As the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will take place in June, perhaps I should start to write more about current affairs. I have been quite lazy in terms of attempting to put in words what I think about current affairs and politics, even though there have been many big stories over the past few months. It may have more to do with the items of news being quite depressing and sometimes overwhelming rather than me being lazy. The enormity and complexity of issues are such that I cannot even offer uneducated responses as an armchair political analyst.
The first half of last year (2015) was dominated by the Greek crises (plural since I regarded and still regard that there were and are many issues in Greece and they are not only about its finances), but once there was an agreement to avert ‘Grexit’, the Greek problem was overtaken by the mass movement of people from war-torn Syria, which dominated the headlines and political discussions for much of the rest of the year. The current Syrian civil wars (also in the plural since there are so many different groups and faction fighting for different and often irreconcilable aims) do not seem to be nearing an end. Ukraine is still smouldering. China’s economy may be slowing down with global repercussions but even more serious implications for the domestic stability of the current regime.
Any year when a US presidential election takes place is a year of change, especially when there is no incumbent seeking another term, and it is turning out to be an interesting – and possibly scary – contest. Many of the issues are unlikely to be resolved this year, and there will be more new difficulties this year. Perhaps I am overtly pessimistic, but I have an uneasy sense of foreboding for this year, but then I might have expressed such apprehension in previous years. What will theose changes be? And will 2016 be a momentous year?