Gregg Nunney: The world is a different place now

Nelson Mandela, a true iconic figure who has been remembered as the political heavyweight he was, says Gregg

Nelson Mandela, a true iconic figure who has been remembered as the political heavyweight he was, says Gregg

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I was sitting in bed playing a particularly taxing level of Candy Crush on my phone.

My eyes started to droop and, just before turning out the light, I clicked on to my BBC News app to see if there were any breaking stories.

Thursday night was one of those nights where we’ll all remember where we were when we heard the news.

One of the most important and influential political figures of the past 100 years passed away after a long battle with ill health.

I was only 10 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, but the seismic shift in the political landscape that took place in the last decade-and-a-half of the 20th century meant I was well aware of the situation.

There’s lot of talk these days about multi-nationalism and integration but before events such as the fall of the iron curtain and the end of apartheid there was segregation and isolation on a scale that a lot of people born afterwards could not appreciate.

Of course Margaret Thatcher also died this year, and Ronald Reagan just a few years ago.

Now that Mandela is gone, one of the few political big guns from the early 1990s left is 82-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev.

If you think back to the constant lampooning from Spitting Image then you’ll remember how those figures were never too far from the headlines.

Regardless of your politics, or whether you think the actions and opinions of individuals were correct or not, that era is most certainly confined to the history books, and the world is different as a result.

Will we be saying the same about the era of Cameron, Obama, Merkel and Hollande?

The legacy of a period in time isn’t really clear until after it has finished, but one thing is for certain.

The world and the people in it are forever changing and, this week, a true iconic figure has been remembered as the political heavyweight he was.