2018: The Year in Review
2018 might be remembered as the year of outrage. The world has now had over a year since Donald Trump’s inauguration, and two years since the EU referendum, yet time has not healed the divisions caused by either.
Outrage is arguably the most appropriate feeling. Things have hardly calmed down since either political upset, and it may be because we know that more upsets are likely to come. The political climate is now primed at all times for imminent radical change, for good or ill.
Change in any direction often brings protests, and this year saw them on both a small and gigantic scale. The Washington Post wrote earlier this year that a protest against President Trump takes place every day somewhere in the United States. In London, nearly 600,000 people marched in London demanding a People’s Vote on the end Brexit deal – to put this in some context, the rally against the Poll Tax in 1990 drew an estimated crowd of 200,000.
Though it may seem like it sometimes, we know that neither Brexit nor Trump are all that matters. World leaders, and the world’s citizens, fight their own battles at home. Emmanuel Macron isn’t kept up at night by the prospect of a de-throned Theresa May or a second EU referendum, he has the Gilet Jaunes protesters knocking at his door demanding change.
Angela Merkel is giving up the role which saw her dominate European politics for well over a decade, whilst Russian leader Vladimir Putin retains his power, and Russia’s citizens face the prospect of a leader who may never willingly give up his position.
Though some stories will always divide opinion, we must also remember the fruits of this year – overdue changes that give us hope for our shared society. After the allegations against Harvey Weinstein were first made public in October 2017, the year that has followed has brought with it a wave of awareness. At its best, awareness brings change, and 2019 will hopefully see awareness enacted into reformations.
The LGBT rights movement also saw some of its biggest victories to date. Whilst over 3,000 same-sex couples in Australia began the year by getting married, motions to legalize same sex marriage in Taiwan, Romania and Hong Kong were defeated. Progression takes time, but even where it is difficult to achieve, breakthroughs can be made – the first driving licenses were issued to women in Saudi Arabia in June.
Overall, 2018 was a year of mixed sentiment. We hope you’ll join us in 2019 for all the highs, and the lows.
Daniel Cody – Editor-in-chief, No Majesty
The United States government enters a federal government shutdown as a result of a dispute over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a Barack Obama-era program that provides the opportunity for illegal immigrants to seek protection from deportation. The Donald Trump administration had sought to repeal the program.
Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa after nine years in power. During his career, Zuma and those close to him were embroiled in several corruption cases.
Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia are poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, England.
The ensuing investigation into the incident would eventually land at the feet of the Moscow, though the Kremlin denies involvement to this day.
In the Russian presidential election, Vladimir Putin is re-elected for a fourth term.
Konstantin Gaaze, an independent political analyst, said of Putin’s victory: “the road to presidency for life, or some other kind of lifetime post as the country’s leader, opened today,” suggesting that Putin could remain as Russia’s leader for years to come.
In over 900 cities internationally, people participate in demonstrations against gun violence and mass shootings, calling for stronger gun control in the “March for Our Lives”.
In a development of the Syrian Civil War, the United States, the United Kingdom and France order the bombing of Syrian military bases in response to the sarin attack allegedly by the Bashar al-Assad regime on civilians in Ghouta.
Kim Jong-un crosses into South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in, becoming the first North Korean leader to cross the Demilitarized Zone since its creation in 1953.
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear agreement. In a statement, former U.S. President Barack Obama calls the move “a serious mistake”.
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is held at St George’s Chapel, England, with an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion.
A constitutional referendum on whether to repeal the ban on abortion in Ireland takes place, with a landslide win of 66.4% to 33.6% for the repeal side.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, imposing strict privacy controls for European citizens worldwide.
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump in the summit room during the DPRK–USA Singapore Summit.
The 2018 North Korea–United States summit is held in Singapore.
It is the first summit between a United States President and the North Korean leader.
Saudi Arabia allows women to drive.
After being trapped underground for 17 days, twelve boys and their football coach are successfully rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand.The ordeal of the boys and their coach gained worldwide attention.
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, triggering a diplomatic crisis for Saudi Arabia.
700,000 people march through London demanding a ‘People’s Vote’ – a second referendum on the final Brexit deal. The event is the biggest demonstration against the Brexit process since the 2016 EU referendum.
France experiences its worst civil unrest since the protests of 1968 due to the yellow vests movement. Protests in Paris morph into riots, with hundreds of people injured and thousands arrested; over 100 cars are burned, the Arc de Triomphe is vandalized and numerous other tourist sites are closed, both in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
At the Katowice climate change Conference, nearly 200 nations agree rules on implementing the 2015 Paris agreement.