The only safe New Year prediction is usually how unwise it is to make predictions. The current line-up of party leaders could not have been predicted a year ago not least in David Cameron’s role as a Conservative and not Coalition Prime Minister.
Each party leader will have set themselves a challenge for the New Year and as Parliament returns it’s important to get off to a good start.
David Cameron will want people to recognise his efforts in getting EU reform and then recognise the importance of Britain remaining a member. Jeremy Corbyn will be hoping that people recognise what his “new politics” means and to translate that into taking the fight to the Government. New Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will just be hoping to be recognised.
Inevitably leaders also have to focus internally on how best to take their party with them. The vindictive acts by the Government of cutting Short Money which opposition parties rely on and restricting trade union funding makes the Opposition’s job harder. But there’s never been a more important time to reach out beyond parties to voters. After all it’s voters who are in charge. People who work hard and pay their taxes. The dedicated professionals who in our area give us some of the best schools and healthcare in the country and keep our borough one of the safest. And those whose time is taken up caring for their family and for whom a happy new year depends upon their own efforts more than political discourse. It is they who in 2016 will have their say probably in an EU Referendum, certainly in elections in Scotland, Wales and London, for Police and Crime Commissioners and for their local councils. It’s going to be a busy year and I hope for all my constituents a happy one.