terrorism is still happening and our capitalism and self-centred, single minded attitude as a nation on the world stage, needs addressing so that we are not a target.
BUT, on the other hand, this negativity and uncaring form of governing is producing a huge wave of people, who go out of their ways to help others because their eyes and minds are open and quite simply, they like people. People who have good hearts and volunteer at hospices, food-banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens and of course people who do Goodgym and help the community and isolated older people in their droves. Those who discover the huge oppression and discrimination that the Tories have created are doing something about it. Events like comic relief and children in need show how caring this country is and when people realise that many children they are helping are so affected by funding cuts, then maybe the government will have to stop breaking it’s own laws (Child Poverty Act, Equality Act 2010, Human Rights Act 1998, Children Act 1989, Chronically SIck and Disabled Act 1970 which all say that local authorities must safeguard and provide for those in need and not discriminate on the grounds of race, sex, disability or gender). Those who care are entitled to stick a big middle finger up at the government. WE KNOW BETTER THAN YOU.
Now having done a degree in social work , the fact that communities are helping each other is something that the Tories love for one simple fact – it “saves” them money. But this will bite them in the bum when it comes to the next election I am sure. People are curious and if they do not know why there is huge increases in homelessness, crime, gang involvement, abuse, child poverty and food-bank usage (whilst at the same time more millionaires than ever) they will ask and investigate. Naturally. And free media and social media means that manipulated figures and lies that politicians tell (Grenfell tragedy as an example) are SO easily spotted.
Locally we have a total wally of an MP. Voted in by the silent Tories – those who live happily in their bubbles, work, have kids, do their own thing and do not really get involved with politics or community issues but still vote – he struts around Westminster more than he does his home town, makes nice speeches about caring and homelessness sleep outs but never, ever will admit that it is his party that is to blame for many terrible situations happening on his door step and in his town. How can a public school boy with no real life experience of poverty, disability or social exclusion empathise with the poor and vulnerable? Well I would hope a bit better than the Etonnians who sit on top of the Tory austerity tree but time and again the Will Quince Twitter feed proves me wrong.
A lot of Tory bashing here and I am not suggesting Mr Corbyn is the answer but at least he cares. Would much rather a government who helps it’s own people before deciding to spending multi-billion pounds on warships!
Sport was huge in 2017 and I was so privileged to see Mo Farah win his last major Gold medal at the World Championships. That is the passion and spirit I associate with the Great Britain and with the people who passionately stand up for the less fortunate. LONDON leads the way in equality and the people lead by example without the need for politicians. Tottenham beat Real Madrid too by the way, although football is still an example of how money is blinding many industries to their roles in the community. Anthony Joshua is a chap worth mentioning, especially as his mum is a social worker, which means he is a superstar tuned into real life. Mo and AJ get my vote!
Friends – I have made great new friends and this is always a buzz for me. Learning from people is great and that is why I love travel and culture. But importantly this year has been so important to see my best friends and their children flourish and grow. Such a privilege to have such a tight, long term group of friends with amazing families. In 2018 more important friends will be having babies and getting married – big up Millhouse crew!
2018 will see many things that I love continue. Exercise, volunteering, helping people, sporting events and travel – all with amazing friends. Singapore/South Korea/winter Olympics with the legendary Claire Tweed, Bucharest with the Goodgym family and many races and bootcamps which always bring a smile to my face.
Maybe a PB or 2 over 5km, 10km and Half-marathon distance are achievable next year.