2016 was happier, safer and more peaceful than ever.

Just a reminder that, despite the news-cycle of death and destruction, things are on the whole, getting better…

Iain Macwhirter

ABOUT this time of year, I usually devote a column to some of the positive stories that have been missed or under-reported in the course of the last twelve months. This year it might seem a futile endeavour given Donald Trump, Brexit, Aleppo, Ukraine and so on. But. as always, there’s another side to 2016.

As the BBC’s veteran foreign correspondent, John Simpson, pointed out in his Panorama programme reviewing his 50 years on the frontline, the world is actually becoming more peaceful, despite evidence to the contrary.

The number of deaths from war is down three quarters on the mid 1970s. Terrorist deaths have fallen by a similar amount. The number of dictatorships has reduced from 90 to 20 in the last 30 years and democracies are up from 40 to 100.

Poverty breeds conflict, so it is reassuring that global poverty continued its rapid decline in 2016. According…

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