It’s the last day of 2017 and the papers are in reflective moods.
In the Sunday Times, awards are on offer. The paper presents its not entirely serious “Gaftas”, for the best gaffes.
The paper’s political editor, Tim Shipman, names his politician of the year as Theresa May.
The paper sets out a list of things she’s had to battle – including both wings of her own party, her “own complacency”, “her inability to speak human”, as well as that coughing fit.
Despite them all, it says, “miraculously,” she’s “soldiering on.”
Like one of those self-righting toy figures, says the Sunday Express, she has wobbled but – “to date at least” – she hasn’t fallen down.
Tony Parsons, writing in the Sun on Sunday, says he has a New Year’s resolution “for all those eye-bulging anti-Brexit bigots”.
“Stop all your pathetic mealy-mouthed whining”, because, he says, “the anti-Brexit bleating is becoming more than a little hysterical”.
The Sunday Mirror has a Brexit countdown – on the assumption that in 453 days’ time, the UK will be out.
The paper has been consulting opinion polls and advises Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that he will lose votes unless he and Labour come out against leaving.
A report in the Mail on Sunday suggests Brexit secretary himself, David Davis, suggested at a private meeting that Brexit might not happen.
But, the paper says, he later “claimed his remarks had been misinterpreted.”
‘A bitter tragedy’
The Sunday Telegraph insists “Brexit will not be stopped”.
“All that parliamentary rebellions can do is sabotage it.”
“Are we doomed to endure another year of division?” asks the Observer. “No, we are not,” it answers.
The paper – and others – also offer some positive proposals.
The Sunday Mirror says there has been much “bitter tragedy, at home and abroad”, but it thinks we “look ahead with hope, not horror”.
So does the Sun on Sunday, which looks forwards to a “spectacular” year – with a football world cup, a new royal baby, and Prince Harry’s wedding.
“We have loads to look forward to. So smile and enjoy your celebrations tonight,” it says.
The Sunday Mirror says it thinks the monarchy is “in transition from the old to the new.”
Responsibility is passing to Prince Charles, and his children – a switch it sums up as a “takeover of the firm.”
We too are embracing change, says the Sunday Times – which sees our “enthusiasm” for Prince Harry’s engagement as “proof that we want the royal family to reflect our diverse nation.”
A couple of papers focus on the growing debate about gender and identity – and the problems that can arise.
‘Embarrassed and distressed’
The Mail on Sunday reports that the women who swim in the Ladies’ Pond, in London’s Hampstead Heath, have complained about men who identify as women also using it.
They say a decision by the City of London Corporation means a place that has been “a haven preserved for women” is now under threat.
The Sunday Times also reports on a complaint by a woman patient who didn’t want to have a cervical smear test carried out by a nurse she described as “clearly a man”.
The woman requested a female nurse but was “embarrassed and distressed after a person with stubble and a deep voice summoned her for the intimate procedure”.
It says the NHS trust had apologised for not providing a female nurse, as the patient had requested.
But, all things considered, says the paper, “in retrospect 2017 was better than many had feared”.
As for the future, the paper “the next twelve months promise to be a time of renewal”.
And it, like most of the papers, wishes its readers peace and prosperity.