With columnists looking back over 2019, there is a mood to assess the impact of the big stories of the year, and indeed, the decade.

The Sunday Times

Rosamund Urwin looks back at the #MeToo campaign which began in the entertainment industry but became a wider movement against sexual harassment. But looking forward, she sees it facing its biggest challenge when Weinstein goes on trial for rape in January.

“If Weinstein walks, a wave of female fury will engulf the Western World” she says. “His trial will reignite the great unresolved debate of #MeToo: How much has really changed since October 2017 when those first allegations against Weinstein emerged?”

The movie producer himself shows little sign of remorse, she says having boasted about his role in promoting women directors and films about women, in an interview with the New York Post. “Following what Weinstein’s representatives have claimed was a period of reflection, he is still snorting lines of that most potent drug, self-delusion,” she says.

The Sunday Telegraph

It has been a decade of self-delusion, according to Julie Burchill, who has little time for mindfulness and self-care. These she says have “a more sinister side in no-platforming, trigger warnings and t he belief of a sizeable number of students that they’re not at university in order to grapple with conflicting ideas, but to find a safe space in a soft-toy playpen.” The cure, she believes, is stoicism as an antidote to virtue-signalling. “Stoics say leave a situation, change it or stop complaining about it; this was the decade in which we Brexiteers did the first, and now it’s time for the side that lost to do the last one, having given the second a damn good go.”

Scotland on Sunday

“Unfortunately there are no knighthoods for stoicism”, says Dani Garavelli, reflecting that if there were they should go to some of those shown in the Channel 4 documentary Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Breadline Kids, which she lauds as one of the best of 2019.

Instead such gongs go to the likes of Iain Duncan Smith, she says. But the former Work and Pensions Secretary is responsible for the plight of the programme’s participants: “Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms were the dark heart of Growing Up Poor... His elevation further undermines an already discredited honours system. But it is entirely in tune with today’s politics; cruelty and incompetence rewarded by a self promoting clique, while those working long hours to improve people’s lives might as well be invisible.

“That’s the way it goes nowadays. Those who sow chaos and confusion are glorified, while those left to pick up the pieces of their own and other people’s lives remain in the shadows.”

The Sunday Mail

On a lighter note, Lesley Roberts casts an eye over 2019’s winners and losers – or as she has it the end-of-year ‘party poppers’ and ‘party poopers’. The former include Scots singer Lewis Capaldi and bakery chain Greggs, with the successful launch of its vegan sausage roll. “Who would have thought the makers of meaty treats like the Steak Bake and the Sausage, Bean and Cheese Melt would be so in tune with the plant-based diet craze”.

Her ‘losers’ include – inevitably – Jeremy Corbyn and also the Sussexes, Meghan and Harry, criticised for secrecy over the birth of baby Archie, and travelling in jets while “lecturing” about the climate. “Just when it seemed they’d turned the negative publicity around with a successful tour of southern Africa, they took the opportunity to bleat about how difficult their privileged lives are,” Roberts says. “They’d better recruit a new PR team for 2020. Make sure it’s not Prince Andrew’s.”

The Sunday Post

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond is also thinking about the Windsors, and what the Queen might have meant in referring to the year as ‘quite bumpy’ in her Christmas message. Prince Andrew and the Epstein scandal (“far from over”) are an obstacle to a smoother year, she says. Prince Philip’s health is a concern, and Harry and Meghan are “still on the warpath against the press”. “There is no doubt the royal family have some ground to make up in 2020,” she concludes.