Leader comment: Hopes for 2017 after a troubled year

After the surprises of 2016, who could confidently predict what lies ahead in 2017?
After the surprises of 2016, who could confidently predict what lies ahead in 2017?
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As we say goodbye to 2016, for many the year will have had all too few high points and much to depress and unsettle.

It will perhaps be most remembered for deaths, both of an extraordinary number of stars, and the grim toll from terrorist outrages such as in Brussels and Nice.

News of the passing of musicians such as David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and George Michael prompted fans to cherish their work anew, mixed with a sadness that there would be no more of their genius to follow.

Likewise, with the unique talents of performers such as Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder and Ronnie Corbett, and boxer Muhammad Ali.

Other deaths had an even more shocking impact, such as the murder of MP Jo Cox.

Elsewhere, bad news was not hard to find, with north east Scotland particularly badly hit by mass job losses from the North Sea downturn.

There was, however, also joy to temper the gloom, such as Team GB’s record overseas Olympics medal haul, and British astronaut Tim Peake’s space exploits.

The two major political events of the year - the Brexit vote and the election of President Trump - also brought joy to some of us, but disbelief and worry to many, and both seismic events will continue to dominate in 2017.

In such turbulent times, we can only hope for a period of stability, and clarity over what the future holds for both Scotland and the UK.

However, as The Scotsman prepares to enter its third century next month, the newspaper and website will continue to chronicle the fortunes of the country, both good and ill.

We wish all our loyal readers a happy and prosperous 2017, when it comes.