Pardon the trite title. Like most at this time of year I feel like I need a holiday to get over the holiday. A week in some austere, distant health spa to re-energise my brain and rid me of the toxins (and tummy) brought on by excessive consumption of turkey (and Wild Turkey). Despite the hangover of a particularly Bacchanalian fortnight, and the appalling weather, I am optimistic for the new year. Surprisingly my optimism is fuelled by events across the Atlantic.
Watching the progress of the presidential primaries has been hugely heartening. There are candidates on each side (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinic) campaigning on pure political beliefs, rather than following the herd and trying to respond to every whim of the focus groups. If only we had more politicians over here willing to be so brave. Though neither of these candidates may win, they are at least driving debate in to some key areas and reminding voters that some politicians actually stand for something. Turnout in the New Hampshire primaries has been high as a result of people actually believing it is worth voting.
The fact that the Republicans have never looked like such also-rans also puts a smile on my face. The future will certainly look brighter without the GOP in the White House.