31 Dec 2010

Paul the octopus or Nick Clegg? Wins and #fails of 2010

A general election, a World Cup, an “environmental 9/11”, the biggest secret files leaks in history and news of a royal wedding. Channel 4 News looks back at the winners and losers in a hectic year.

2010 winner: David Cameron. (Reuters)

David Cameron may need a lie down in a darkened room after the year he’s just had. From the nail-biting days following the general election when his fate seemed to rest on Nick Clegg‘s BlackBerry to the birth of his new daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron. The coalition‘s spending cuts may have made the new government unpopular but it’s his old friend George Osborne and his new pal Nick Clegg taking most of the flak. Winner.

2010 winner: Chilean miners. (Reuters)

It was a huge year for Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. One of the world’s most famous political prisoners, she was freed in November after being detained for 15 out of the last 21 years. After her release she told thousands of wildly cheering supporters that her fight for human rights was not over: “If my people are not free, how can you say I’m free?” Winner.

2010 winner: Kate Middleton. (Reuters)

The wilderness days are over for Kate Middleton. Long term boyfriend Prince William finally popped the question in 2010 and the pair are to marry on Friday 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. Not only will Kate (soon to be Princess Catherine) be welcomed into the family firm at last, but her nuptials mean an extra day off for the nation. Winner.

2010 winner: Paul the octopus. (Reuters)

He dazzled with his football knowledge, broke English hearts and scored several times for Germany. No it wasn’t Thomas Muller, it was the nine-brained, eight-legged wonder that was Paul the octopus. The mollusc correctly predicted eight out of eight World Cup matches, including England’s demise and Spain’s eventual triumph. Sadly, he headed for the great aquarium in the sky in October but his leg-acy (geddit?) will live on. Winner.

2010 winners: Chilean miners. (Reuters)

It was the good news story of 2010 – 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days were finally rocketed to safety in specially-made capsules as the world watched on. Who could forget the sense of euphoria surrounding their escape? Even our Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Miller – who camped at the San Jose mine – couldn’t stop grinning. Winner.

2010 loser: Nick Clegg. (Reuters)

In the rose garden with Dave this summer, all looked – forgive the pun – rosy for the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. But is his flower wilting as he ends the year with his party split, his ministers caught gossiping about the boss and his core voters, students, alienated? There’s still lots of time for him to win them back but after a rollercoaster 2010, times continue to be tough in the Clegg household. Loser.

2010 loser: Fabio Capello. (Reuters)

England. The World Cup. Rio Ferdinand injured. Wayne Rooney, no goals. A disappointment all round. Only the vuvuzelas brought us cheer. Enough said about England manager Fabio Capello’s year (although he did hang on to his job). And then… we didn’t even win the bid to be world Cup hosts in 2018. Loser.

2010 loser: BP. (Reuters)

Eleven people died in BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – and BP is still cleaning up the resulting oil spill and dealing with the environmental, economic and reputational fallout of the biggest leak in US history. Chief Executive Tony Hayward was ousted and the US government is suing the oil company. Loser.

2010 loser: Harrier Jump Jet. (Reuters)

A review of the nation’s defence spending and capabilities led to the scrapping of the Harrier jump jet – a decision which tugged at the heart strings of many – but mainly grown-up boys with fond memories of Airfix model-making… Loser.

2010 loser: Irish economy. (Reuters)

The former Celtic Tiger managed barely a miaow as the Irish government was forced into an 85bn euro bailout and major austerity measures from the European Union to help keep its economy afloat. Loser.

Julian Assange. (Reuters)

He may have been pipped to the post by Mark Zuckerberg in the race to be named Time Person of the Year, but Julian Assange is the man most of you would like to see heading up the winners table. His carefully orchestrated WikiLeaks data dumps have punctuated the news agenda in 2010. But he ended the year with a stint in Wandsworth jail struggling to clear his name over sex allegations and fearing possible extradition to the US in 2011. Winner and loser.

2010: your tweets and Facebook verdicts
Ahmad Shafiq Azimi:
Julian Assange, voice of the innocents around the world.
@meekoblue: how about Fabio: does a lousy job and gets rewarded(punished) with extended contract!
Aidan Harkin: Loser has to be Barack Obama; he's lost so much support.
@YasminK_88: nick 'never trust me' clegg has got to be the biggest loser of the year. The only way down n out for him n his party.
Niyibizi Hassan: viva Assange! you are the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther king and alike who are looking forward to a
peaceful world.
@jonoread: Surely Nick Clegg was a winner and a loser in 2010?
Emma Salter: Winners: The banks, but not morally.
@JimmyBeary: Ann Widecombe the dancing Dinosaur of course!!!
Tiernan McCann: Loser: Ashley Cole because he lost Cheryl ;)
@flashboy: I think we all agree that Paul The Octopus revealing those secret US diplomatic cables was one of the year's biggest events.