As the old year ends and the new one arrives it is time to reflect on the good and bad aspects of 2023.

If there was a prize for the person of the year then it would be no contest. Kevin Sinfield has gone more than the extra mile to keep motor neurone disease firmly in the spotlight. His numerous fun raising runs have been simply amazing. Likewise Vernon Kay must also get a mention for his ultra-marathon fundraising effort. It looks like a knighthood will not be given to Sinfield which is clearly not the wish of the general public.

If these two get praise the same cannot be given to two loudmouth idiots. Piers Morgan seems determined to grab headlines by making nasty personal attacks on individuals. His recent vitriolic attack on Prince Harry after a judge had found him guilty of knowingly used hacking material in his newspaper was a pathetic smokescreen. His defence was that he had never hacked a phone and would not know how to do it. He was never accused for this but for knowing it went on when he was editor.

 After a female footballer won sports personality of the year he yet again sought headlines with a crass comment. It would be good if in the coming year he would just shut up. His comments about the sports award were echoed by motormouth Joey Barton. Why anyone would want to give this person air time is beyond me. Sadly the year has been marked by war across the world with little sign that it will end any time soon. Praise must be given to the brave reporters who take risks to bring the evidence to the world of the chaos of war.

On the good side it has been a breakthrough year for Rebecca Welsh, the female referee whose recent handling of the Fulham v Burley match was of her usual high standard.

The increasing development of choirs for people with dementia has been a very encouraging development. Timothy West has provided an excellent insight to the issues facing those caring for dementia patients. In the sporting arena there has been much good news. Manchester City are world club champions. We had two athletics world champions in the summer and our women’s football team made it to a world cup final.  The most moving story of the year has to be the ongoing health issues being fought by Amy Dowden. This lovely lady has had so much to cope with but continues to smile at every opportunity. At the same time it is good to see the smile back on the face of the loveable Hairy Biker Dave Myers.

Sadly our political class continue to disappoint. Peter Bone is but the latest politician to leave in disgrace. Donald Trump continues to act in a bizarre fashion as he fights off multiple law suits. Baroness Mone thinks that lying means she has done nothing wrong. That she stands to gain millions of pounds from a contract obtained by using her position in the House of Lords does not bother her. She and her husband think this is fine.  The jury is out on this and the outlook for the pair of them does not look good. As the year ends the one clear voice about the future belongs as always to David Attenborough. He continues to warn that if we do not tackle climate change the future is going to be catastrophic for the whole of mankind. Whilst he warns about the fragile nature of the planet others seem determined to destroy themselves and the land in war.

It has been a truly mixed year. Throughout these troubled times some have been a force for good. We can only hope and pray that things will get better in the year ahead.