Some thoughts on the year ahead

It seems a bit of a mug’s game at the moment to try to predict what the future will bring. As black swan after black swan swoops past, it becomes abundantly clear just how uncertain things can be. And how little we actually know about the year ahead. But everyone else is having a punt at what 2023 will bring, so here’s my own contribution to our collective assessment of the next twelve months.

Continue reading “Some thoughts on the year ahead”

A time for reflection

This is one of my favourite times of year. Not because we’re approaching Christmas, as I’m not a particularly christmassy person. And not because I’ll be taking a few days off over the festive period, though this is, of course, very welcome. I like this time of year because, as we reach the winter solstice, the nights stop drawing in and the annual progression of our planet around the sun starts to allow the daylight back in again.

Continue reading “A time for reflection”

The stormy present

As I write this, the world outside my office window has grown dark, the sky has clouded over and it has started to absolutely thunder down with rain. While in the distance – and I’m not kidding here – a series of police cars and ambulances has roared past along the main road, lights flashing and sirens blaring. Anyone looking for a metaphor to summarise the current financial state of the UK public sector need look no further.

Continue reading “The stormy present”

What we’ve learned from 2020

Even without the global pandemic, 2020 has been a tumultuous year. In the UK, we’ve stumbled our way out of the European Union. The worldwide Black Lives Matter movement has challenged the way we think about race and about our own colonial history. And we’ve become ever more aware of (although, sadly, not necessarily more inclined to do anything about) the damage that we’re inflicting on the world around us.

So as the year comes to a close, it seems timely to reflect on what we’ve learned from the last twelve months. It’s tempting, of course, to simply put our heads down and get the hell out of 2020 as quickly as possible. But it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to draw back the curtains tomorrow on a new world of pandemic-free sunlit uplands. And so we need to learn what we can, in the hope that it will help us better to deal with the year ahead.

Continue reading “What we’ve learned from 2020”