Review of 2016

Our economy shrank compared to the rest of the world. The workforce became more casualised. Local factory jobs being lost. More people are dropping out of social security without proper income. More reports of young children bringing problems from home to school. Special schools growing and the associated special problems in the neighbourhoods grew too. Hospitals closing to emergencies for spells at the weekend, associated with funding for adult care falling. Demand for council housing growing.
Yet people consider 2016 a bad year cos of the celebrities who’ve died.
“It must be awful to be you … to have one scintilla of what is possible.”
Yes, it was worse than 2015.
Which was in turn worse than 2014.

Labour had some success in May – Paddy Tipping doing well – ditto Sadiq Khan and Bristol. But we only just scraped a victory in Derby.
Whatever we were saying in the EU referendum wasn’t heard and instead people bought the notion that a LEAVE vote woud mean more money for the NHS. People chasing me down the street, worried about “them” cos they’d cast their vote using a pencil. A vote against experts and the estblishment. It wasn’t just the vote, it was the paucity of the thinking.
Reflected in some poor British government decisions.  A Parliamentary boundaries review ignoring the number of people who live in places.
Committing to Hinkley Point C.
Ditto the USA.  A repeated bankrupt, who would not be pass safeguarding tests required to host events with teenagers in the UK, who spent years lying about Barack Obama’s birthplace elected with the USA now apparently set to focus on undoing climate change agreements and building walls against Mexico.
Charlie Brooker, BBC tv satarist, had enough about him to know that after the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory, there was very little point to all he’d been doing. A pause in his review of the year to reflect that a British MP had been murdered for her beliefs.

Jo Cox MP.

Looking back …

December.
Cuts to the City Council’s budget next year confrmed, but a panic by the Conservative government as they realise that the unmet need in help for adults needing care does afterall reuire more money to be spent.

November.
A month chock full of meetings and events.
Trying to make up for the cuts to public services, which has been fruitless because now (after years of cuts) the Government has given up on the targets on borrowing it had set, in a statement that didn’t mention the NHS once.
Worst of all, the United States is set for 4 years of erratic political conduct.

October.
Good news often associated with leisure, culture and tourism events, especially in this month of festivals: Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens tree trail, Diwali in The Meadows, the virtual cave tour, Notts County Football in the Community Day, new exhibition at The Contemporary, a play from the miners’ strike era, the new Nottingham Trail, and especially Goose Fair.
A bit of history too with the 250th anniverary of the cheese riots – reconstruction and monologue video.

September.
A new fire station in The Meadows.  Community Gardens event.  Indian food stall holders.
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Robin Hood marathon races.  Literacy medal awards at Central and in The MeadowsRepairs to Meadows Library brought forward. Touring The Council House with FoMLSupporting Nottingham Central Womens Aid.
A video celebrating green progress in The Meadows and the Green Festival.
£1m announced for updating of Galleries of Justice.

August.
Event of the month was the WASPI stall in the city centre – busiest campaign stall I’ve ever seen.
The robbery of Meadows Post Office was a setback.  Ditto, the threatened loss of 300 jobs at the Pizza Factory.

July.
Another awful month regarding attacks on innocent bystanders.
As for Nottingham, Pride and Splendour were highlights; events featured too in The Meadows – at the library, at Queens Walk Rec and at the community gardens.

June.
Wet weather.  A referendum on the wrong issue and with the wrong result. An MP assassinated49 revellers at an LGBT club murdered.
British politics is in a maelstrom as Prime Minister who played politics with race (London Mayor) and membership of the European Union now has to resign.
The country will spend 2 years or more focussed on things international, when we need more done at the local level.
There is fear over increased hate crime.

May.
The re-election of Paddy Tipping as Nottinghamshire Police Commissioner, the busy and vibrant Community Gardens spring open day, a statue to Jimmy Sirrel and Jack Warner, and a busy bank holiday weekend in the city featuring music and archery.

April.
Normal politics was lost to rehearsals of what constituted anti-semitism, and what was just bad history (stubbornly re-rehearsed).  Just 8 days after a very positive visit by Ken Livingstone to Nottingham.

March.
A month marked by an increase in Deash attacks, including Lahore and Brussels.
Police are continuing to work away at those thought to be trading drugs in The Meadows.

February.
Friends of Meadows Library finished their tapestry that portrays many scenes of The Meadows today.

January.
Big issues were the occupation of the Narrowmarsh playing fields and operations against drug dealing in The Meadows.
For the country, it was more storms.
Holocaust Memorial Day was moving, and surprisingly, a trigger for controversy.

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