Looking back, 2016 has been a year of great change, perhaps the most significant since the Berlin Wall fell.
Across the world, we see the established structures of states look increasingly uncertain as Populism takes hold, from Trump’s election in America to the Five Star Movement’s rise bringing about renewed instability in Italy. All the while at many of the world’s potential flashpoints we’ve seen tensions growing, with the constant risk of tough talk spilling into open conflict.
At home, the UK’s decision to exit the EU has resulted in many questions but few clear answers about the road the county must now tread and the decision by the new Prime Minister to abandon Austerity as the key plank of her party’s strategy has left a gaping hole at the centre of the Government’s policy programme.
While the wheels have certainly been turning over the course of 2016, the real consequences of these changes remain unclear. For many it would be all too easy to fall into pessimism, as a species we often find change and uncertainty frightening.
Yet change is constant and despite the fear every generation has held that things are getting worse, over the course of human history on almost any given metric our quality of life has been on a path of continuous improvement. Even when it comes to the Environment, despite Climate Change posing a very real threat to our future, the absence of the dense smog and sewage readily found in our urban landscape only 150 years ago highlights that when the chips are down society usually rises to the occasion.
Just over a week from now is the 70th Anniversary of Crawley’s designation as a New Town. In the shadow of the Second World War, a country with huge debts and in the face of a Cold War with the Soviet Union set out to build new, more cohesive communities. Our motto is ‘I grow and I rejoice’ and generations of residents have worked towards that goal. Looking to the future, it us up to all of us to keep things moving forward.
Cllr Peter Lamb
Labour group leader