Personally 2009 has been frustrating; consolidation and steady development, no big changes to the pattern of life. The new year and decade must see some continuities and some departures from previous form - once I am back to full health (have been bedevilled by a lingering, never-quite-dissipating cold for a few months now), certain planning can commence. The much-delayed move out of home, the consideration of other teaching posts that might be available. The desire to find more real-life forums and connections - in terms of politics, my cultural interests and love. There has been progress; there are ventures I feel part of, but there is so much more of life to be experienced. Self-doubt, whilst ineradicable in totality, must be held in check.
Some things to be thankful for: Zero Books (providing much-needed pause for thought), Sunderland Green Party (however incipient and embryonic), Star and Shadow Cinema (the sort of organisation to be fought for), BBC4 (from Meades to that Postgate doc. to some much else, it sets the standard for civilised British broadcasting), music and film (so much - to be discussed in a subsequent year round-up post).
It is difficult to look forward with optimism to the global or national picture; the prospect of David Cameron in Downing Street sickens. It is to be hoped that he will scrutinised by the media, but not really expected. It is also to be hoped that a non-New Labour left wing alliance could be forged. A move that might have been enabled by Brown being bold enough to pledge a referendum on Proportional Representation on polling day. This sort of boldness might have offered a slight redemption amid the dying embers, enabling Labour to claim some mantle of radicalism that they could develop in opposition to a Cameron government.
The choice has to be: vote for a Green or other socialist candidate who is sitting, genuinely Left and non-NuLab Labour candidates or LibDems. Cameron must not be allowed to gain a Blair style majority if he is to win.