What a tumultuous past 12 months? At the start, the country was still under the cloud of Covid, with the Omicron variant the latest wave to hit, an already battered population.

Fortunately, the worst predictions did not materialise and the country emerged from the pandemic.

No sooner had one disaster ended and another came along. So, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing untold damage to the population of that country.

Ukraine defended it’s border and by the end of the year seemed to be gaining the upper hand.

The political world has certainly presented a roller-coaster over the last 12 months, with first the revelations that those telling everyone else to stay inside, space out etc had not been obeying their own rules. In fact they had been partying away, as though there was no pandemic at all.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson never really recovered from the scandal, eventually being forced from office in July by his own MPs.

Then, there was the tortuous Tory leadership election, that led to 80,000 Party members landing the country with Liz Truss, as PM.

She was a disaster, doing a huge amount of damage to the economy in a short period of time.

An already serious cost of living crisis, was made a lot worse for everyone.

Truss was replaced by Rishi Sunak as PM. The Government continues to move from crisis to crisis, with a number of members of the Cabinet clearly not up to the job.

One highlight of the year locally was getting re-elected as a Labour councillor for Wanstead Village. Labour emerged with 58 out of the 63 contested in Redbridge.

So, what does 2023 hold? Things can only get better, one would hope. An end to the war in Ukraine would certainly help, returning peace to that land and ending the international turbulence it has caused.

Possibly, a general election but this seems more likely for 2024. Much depends on how long the present government can stumble on.

In the midst of it all, there are the ongoing environmental disasters, engulfing climate and biodiversity breakdowns.

The world is reaching tipping point, so there needs to be drastic action taken that will effect everyone’s lives, if disaster is to be averted.

So plenty to ponder over the next 12 months. Let’s hope things get better for everyone. A case of watch this space. Happy New Year.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See paulfdonovan.blogspot.com