As the old year died, it was hard to shed too many tears for it.
It should have been a great year, with much of the world turning the corner on a fearsome pandemic. But then came the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, a brutal and continuing unprovoked onslaught by Russia on its smaller neighbour.
Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died. As did Pele, the king of football. The old year took one key word out of Great Britain and we started to realise that climate change was a constant, unless we tried something new, like going back to the future.
Accordingly, it’s hard to disagree with Martin Wolf’s pronouncement (paywall) in the Financial Times that few will regret the passing of 2022. Even so, he does indicate the silver lining in a dark year. The invasion of Ukraine, for instance, has revitalised the western alliance and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has won the propaganda war.
Among the other reasons to justifiably start 2023 with good cheer:
- China’s President Xi Jinping has had his comeuppance on the controversial zero-Covid policy.
- Iran’s leaders are treading on eggshells because the young have roared their displeasure.
- America’s election-deniers have been repudiated, for the most part and Donald Trump may be heading for the shadows (or worse).
- The US Federal Reserve has done well in bringing inflationary pressures in the world’s biggest economy under control.
- And finally, and significantly, globalisation is not dead. In fact, the IMF is predicting a rise in world trade volumes.