. A new year | London Progressive Journal
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A new year

Mon 2nd Jan 2012

The bells have chimed, fireworks have lit the skies across the globe, and the minute hand has crossed the hour of 12am. For much of the world it is now 2012.

Another year of political infighting, here and abroad, looms ahead. After the 'standoff' over AV and the European veto, it seems likely that the Liberal Democrats (having gained red faces) have little inclination to leave the coalition, whatever policy David Cameron might care to bring in before 2013. That is a scary thought in itself but boundary changes, as proposed by the Boundary Commission, are due to be debated in 2012 - those changes could see major fault lines appearing in the ranks of the LibDems: seats such as the Lewes and Brighton East could merge, with much of the Lewes seat (such as Seaford, Uckfield and Newhaven) being moved to a new ward, resulting in the probable loss of a LibDem MP.

The coalition remains as strong as it could be (whether you like it or not), the presidential race in the US is gaining evermore coverage (the Iowa vote for the Republican ticket is on the 3rd), so what might a new calendar year have in store?

What fate for the Euro?

The big question seems to be whether the Euro stays intact in 2012. There are certainly choppy waters ahead. The European Central Bank has been pumping unprecedented amounts of money into the currency, how much of this works its way down the system remains to be seen: jobs are becoming evermore scarce, inflation remains ripe, and we all strive to pay for our transport, whether it be public or private.

The Occupation movement?

Long may it last (though the ultimate goal is that it doesn’t have too), the prospects of imminent growth seem slim though. We could all do our bit: a day here and there- even supplying tea bags, the movement does not just need the support of ad hoc celebrities but of that of you and me (herein lies a New Year’s resolution). This remains a very important campaign.

The US?

Registered Republicans vote for their new presidential candidate. There is no clear winner as yet (early days). Unlike in the Democratic Caucuses, there is no opportunity to switch candidates after an initial tally, and there is no obligation to reveal your choice. Iowa will send just 28 National Convention Delegates to the official convention in Tampa Bay in August.

The Arab Spring?

Or is it summer, or in the case of Syria, the dark days of winter? The brutalisation of people fighting for their rights against the armed forces of Assad must trouble us all. A peaceful and less humiliating resolution (for the female campaigners, certainly) must be hoped for.

North Korea?

Long live the Kim…in this case Kim Jong Un. We do not really know his age (28 years-old? 29?). The death of Kim Jong Il has left the politicos of East Asia in jitters. The sudden death of the despot has left the country in the hands of an inexperienced young man with a finger on the nuclear trigger, whilst thousands of his people continue to starve.
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