Optimism
Article

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually make New Year Resolutions - if they’re too easy there’s no point and if they’re too hard it’s just so discouraging when you break them.

But this year I’m going to make an exception – I resolve to be optimistic, especially in my politics.

I find modern political debate deeply depressing. It consists of all the Parties screaming abuse at each other about how awful things will be if the other lot have their way, or how everything is the fault of a scapegoat; the three favourites are “the political class”, Europe and immigration – unless you’re a member of the SNP when you substitute London for Europe.

The awkward truth for all of us is that we live in a more affluent, fairer, safer society than we could ever have hoped for a few decades ago. I know life is hard for many, I know the deficit still has to be brought under control, I know an ageing population is putting the NHS under great strain, but the fact is that our country and our county are both doing rather well.

As one national paper put it this week. “You would never guess from the mood of the country, but Britain enters 2015 as an international success story.”

After a difficult period of recovery from the deep recession that began in 2008-9, real incomes are rising again, unemployment is falling and the UK, to quote that same paper, “is a grown-up country making its way in trying global circumstances.”

Of course the major Parties must seek honestly to expose the shortcomings of their opponents, but if we pander too much to the tabloid agenda of negativity, gloom and despondency about the realities of the modern world, we simply help the unpleasant extremes of politics. That will make it harder to keep the country on the right course.

The truth is that we are a wonderfully creative people, leading the world in many technologies and services, while London is the world’s capital. Worcestershire is a great place to live and Worcester city is vibrant and successful, something our increasingly successful university plays a large part in.

We should all resolve to be more honest and optimistic about our country – and our politics would then be more positive and inspiring.

ENDS


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