The year of the negative

The year the music died

Goodbye 2016

This last year has been dominated by negative news.

There was the endless procession of the deaths of celebrities who died this year, for me, a strong follower of progressive rock, or prog, was the deaths of both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson Lake and Palmer in the same year.

Then there was politics. The negative campaigning in the presidential election by both main parties, or at least the reportage of the events, was a case in point. It was not so much about what we can do for you than what they will do to you.

In Britain there was the aftermath of the Brexit vote. The increase in racially motivated attacks following the result has to be deplored, especially as it was by supporters of the winning side. You can expect supporters of the losing side to come out in protest, but the leave campaign won. Why would they be angry?

I lay the blame on campaigning like this. A poster showing a queue of mostly non whites (when the referendum was about the EC whose citizens are mostly white) was designed to gain votes by whipping up anti immigrant anger. And that anger, incited by that sort of campaigning was sure to come out somehow.

My comments on negative aspects are muted. The result of the Brexit referendum was not bad news for the just over half of those who voted to leave the EC and the election of Donald Trump is not negative to the the just under half of those who voted in the US election.

What I am commenting on is the negative way things have been done this last year. It is something that I deplore. Stirring up division in countries by negative campaigning was always going to divide their nations.

My personal 2016 is more positive.The death of my mother in September was deeply upsetting and she is greatly missed.But my daughter presented us with or first grandchild in July and my son got married in October.

Not everything was bad with the world either.

  • Tigers, manatees and giant pandas are increasing in number.
  • The holes in the ozone layer are repairing themselves.
  • Child mortality rates continue to fall worldwide.
  • 70.000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS.

There will always be good things. In 2017 there will still be chocolate. And kittens, And puppies. Enjoy.

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