Opinion

The New Year brings a bounty of good things to look forward to

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee shares some reasons to be cheerful in 2022.

Photo: @anniebee

Here we all sit, staring at the mini Bountys, wondering why so many are put in so many boxes for so few people. This perennial question remains insoluble. 

And yet they hang around, mouldering and fetid, blinking emotionless at us as spring returns and then into next Christmas, when we’ll get another box and throw the old mini Bountys in too.

When the AI machines gain sentience, and all that is left of humanity is Elton John doing weird remixes of his old tracks, mini Bountys will still find their way. The machines will have no way of stopping them.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about confectionery choices – not really. But Christmas does odd things. And Omicron Christmas had us all holding our breath. 

All the old route maps out of problems feel like they belong to another age. I spend time looking for flickers of light in any report that suggests things will not be just as bad as early warnings; that Chris Whitty will be proved right that it’ll go big quickly then go home just as fast.

Everything eventually becomes history.

In a bid to make everybody feel better, here are reasons to be cheerful in 2022.

The African Cup Of Nations starts on January 9. It’s the best international football competition. Hopefully Covid doesn’t blight it.

The World Cup starts on November 21. It’s the second best international football competition. FIFA care not a jot for anything except their bottom line so nothing will get in the way of this event.

The French presidential election will come in mid-April. Though not quite the spectator sport of the first two, the outcome will have a massive impact on the future shape of Europe. If you REALLY want a football element, how about this – current French president Emmanuel Macron’s favourite player, growing up, was none other than Chris Waddle. That’s true, fact fans – he supports Marseille.

Germany is going to phase out use of its final nuclear power plants this coming year. The exact date is unknown. It was a curious move by Angela Merkel to get rid of them. How Germany will generate power and hit green targets will be fascinating for the world to see.

China will host the winter Olympics and hold (closed and rather secret) elections for leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. It’s not clear if the growing diplomatic imbroglio around the Winter Games will have any bearing on the vote. But both will have big implications for the rest of the world. Never before has ski jumping had such an impact on global economic trends.

I realise I said this list was going to make everybody feel better. It got a little sidetracked. Perhaps it’s time for a mini Bounty.

Paul McNamee is editor of The Big Issue. Read more of his columns here.

@PauldMcNamee

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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