No More Fuck-ups: What we can’t afford to get wrong in 2023 

No More Fuck-ups: What we can’t afford to get wrong in 2023 

For all intents and purposes, 2022 was a pretty shit year on the whole. Sure, there were isolated moments of joy that managed to galvanise us as a nation (thank you Lionesses). But overall, it was largely a case of one step forward, a dozen massive steps back. 

We can certainly apply this forward/backward stepping analogy to our politics too. As Tory MPs hokey-cokeyed in and out of cabinet roles – the six o’clock news often resembled a storyline off one the soaps that followed shortly after. 

Add that to the shocking events that unfolded in the likes of Iran and Ukraine. Plus the crumbling economy on home soil, and you’ll see why personally, I entered the New Year with trepidation and concern, as opposed to hope and optimism. 

For the sake of the next few minutes though, let’s look at 2023 as a clean slate. Here’s what we can’t afford to fuck up. Again. 


1) Time to listen 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new anti-strike legislation not only refuses to address the conflict between the government and unions. It adds fuel to a situation that’s already highly combustible. It’s honestly beggars belief that the solution to tackling a nation of underpaid and undervalued workers is to sue unions and sack employees. Hardly bodes well, does it? Sunak and co. might think brushing this under the carpet will fix things. But it won’t. 

Even planned crisis talks between the government and union leaders are met with caution. Because let’s face it, the last dregs of trust the majority of the British public had in this lot went a long time ago. It’s time to listen properly, Rishi, whether you like it or not. 


2) Stop turning a blind eye 

The old mantra of climate issues feeling like a problem primarily for future generations has finally been dispelled. 2022 was the largest indicator yet that these changes to our planet won’t wait for our children and grandchildren. They’re happening right now. 

Although it’s easy to get caught up in issues that might seem more immediate, such as the cost of living crisis, it’s important to remember that they’re actually all intertwined. Negligence towards our planet is as much of a problem in the here and now as it is for future generations. And with the likes of COP copping-off with Coca-cola, it’s more important than ever that we take everyday matters into our own hands. Before it really is too late. 


3) Cost of living 

Whether you choose to believe the government’s plans to slash inflation by 50% is entirely your prerogative. One thing’s for sure though – we can’t have another year like 2022 in regards to the cost of living crisis. A country with the fifth largest GDP in the world should not have thousands of people sitting in the dark because they can’t afford energy bills, or skipping meals in order to keep the rest of their family fed. It really is as simple as that. 

But what’s the real solution? There’s no easy answer to undoing 12 years of austerity and ineptitude. However, economists have already predicted a drop-off in inflation towards the halfway point of the year. Beyond that, we might need to take matters to the ballot box if we really want to see a change. That’s a conversation for another time though. 


4) Don’t stop talking 

Of course, power ultimately lies with decision makers. But never underestimate the ability we all have to influence and create change. While it’s true we might not have very much of a voice right now, we should never take our right to be heard for granted, even if it is falling on deaf ears. The footballing community were able to come together and bring an abrupt end to the shambolic European Super League plans back in 2021. And even though those against the recent World Cup being held in Qatar saw the tournament go ahead regardless, important conversations were still held on the back of people making their concerns heard. 

So, join that union, sign that petition, have that debate at the pub or in your group chat. You never know what it might lead to. And if something is pissing you off in your area, write to your local MP. Even if they don’t act on it, they certainly will listen. 


5) FFS, be kind

It should go without saying, but here goes anyway. There’s enough going in all of our lives right now without having to deal with someone being a prick to you. We just discussed what people power can do when channelled in the right way and we definitely know what can happen when it’s not. 

Be nice but not only to each other – to yourself too. Points 1-4 are enough of an indication of how tough life can be for us, let’s not make it any harder. Give yourself things to look forward to that don’t necessarily break the bank. Commit a random act of kindness that will help someone else and let’s be honest, make us feel good about ourselves at the same time. 

What have you got to lose? 

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