What a year!

As 2016 draws to a close it is an appropriate time to look back on the year that was and ponder what lies ahead.
Sadly, the highlights seem to be overshadowed by some dark clouds.
It is hard to feel uplifted when images of atrocities in Syria spring so readily to mind.
This appalling disaster leaves the darkest stain over the year.
Once again much of the world has stood by and dithered as thousands of innocent people have been killed, murdered in cold blood, raped, orphaned, made homeless, disabled and had their lives destroyed in a struggle for political power.
It is the little people who have paid the highest price.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that so many Western communities have grown disenchanted with the status quo and stopped listening to the rhetoric of the political elite and sought answers elsewhere.
The Brexit vote in the UK in June was a stunning result which seemed to leave much of the nation, if not the world, in shock.
It is suggested that millions of people satisfied themselves with a protest vote simply to thumb their noses at the establishment which was steadfastly supporting the ‘stay’ position.
Then July’s Australian Federal election – a double dissolution called at a time of the Government’s choosing to cement its  position – almost turned into a disaster as a similar theme emerged.
Again the population moved away from the establishment in droves with a staggering 45% of people not voting for a major party in the Senate leading to the ‘second coming’ of Pauline Hanson and the rise of the NXT.
And the US election last month dished up Donald Trump, a candidate the ‘experts’ said would crash and burn after he was dis-endorsed by most of the respected power brokers in his own Republican Party and whose outrageous statements were ridiculed across the world.
But what those ‘experts’ and political elites didn’t have was an accurate understanding of the little people – the voters – who, once again, showed the establishment they’d had enough of the old ways and wanted something different. Anything, really.
Nobody knows what lies ahead in 2017 but let’s hope our politicians heed the lessons of this year and start leading by listening.
After all the word democracy evolved from the Latin demos (the people) and kratia (power or rule).