current affairs growth media

Good news or bad news?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been struck by a series of good news stories that have accidentally been reported as bad news stories.  Here they are:

  1. Fewer new cars were registered on Britain’s roads this year.
  2. The supermarket chain Tesco has posted its lowest growth figures for 20 years.
  3. The British arms company BAE Systems is facing a wave of redundancies.

All of these were reported in the business section, in sombre journalism full of words like ‘disappointing numbers’, ‘weakness’, ‘lacklustre performance’. Why? Because things are supposed to grow. Companies are supposed to get bigger every year. Sales can only ever go up. Market share can only ever expand.

This is a problem, because if we actually follow through on that, it takes us to places we don’t want to go. “Healthy” end of year growth figures are celebrated, but is anybody pausing to ask what happens if those figures continue unquestioned, year after year?


  1. Hmmmmmm….it should be good news…but in Lancashire we now have many families who will be struggling with financial hardship/debt/unemployment because of the redundancies at BAE – – many of our church members work in various positions for the company (a whole other discussion, I would think) – – transitioning between a world of growth and a world of enough is difficult – for those who have to sacrifice what they have become used to having. Jeremy is right, of course – we don’t want to arm the world…problem is there is no alternative employment yet – maybe we need to get creative in our thinking and our praying that there will be a better use for all those highly trained people with fantasic skills and abilities…

  2. You’re right of course, it’s really hard for those stuck in the middle of it. As far as I’m concerned, BAE Systems should have been diversifying anyway, making wind turbines or Satnavs or a thousand other things, and it wouldn’t have left their staff in the place they’re in. But that doesn’t make it any better for your community now.

    Thanks for your comment, and my thoughts are with you and your church as you think and pray through what to do about it.

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