f the events of 2016 come as a surprise - it is because we are failing to communicate or take an interest in people beyond our own small bubbles. A failure that is also seen within our political parties who have not listened to the urgently felt concerns of so many people and thus neglected to provide for the huge changes that neoliberal globalisation has caused.
So what now? Demoralisation and defeatism is never an option, and never more so than today. Determined opposition to Brexit in the UK and to Trump in the US must emerge - strong, determined, assertive and confident in its own strength of purpose and arguments. Brexit is not inevitable and, no, we should not accept the result of a referendum that has taken us to the edge of a political, economic, and constitutional cliff.
It saddens me. It saddens me greatly. The people who do this think they have the best intentions. But you cannot use the tools of tyrants. They are damned. They will only bring about pain, misery and oppression. I write this as a warning to those on the left. The path of liberty is narrow and it is easy to fall prey to fascism. Deals with the devil always look good to start, but you will soon learn that there is a higher price that you pay. Your soul.
The right of the Labour Party, for all its doom-stricken expressions and angry attacks on Corbyn and his adherents, is in fact being insufficiently pessimistic. They seem to think that if they replace their leader with a balding, uncharismatic, middle-class technocrat, it will be sufficient to avert the collapse of the Labour electoral coalition, ride out the politically destabilising effects of Brexit, and confront the emerging problem of a new fascism that could define the future of western politics. Myself, I shall stick with Corbyn.
This is not a good time to be in the punditry business. It's as well to recognise the fact: none of us has a clue what's going on. Donald Trump? How did that happen? ... Politics in both the US and Europe is getting ugly. So here's another suggestion: let's put teachers and doctors in charge. They could hardly do any worse than the current lot.
As long as the public continues to accept the assurances of the rich that we have to suffer so that they don't have to, the bitterness created will continue to create divisions between ethnic and religious communities that should be working together to destroy zero hour contracts and ensure proper funding for the NHS.
Recent debates around the whole "local driver" issue involving a local taxi firm are illustrated beautifully by two buildings on Hull's Holderness Road. They are connected by real proximity, but separated by the passage of 70 years. Yards from 35 taxi's bustling taxi office stands the Boyes store, built on the site of what was the Savoy Cinema.
With Remembrance Day almost upon us we have entered another period of debate and discussion over the symbolism of the poppy. It's a debate which offers irrefutable proof of the increasing politicisation of this annual event, one which rather than unite the country around a shared narrative and set of values instead reminds us of a history of conflict that is contested over the question of whether it should be considered a source of pride or shame...
Though Russia has trumpeted its goal of fighting fascism more or less continuously since the Second World War, many in Europe have assumed such an ideology to be definitively outmoded. Today, the West must figure out how to speak to disenfranchised citizens in a meaningful way, to show them that dysfunctional democracies can be reformed, and that directing political frustration at society's most vulnerable members is never a constructive way forward.