Sky News editors give their verdicts on 2022 – and what might happen next | UK News

It’s been a year of tumultuous change in politics, global relations, science, economics and, of course, the Royal family.

But what stood out, and what could happen next?

Sky News editors give their verdicts.

Beth Rigby, political editor

I’ve been political editor at Sky News since May 2019, and when I took the job I thought, if I am lucky, I might see the handover of power once or twice. I didn’t expect to see three prime ministers through the door at Number 10 in four months. That gives you a perspective about the turmoil.

The Collins Dictionary revealed the word of 2022 to be permacrisis. That basically means the feeling of living through a period of war, inflation, and political turmoil, which encapsulates 2022.

The past 12 months have been insane politically. I have never known anything like it. But you have to set the political crisis in the context of external global events.

First it was COVID, then it was war in Ukraine, and what you can’t predict is what might happen beyond domestic politics that somehow define the era that we are living in.

So, from my perspective, I don’t think we’re going to have the political chaos in 2023 that we had in 2022. But you can’t discount anything in this game any more. And let’s see what happens in those May local elections as well.

Listen to Beth’s year in review podcast:

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Tom Clarke, science and technology editor

It was a bad year for the climate. Temperatures topped 40C in the UK, Atlantic hurricanes, catastrophic floods in Pakistan, and a global energy crisis that failed to galvanise a global climate deal in Egypt.

The UK even managed to destroy its international green reputation by approving a new coal mine – our first in 30 years.

In Silicon Valley, 2021’s much-hyped visions of the metaverse were found almost universally underwhelming.

As cryptocurrencies spectacularly unravelled, so did confidence in Elon Musk as a reputable new owner of Twitter.

But major advances in artificial intelligence like OpenAI’s GPT3 and DeepMind’s AlphaFold reminded us tech still owns the future.

And as COVID retreated, 2022 confirmed the power of vaccines. The year’s greatest vaccine breakthrough was the emergence of one that’s up to 80% effective against malaria, a colossal advance in global health.

But outbreaks of mpox, ebola and avian flu challenge any suggestion that we can drop our guard against future pandemics.

Listen to Tom’s year in review podcast:

Dominic Waghorn, international affairs editor

2022 was the year when everything changed.

It was not just the war in Ukraine. NATO is effectively fighting Russia with everything but its own troops. That has huge implications however the war ends.

What is happening in China could be even more consequential. Xi Jinping is now emperor in all but name, entrenched in power indefinitely. A man with a sense of destiny. He wants the world order remade in China’s image, replacing the liberal world order that has prevailed under American hegemony since the end of the Cold War.

Battle lines are drawn between East and West, fought with arms in Ukraine, diplomatically so far between the US and China, but with fears it could escalate over Taiwan. The most diplomacy is required to manage this state of affairs.

A titanic struggle is underway now in earnest; democracy vs autocracy and freedom vs dictatorship. Waged by diplomats and thinkers, but on the streets too across Iran and for a brief eruption in China.

Its outcome will define the world we live in.

Listen to Dominic’s year in review podcast:

Ed Conway, economics and data editor

It’s been an extraordinary year – in a lot of short-term and long-term ways.

Whether it was what happened with Liz Truss, what happened in Ukraine, what’s happening more broadly with questions over whether globalisation is as we know it, how China will proceed with zero COVID, and of course with energy.

But looking to 2023, I think things will get better in as much as we’ve already – possibly – passed the peak for inflation. And we’ve probably passed the peak of the Bank of England’s rate at which they’re increasing interest rates. The recession might not necessarily be all that deep.

The concern, though, is how it’s being felt in particular households’ pockets – especially in terms of the energy squeeze. And I don’t know how that gets resolved now.

But it’s not grim forever. There is an enormous opportunity here where the world is going to be potentially building all these new technologies. We have recently heard about nuclear fusion. We’ve heard about all of these different ways that we are making the world a better, cleaner, faster place.

But that takes some work. And so it takes a lot of building, and it takes a lot of kind of mining to get there.

Listen to Ed’s year in review podcast:

Rhiannon Mills, royal correspondent

Looking back at the last three years, they have been quite extraordinary: the death of Prince Philip, everything that’s happened with the Sussexes, and stories around Prince Andrew. It’s been a rollercoaster.

And this was meant to be a year where things were got back to normal as COVID restrictions were relaxed, allowing the royals to be back out and about again doing tours. But the stories and events that unfolded, many of us just could not predict.

I’ve spoken to people within the palace and there’s a sense of weariness, a sense of sadness and probably a sense of anger as well that Prince Harry and Meghan did their Netflix series.

Efforts were made to make them feel included around the Queen’s death. King Charles, in his address to the nation, talked about the Queen’s unerring ability to see the good in everyone.

And that week around her death, it felt like they were saying, “Look, we’re going to put everything to one side… we’re all going to form a united front as a family.” And then Harry and Meghan have done this.

Someone at the palace said to me the other day, in some ways, the family are now being guided by a mantra that the Queen was always guided by, which was: “Don’t look at your feet… look to the horizon.”

Listen to Rhiannon’s year in review podcast:

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