As 2016 draws to a close, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on the year. The first half of my review was posted last week.
Best PR of the Year – Alzheimer’s Research UK does a good job in raising awareness of a condition which affects so many families. Their Christmas TV ad, which features a small girl trying to help Santa cope with his dementia after he forgot to deliver Xmas presents is both touching and inspiring.
Worst PR of the Year – Southern Rail got it badly wrong when they responded to a strike by encouraging commuters to tweet complaints to union bosses. Instead commuters took the opportunity to criticise the company for inefficient management, poor timekeeping and overcrowded trains. Even traditionally Tory supporting papers such as the Telegraph sympathised with the unions and heavily criticised Southern.
Hero of the Year – I was lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen’s superb gig at Hampden in the summer. The Boss articulates the hopes and fears of blue collar America far better than Donald Trump and it wouldn’t surprise me if he became a leading figure in the opposition to Trump’s presidency. Springsteen may now be 67 but, as the Rolling Stones have shown with their great new blues album, the old rockers are still the best.
Villain of the Year – It saddens me to say this as he was a hero of mine back in the 1970s, but John Cleese badly let himself down with some disgraceful comments. In particular, his rant about “half educated tenement Scots” running the English media because “their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers” was pure snobbery of the worst kind. Little wonder that the public has so much contempt for the Public School and Oxbridge elite which Cleese personifies.
Sporting Highlight of the Year – It was refreshing to see Leicester City come from nowhere to win the Premiership. However, the highlight of the sporting year was surely the success of Andy Murray in winning Wimbledon, Olympic Gold and the ATP Tour title.
Sporting Failure of the Year – Once again, it has to be football, and in particular the FA. England’s woeful performance in the Euro Finals and the subsequent Allardyce debacle were bad enough, but the news that some clubs have been paying hush money to cover up abuse of young players by coaches takes the game to a whole new level of disgrace.
Finally, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.