Is it just me, or are we facing an increasing number of issues that provide fuel for the prophets of doom. There seem to be many reasons for despondency and despair. That’s the bad news, but as an unreformed optimist, I feel that although we should not ignore the problems, we should keep them in perspective.

My mother was planning a holiday in the Middle-East, and seeking my advice she asked, ‘Do you think the war will be over by July?’ Well, there has been some kind of dispute in that part of the world for at least 2000 years, so peace by July seems unlikely.

The migrants seeking a perceived better life in Europe are prominent in the headlines, but where does compassion end and reality start. Should we deny a granny her hip replacement so that the extended family of migrants can be supported by the State? Well fortunately I don’t have to make that decision – but it is a decision that will have to be made.

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I’m sure that there must be a good argument for the justification of supplying financial aid to India, currently about £200 million per year, whilst their government is planning to send a space probe to Mars at a cost of £600 million. As I say, there must be a good argument, but it is not clear to me.

Is it wrong to express these views, or am I restricted to mentioning these points in hushed tones in case I offend somebody.

The ability of the media to fill the 24-hour rolling news schedule means that in addition to frequent repetition they seek out every passing bandwagon in the hope of finding a new perspective to highlight. After a while this policy becomes self-fulfilling, and the media is reporting, not just on the events, but on their own reaction to events.

But, (and thankfully in my opinion there is a ‘but’), I think that common sense will prevail. There is no rule that says the world has to be fair, or that everyone should be entitled to everything they want, but in a civilised society people will behave in a reasonable way, as long as they think that others are not taking advantage of their good will.