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Five Things

Five pieces of good news – 2nd February 2018

BY Iain Martin | iainmartin1   /  2 February 2018

News makes the world go round. When William the Conquerer landed on the shore at Pevensey Bay, in 1066, those who heard about it once the news had spread didn’t say: “Interesting. I wonder what this will mean for tapestry production, the eradication of Anglo-Saxon identity and the pioneering of detailed record-keeping in the form of a large book recording property and so on.”

They probably said something like: “The Normans have invaded?! Damn. Where? How many? Is there going to be a big battle?”

But no, it was already too late. The Normans had won the resulting battle by the time news reached the rest of the country. News distribution was slow in the 11th century, but you get the point. People are interested in the immediacy of what happened, when and why, in what might happen next, and in opinions about what this all means. If they can be entertained along the way, all the better.

But there is no denying that for lovers of news – news addicts, like me – it has been a pretty bleak prospect recently, especially if you live in the UK and tune into politics. The Tory party is in the depths of despair about its leader – “nothing happens, nothing is getting done,” says a minister – and the Brexit talks are a miserable affair. Someone, please, get a grip of it.

There is plenty of uplifting stuff going on, however. To raise the spirits this weekend, here are five pieces of good news:

1) Pension auto-enrollment in the UK seems to be working, reports the FT. This is a good thing. Hat-tip Chris Giles.

2)¬†Donald Trump seems to have calmed down. No-one is quite sure what this can be attributed to. But he seems, somehow, more chilled. He’s tweeting less and has not launched a nuclear strike on North Korea or Mexico.

3) A UK ban on live animal exports seems to be in prospect. The Environment Secretary Michael Gove is considering proposals, Theresa Villiers MP said today. 

4) I’m struggling for a fourth. No, here’s a cat video from last year. One of our cats is watching it now.

5) Er…