If 2015 was the EU's annus horribilis, 2016 is in danger of becoming the annus terribilis. The situation in the Middle East cannot be controlled, but our response can be. If we go back to another year of grand gestures on one side, and inaction on the other, the EU will continue to be paralysed in the face of its greatest challenge yet. It can reduce the impact of this crisis by focusing on what works, and on policies that are tough but fair for those people and those countries that play by the rules.
Many Swedes regard it as a human duty for a rich country to allow those who need refuge in, no questions asked. Now the request "show me your passport" is being asked and there many more questions which need to be answered before Sweden can decide how it will cope with it's overwhelming influx of humanity.
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.
So the John Major defence offers the PM four ways to square the immigration, reform, allies and defence trap that has forced him into bluster about his failure to control immigration numbers and silence about his success on reform. With statesmanship he may surprise his critics and win his renegotiation. It's his to lose.
We could all find it much harder to access NHS services, vulnerable people could be put off or prevented from accessing health care that they need, NHS staff will have an additional administrative burden to implement the system. And we don't know if it will really save any money. We should all be worried about what this means for the NHS.
I'm trying really hard to remember a time when we could go a whole week without having to have a national moan about "Europe"*. I mean I get it, I really do. All that great food, fantastic culture and nice weather. Not to mention Germany and France's positively infuriating collective predilection for paying people properly and according them proper employment rights.
If you've seen the Daily Express or the Daily Mail over the festive period you may well be thinking that civilisation is about to end. If you believe the tabloid hype, Romanians and Bulgarians are currently streaming across the channel in their thousands like immigration's own re-enactment of the D-Day landings.