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Cast aside despondency – two reasons to celebrate 2012


By dxw

Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes:

I have been struck by how unremittingly morose most New Year blogs and messages have been. Even good news has been tempered. It is as if we feel too guilty to look forward with joy.

So this brief post bucks the trend. I want to talk about two events without gloom and from a totally (and frankly unrepentantly) positive viewpoint.

2012 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, probably the greatest novelist in the English language. A man whose writing contains some of the most memorable fictional characters; their behaviour and lives have become part of the lexicon of English itself. A man who wrote captivating story lines that are as cliff-hanging now as they were when published. A man who used his singular genius to focus the attention of the nation – at every level – on the need to address poverty and deprivation. So we celebrate a national genius and also a coming of age for our country – Chares Dickens told us that for Britain to progress from being a merely powerful nation to being a truly great one, we had to acquire and act on compassion.

2012 is also the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. We celebrate not just the personal achievement of longevity but also the changes in our nation she has personified. We have gone from leader of an Empire to participant in a Commonwealth; we have grown from a nation where essentials of life were rationed after devastating war to one where we have a good standard of living. From where our national intellect and endeavour was focused on dominance and power, to one where we lead on collaboration and diversity in enterprise, science, and technology. The ability to change with or ahead of the times underpinned by strong and consistent values has been a personal achievement for the Queen over 60 years which has been reflected in our own development as a nation.

So good news all round – and if you feel this has been unbalanced and just too rose-tinted, then write your own blog!