LUKE MARSDEN: Here's hoping that 2023 is a much better year than the one just departing

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Spotify informs me the song I played the most this year was The show must go on, by Queen.

Apt for a year that saw more turbulence than a transatlantic flight during the beast from the east days.

When you sit sipping your beverage of choice on New Year’s Eve and you begin to reflect on the year, I wouldn’t be surprised if you just laugh out loud, as this is highly likely what I will do and also, I’d imagine what Liz Truss will definitely do.

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Three Prime Ministers later and if Rishi drank, he would probably be drowning his sorrows as we face a very hard start to the new year.

Toasting a happier 2023Toasting a happier 2023
Toasting a happier 2023

Nobody envies the PM as he steadies the good ship Britannia through a terrible cost-of-living crisis and who knows how many icebergs are yet to come?

The Collins word of the year is "permacrisis” which basically means everything is unstable.

However I’d like to offer my own word of the year: “perseverance.”

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As a town we’ve been hit hard. But as I’ve talked to Wiganers over the festive period, spirits are not dampened. As a town we’ve seen worse, and we’ll continue to keep calm and crack on because, as one Wiganer put it to me, “what’s the alternative, Luke?”

The pandemic years seem a distant memory, but I know a handful of people who have caught Covid recently and have been quite unwell. We need to remain vigilant against the viruses we can and cannot see.

Yes, things are hard but, as we’ve seen in Ukraine this year, we could be in a lot worse position and we need to remain hopeful that 2023 will be a year of stability in all sections of our lives.

As I raise a glass of champagne (I got bottles on offer, before the trolls come out!), I’ll be contemplating what 2023 will hold.

I’ve already been asked if I’ll run for local office again and that remains undecided but what I’m certain on is Wigan will be OK, because what’s the alternative? Here's to 2023!