Don't Panic! Here Are 20 Reasons to Be Cheerful
Brown, Jonathan, The Independent (London, England)
After months of relentless gloom in the economy and one of the worst summers on record, the stock markets are recovering and the sun has come out. By Jonathan Brown
1 Greed is no longer good
Having seen off the red-braced yuppies of the 1980s, Gordon Gekko's mantra seemed to be making a comeback in recent years. The spectacular failures in the City and Wall Street look likely to herald a gentler face of capitalism.
2 We are living longer
Children today can look forward to longer and healthier lives than ever. According to the Office for National Statistics, 75 per cent of boys, and 80 per cent of girls, will live beyond 80. Among 65 to 74-year-olds, mortality has fallen by two thirds.
3 Exam results are best ever
This summer the number of young people scoring top grades in their GCSEs recorded the biggest rise for nearly 20 years. A-levels recorded their 26th improvement in a row.
4 Relief for first time buyers
House prices are falling and have been for nine months in a row, with some lenders reporting an overall decline of 11 per cent.
5 Petrol is getting cheaper
The price of a barrel of oil is now 30 per cent lower than it was at the height of the oil shock three months ago. The Petrol Retailers Association predicts price cuts could start filtering through to forecourts within the next 10 days.
6 Red kites are back
Reintroduced in the early 1980s after being persecuted here to the point of extinction, Britain's most beautiful bird of prey has staged a remarkable comeback. The Scottish red kite population is now at a 200-year high, with 1,200 pairs of the awesome raptors.
7 It's finally stopped raining
One dry weekend does not an Indian summer make but after the deluge that was August and early September, forecasters are finally predicting some relief.
8 British Paralympic athletes' success
They may not have enjoyed the same wall-to-wall adoration afforded their able-bodied compatriots in Team GB but the scale of Britain's Paralympic achievement in Beijing was truly spectacular. The team won 102 medals - 42 of them gold - ranking Britain second only to China.
9 The little man can win
Dragon's Den contestant Andrew Harsley ploughed all his time and savings into creating his Rapstrap nylon cable tie. Now he has secured an order for a billion of his homespun invention.
They may smell like unwashed underpants but two wet summers have produced a bumper British truffle harvest.
11 Demise of the Guinea worm
Twenty years ago some 3.5 million people in Africa were afflicted with …
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Publication information: Article title: Don't Panic! Here Are 20 Reasons to Be Cheerful. Contributors: Brown, Jonathan - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 2, 2008. Page number: 10. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.