A rundown of 2022 (Part one)
Happy New Year! Now that 2022 has come to a close, let’s look back at some of the things that happened during the last year. How many do you remember?
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Back in January, Boris was still the UK’s Prime Minister and Covid was still rife. Molly-Mae Hague caused uproar on Twitter after appearing on Steven Bartlett’s podcast. Her out of touch comment, that ‘we all have the same 24 hours in a day’, didn’t quite prove to be the motivational mantra she’d planned; people were very quick to remind her how she rose to fame and the privileged opportunities she’d enjoyed. Hearing an influencer talk about how easy it is to become rich ‘if you work hard’ caused outrage. Imagine if she’d said that during the current cost-of-living crisis. Reports of Downing Street holding parties during lockdown also emerged this month, which marked the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson’s premiership.
February brought us the late Queen’s 70th Jubilee. Whilst it was quite rightly celebrated, something else happened in the Royal Family that month: the £12million payment relating to Prince Andrew’s ‘alleged sex with a minor’ court case. I think it’s only fair to remind people of this when our economy is struggling. Though the Treasury insists that taxpayers’ money did not make up any part of Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s out-of-court settlement, rumours persist, and I admit that it still doesn’t sit right with me. Later that month, Russia began their invasion of Ukraine—further damaging the world’s economy. Storm Eunice blew in, sadly claiming lives as she did so. You may remember images of the Millennium Dome’s roof being ripped apart, which showcased the power of Eunice’s record-breaking winds.
Will Smith made headlines in March when he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. The spat stemmed from a fairly tame joke Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife. Meme creators ran away with this, and there were plenty of ‘keep my wife’s name out your **** mouth’ jokes across Twitter. Andrew Tate also rose to fame during this month, due to his TikTok videos. Everything he says is controversial, and he subsequently sparked numerous conversations on social media channels. Despite the anger directed at him, Tate only became more famous, which is quite smart when you think about it. Do you remember the most significant social media discussion at the end of this month, though? Doors versus wheels took over our office conversations. (I still think there are far more wheels than doors.)
Just Stop oil protesters dominated the news in April after they stepped up their campaigns. This involved blocking motorways as big as the M25, and even tying themselves to goalposts at Premier League football matches. The group massively divides opinion. Even though their intentions are good, in my opinion, they overstep the mark with their inconsiderate protests. I understand that making the news headlines bring you opportunities to get your message out, but blocking roads, even to ambulances, isn’t the answer.
May saw yet another MP expressing his shame. Neil Parish was caught watching pornographic content in the House of Commons. Once again, this showed the mess the Conservative Party was in, and Labour’s popularity rose in the polls as a result. Neil Parish’s seat was won by Richard Foord in a subsequent by-election. To make it worse for the Tories, it’s now a Liberal Democrat seat.
June brought us the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. Depp was eventually awarded more than $10million for damage to his reputation as a result of Heard’s actions. It wasn’t something I personally kept up to date with, but it was hard to avoid the topic, as it dominated social media and even the news. R&B star R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. His charges ranged from child pornography to enticing a minor. The controversial Roe vs Wade ruling was overturned later in May by the US Supreme Court. This meant that, in many states, abortion once again became illegal. It denies what should be a basic human right, but this is now, sadly, not a given. Women’s rights in America seem to have gone backwards in recent years, undoing decades of hard work and successful campaigning. It’s a travesty.
That’s the first half of 2022 covered. Look out for my next article, which will summarise the latter six months.