In the first half of the decade we watched as terror and fear took a stranglehold over the media and the world’s population, with the second half of the decade we asked would this trend continue or would there be a light at the end of the darkness?
2005 wanted to be the year that everyone would remember for great celebrations, but as Pope John Paul II passed away on April 2nd, many feared that the year might not be quite so bright. The ascension of Pope Benedict XVI bought joy. Then, in July 2005, the world witnessed as the UK went through some of the toughest times of the Noughties.
On July 6th London rejoiced as it was named host venue for the 2012 Olympics.
Sadly, celebration quickly turned to trepidation as on July 7th, four terrorist explosions bought horror to the rush hour commute, killing 56 and injuring over 700.
The attacks of 7/7 shook the nation, and on July 21st, four further terrorist attacks on the capital were attempted, fortunately however, the attacks were unsuccessful on this occasion.
As summer came to a close the world’s gaze turned from London and shone on New Orleans, Louisiana and the state of Mississippi as Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S Gulf Coast in a catastrophe which killed thousands and left many more homeless.
2006 was the year of Avian flu, the illness more commonly referred to as Bird Flu was reported worldwide throughout the year, with the H5N1 strain of the virus causing the World Health Organization to announce devastation to the bird population of the Asian continent and to predict a surge in human deaths from the virus.
News headlines across the globe in May 2007 featured the search for Madeleine McCann, a four year old who disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal. The search for “Maddie” developed into one of the biggest news stories relating to the disappearance of a young girl of the decade, a search, which, to this day, is still on-going.
On December 27 2007 the globe joined in mourning at the news of that former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated in a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
Throughout 2008 the financial world began to collapse, February 22nd saw Northern Rock taken into state ownership while the summer months witnessed the Royal Bank of Scotland suffer heavily as a result of the financial crisis. The global scale of the issue was highlighted across the Atlantic Ocean on September 15th as Lehman Brothers, one of America’s biggest financial corporations filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The financial crisis hung a dark cloud over the planet for most of 2008, however a bright light was able to shine through, and on November 4th 2008 the world celebrated as Barack Obama was elected to become the first African- American President of the United States, the president- elect in his victory speech said, “At this defining moment, change has come to America.” The speech, which has been compared to Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream” summed up a time of new hope for the USA as the new leader of the free world was crowned.
The final year of the noughties has perhaps given us the starkest warning for the next decade. February 2nd watched as many parts of the country froze overnight due to a heavy and un-predicted snow fall, London found itself hurt particularly badly by the forces of nature as the transport systems collapsed and millions of commuters found themselves unable to get to work as a result.
If the snow fall in February served as a warning about global warming, than the other major news story of the year is definitely a warning about morals.
In the middle of an economic climate which witnessed the banking industry suffer one of the biggest collapses since the 1929 Crash, the British media revealed the two words that would shake UK politics to its core… MPs Expenses.
The expenses, which covered every form of purchase from chocolate bars to moat cleaning, saw the public up in arms with rage towards the elected official, many of whom were seen as being in public service for nothing more than personal gain.
As I write this article there are less than two weeks until the new decade begins, and the planet is officially a teenager, and so what can we expect? Looking back at the noughties I imagine the globe will be a rather average teenager, some fantastic highs, some phenomenal lows, and an awful lot of uncertainty.