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The last thing you need at this time of year is another long essay on the condition of the world. You have presents to organise or return and we’ve all had quite enough current affairs for one year. Relax.
What’s that? Would I like a drink? It’s a bit early… well if you’re passing the drinks cabinet anyway… oh go on… I’ll have a gin and tonic. Rosehip-infused craft gin from a little start-up run by bearded trustafarians in Shoreditch at 40 quid a bottle, served with Fever Tree tonic? No, I’ll go old school. Make mine a Gordons with Schweppes full fat tonic… lovely… wait, what are you doing? No, don’t put lime in a gin and tonic! Lemon, please. Cheers. Ah, that’s good.
Anyway, I’ll spare you any more pontificating about Trump, the EU, Brexit, technology, the virtues of a free society, security and intelligence, the SNP, and so on.
I simply want to say thank you for reading Reaction.
When most of the team that launched CapX – to promote popular capitalism – left earlier this year to start something a little more wide-ranging we had no expectation that it would develop a loyal following. Reaction was certainly lucky in terms of timing, what with launching during the EU referendum campaign. And then there was Trump… who I will have to stop calling “a golf-obsessed poltroon” and soon start calling President of the United States.
It quickly became apparent in the second half of 2016 that while markets and capitalism, for want of a better word, need defending, rethinking and reviving, there is more at stake in addition. The navel-gazing of the EU obscures a bigger challenge, namely the rickety condition of Western security and defence. Even the basic functioning of democracy, and faith in free elections and the importance of a free press, are in doubt. Simultaneously, the relatively new tech giants (who seem at best politically naive) are hoovering up digital advertising, precipitating a further collapse in the mainstream media, other than at outlets that enjoy a subsidy or were astute enough to develop a model charging for content or membership. The age of Brexit, Trump, EU disarray, Russian resurgence, disintegrating multilateralism and tech takeover surely merits more analysis and smart-thinking, not less.
A tiny start-up such as Reaction cannot claim to have all the answers to these complex challenges, but in our small way the goal is to help readers to make sense of a fast-changing world, and hopefully provide entertainment along the way.
In 2017 we’ll do more, by adding additional writers to our merry band of distinguished contributors and offering new features and events for readers. Please let me know what you would like to see, or what you think of Reaction so far, or just feel free to throw bread rolls, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Reaction site and deputy editor Rachel Cunliffe’s daily email returns on the 3rd of January, although we will of course react in the event of major news. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Brexit.