2016: tumultuous and tragic year
It would be fair to say that 2016 has been exciting, tumultuous and tragic in equal measure.
As it draws to a close I have been reflecting on the significant events of the year from a personal, national and global perspective.
The first four months of the year were spent campaigning for the Scottish Parliamentary election, which was held in May.
In an exciting and hard-fought campaign I was pleased to be able to connect and talk with so many people and businesses in all corners of the constituency.
Being declared the first SNP MSP for Rutherglen constituency in the wee hours of May 6 was, of course, a great honour.
An important step to ensure that I can serve the people of Rutherglen to the best of my ability was the setting up and opening of my new office in Main Street, Rutherglen, in November.
Hot on the heels of the Scottish Parliament elections came the EU referendum.
Scotland voted strongly to remain in the EU.
However, despite being told during the independence referendum that the only way to secure our place in Europe was to vote No, we now face being dragged out of the EU against our wishes.
Since the Brexit vote we have had months of confusion and indecision. Steering a course through this confusion, the only coherent and competent political voice has been Nicola Sturgeon as she endeavours to ensure that Scotland’s interests are protected in the months and years ahead.
As we were still attempting to get to grips with the fall-out and impact of the Brexit vote the shock wave of the US presidential election result hit us.
Despite winning the popular vote by nearly three million, Hilary Clinton lost the electoral college heavily and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the new US President in a few weeks.
Given some of the intolerant and offensive statements coming from the Trump camp during the election, it remains to be seen what impact his presidency will have on the US domestically and globally.
There are certainly a lot of concerned minority groups in America who are fearful for the future and we already see ripples of concern internationally around some of his foreign affairs positions.
2016, unfortunately, also continued to bring us horrific images from Syria and Yemen, as well as heart-rending footage of the suffering endured by migrants fleeing these and other conflicts.
Despite all of this, as we face into 2017 I look forward to the future with hope.
I would like to wish readers a happy and peaceful 2017 and I look forward to continuing to represent you at Holyrood.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can assist you in any way.
The shock wave of the US presidential election result hit us
Honour Clare Haughey was elected in May