Foreword

Welcome to our round up of 2017. This year Britain has been portrayed as divided, split between the ’haves’ and the ’have nots’, Millennials and Baby Boomers, Brexiteers and Remainers, ’Somewheres’ and ’Anywheres’, or the experts and the rest.
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Articles

Downbeat and divided? Britain in 2017

After the tumult of 2016, this was supposed to be a steady, unspectacular year in which “Brexit meant Brexit” and Britain got on with the business of making it happen. Instead, 2017 will be remembered for a surprise election (and a surprise result), growing gloom about Britain’s prospects, and acrimony and uncertainty about our ‘divorce’…
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The year British politics swung left?

The 2017 General Election saw the biggest swing from one party to another we’ve seen in any recent election – for once, the campaign made a difference. From a position of what seemed unassailable strength, the Conservatives ended up losing their majority (despite, of course, winning the election with an increased vote share that was…
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In the shadow of Grenfell

The tragic scenes of the Grenfell Tower fire will live long in the collective memory of Londoners and Britons alike. Just before 1am on Wednesday 14 June this year, the London Fire Brigade was called to attend a small fire, thought to be caused by a faulty fridge, on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower…
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It’s the culture, stupid

When James Carville wrote ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ on the wall of Bill Clinton’s campaign HQ in 1992, he distilled every election campaign ever into one memorable phrase. And it makes sense, because every US President that has won the election has also won the economic argument – that is that they have the best…
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What worried the world?

How was 2017 for you? Across the year, our What Worries the World poll has gathered the views of citizens in 26 countries every month, finding out how they think things are going and what they see as their country’s biggest concerns. Here is a rundown of who worried about what, and where, in 2017.…
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The death of #cleaneating?

Was 2017 the beginning of the end for #cleaneating? While criticism has been building amongst celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Ruby Tandoh for a number of years, the science behind ‘clean eating’ – which, at its core, means eating nothing but ‘whole’ or ‘unprocessed’ foods – came under attack from many sources. The…
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The retired prince

This year Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, officially retired at the ripe old age of 96. After 64 years of service and with 22,219 solo engagements under his belt, the Duke may find himself in a state of retirement shock. His wife is still working, and adult children and grandchildren have well and truly flown…
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Our screen obsession

When I was a child, my parents used to say I would get ‘square eyes’ if I watched too much TV. Today, one of my major battles with my own children is the amount of time they spend on their phones. In part this is a perennial parental worry about how their kids spend their…
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Stop being so rubbish with rubbish!

The average British family is throwing away £700 worth of food each year, with 15 million tonnes of food waste ending up in our landfills annually. It’s a shocking statistic that has economic, social and environmental implications. But even discussing the environmental consequences of food waste is proving difficult. Our 2017 Global Trends Survey85 found…
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Open Banking: are you ready?

Last year we anticipated the impending battle between banks, payment providers and fintechs to develop services utilising open APIs. As the January 2018 open banking deadline looms we ask, are you ready? EU regulation means that, with our consent, providers can now share our banking information with third parties. It is part of a move…
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Beyond System 1

2017 was the year that behavioural science achieved global recognition with Richard Thaler winning the Nobel Prize in Economics for his use of psychology to understand consumer behaviour. He has argued that many of our decisions are made using ‘System 1 processing’ where we use unconscious rules of thumb to navigate our way through the…
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Immigration – changing and unchanged

For the last two decades, immigration has been a key issue facing Britain. It is an issue that sharply divides the public – and these fractures were revealed by the 2016 referendum on EU membership where one of the biggest drivers of the ‘Leave’ vote was anti-immigration/nativist sentiment. It cuts across party political lines –…
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Is the world getting better or worse?

Is the world getting better or worse? What do you think people said when we asked them, across 24 countries? Your first thought might be that this is such a ludicrously broad question that people would prevaricate. Which bit of this 200 million square mile planet do we mean, or which of the 7 billion…
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