CHRISTMAS is not only an important time to reflect on the year past – but to look ahead to the new year too.
We start thinking about the changes we want to see in our lives, and to those all important new year’s resolutions!
2015 brings an opportunity for big change for people throughout the UK.
In May the general election will offer everybody the chance to vote for the Government that will run our country for the next five years.
It also means choices about the way we want politics to work too.
I know many people feel that politics doesn’t work for them – that it is out of touch with their lives, their voices are not heard and politicians almost seem to be talking a different language a lot of the time. It suggests that we politicians need to make a few new year resolutions of our own.
But whatever decisions any of us make as politicians or voters, our key choices in May should be about the values by which we want our country should be governed – whether in our economy, our health service or our relationships with the rest of the world.
Those choices are real, difficult and they go a lot deeper than finding people to blame at home or from abroad.
History teaches us that the politics of scapegoating is a dangerous blind alley.
So there are big choices ahead for the new year.
For now, though, can I say thanks to all those who have made a difference to the lives of others in 2014 – most of whose names will never appear in headlines or on ballot papers but whose contributions are immense.
And to all readers, have a great Christmas and a peaceful 2015.