So now we are here in another New Year and, in the UK, the savagery of social welfare cuts continues to slice through our society.
I would still argue that the pace has been too fast, and that the very large cuts to public investment were wholly misguided. But we should at least give the government credit for not making things even worse - which a misguided attempt to stick to the original plan undoubtedly would have.
This Thursday, LBC launches 'Call Clegg' - a weekly phone-in with the deputy prime minister on Nick Ferrari's breakfast show. (Personally, I think they should have called it 'Nick, Nick' or 'Let's Have Clegg for Breakfast!').
today's re-launch didn't tell us a huge amount. We were promised action on childcare support, support for first-time buyers and, yet again, greater investment in infrastructure... But detail remains largely absent, with more to be dripped out between now and the Budget in April.
So what can our British political leaders draw from 'donkey politics.'
While it may seem obvious on many levels that of course the government should take money from higher earners in a difficult economic environment - in particular when one of the other political debates raging at the moment is about introducing real-terms benefit cuts for those on the lowest incomes, a move likely to plunge even more children into poverty - it has always struck me as singularly unfair that the only higher earners being asked to pay more are those with children.
Today, Cameron and his family are at Chequers, enjoying perhaps the happiest new year of his premiership. He is the undoubted master of Britain's political landscape. His Labour, Lib Dem and Ukip opponents have turned in on themselves. His own backbench rebels have fallen silent. He is already dreaming of how to win his third general election in 2020.
The potentiality, and perhaps inevitably, of 2013 proving one of the most socially convulsive and ugly in Britain's social history is very real.
Although it has been gaining in terms of publicity and exposure, that means scrutiny will increase of Ukip's actual policies. On some issues it no doubt is able to chime with popular sentiment, on Europe and on immigration, for example. However, on social issues like gay marriage all the indications are that it is out-of-step with mainstream opinion.
One can see that if you want to create a bubble economy that enriches the banks, but starves the wealth creating sector, you would be hard put to devise a better system. The bursting of the bubble becomes inevitable, leading to the misery and ruin of millions of lives.
We need to open the debate up further and to talk more openly. We already understand how low body confidence can affect 15 year old girls. But what happens when those 15 year old girls reach 25, 35, and 45? How does their low body confidence translate into social confidence? How does it affect their performance in the workplace? How does it affect their families? The government is already doing a lot to support women, but we also need to ensure that we can nurture and support the aspirations of women and girls.
It is clear that austerity isn't working, and it is clear that making it easier to sack people and harder for disabled people to live independently, is no kind of cure for our sick economy. Instead of these policies of despair and division we need investment in our economy and our public services to create jobs and opportunities to help our communities, and to support people who need it.
Nick Clegg's speech yesterday at the Royal Commonwealth Society has left me baffled. He claims to position the Liberal Democrats as "governing from the centre ground". If only. Instead, the area he has chosen to occupy, is a bizarre electoral wasteland where few voters exist.
When did it become such a shameful thing to be pro-European and proud in this country? Why do politicians who sing the praises of Britain's membership of the EU in private, retreat in to the shadows in public? Why do the most vocal defenders of Europe's greatest ever achievement warn only of the dangers of withdrawal rather than share their vision of a united and prosperous union with Britain at its heart?
Proper recognition of Palestine by the UN General Assembly is not the same as peace in the Middle East, but it is a step on the road. Peace can only come from negotiations between the parties and international agreements.
It is only recently that I have begun to fully appreciate just how deep people's cynicism in politics actually goes. The vast majority of my friends a...