You know how it is, you’re looking forward to a quiet night of vegging in front of the TV and then your partner utters the dreadful words, “right, we’re switching over so I can watch a programme I want for a change.” Your heart sinks, knowing that the next hour is to be spent enduring Casualty or some other God awful medical drama. And do it was that on a Sunday evening I’d be compelled to watch the ITV series Wild at Heart. I may have been compelled, but it wasn’t long before I found it compelling. I’m spending much of Christmas catching up on the first two series of the programme. How sad is that?! For those who haven’t seen it, it features a vet and his family who leave behind their life in Bristol to start a new life in the wilds of southern Africa. Even the fact that is starred Amanda Holden didn’t quite put me off watching it. It’s a feel good, uplifting story and it makes you think.
Every so often I have wondered about doing something completely different. Leaving behind the world of politics and the media. No more blogging. No more Sky News paper reviews. No more EDP column. What would it be like to leave it all behind and go and discover a completely new life?
As we are about to enter a new year I suspect I am not alone in thinking deeply about what 2010 holds for me, my loved ones, my business and my country. And politicians will be no different.
If you’re David Cameron you know 2010 will be the most important of your life so far. You will either become Prime Minister or be consigned to the ever growing list of Tory leaders who didn’t quite make it. If he fails he will go through the rest of his life wondering what might have been, and what he could have done to bring about a different outcome.
Imagine you’re Gordon Brown. You’ve finally got the job you’ve craved for years and then seen it all crumble around your feet. You approach 2010 trying to shut out what the commentators regard as the inevitable. And yet, and yet. There’s still that sliver of hope that something might turn up. Events might somehow provide the political game changer that you need. You just never know.
And if you’re Nick Clegg, well, you know you’re not going to be prime minister, but you might just be able to get your hands on a bit of power. You know that even if your party loses seats, it could still hold the balance of power. That excites you. You want to turn your party from being a pressure group into a real party which can change things. And yet you know there will be elements of your party who shrink at the prospect.
So as you all indulge in our own individual forms of escapism this Christmas and wonder what the future holds for us all, spare a thought for our politicians. They haven’t had a very good year, it is safe to say. 2010 will give them an opportunity to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try to rescue their tarnished reputations. Will they grab the opportunity or kick the reputation of politics further into the gutter? Cynics will no doubt think the latter, but as it’s a time of peace and goodwill to all, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Just this once? No, thought not.
Anyway, must rush, another episode of Wild at Heart to watch.
(From my EDP column on Boxing Day)