When I wrote my end of year blog last December, in my infinite wisdom, I'm fairly sure I declared it the Year of News, impossible to surpass... However, if 2011 kept news editors across the world on their toes, I think it's fair to say 2012 certainly rose to the challenge. The difference this time? There were plenty of positives to report on, talk about and debate. And - joy, of joys - lots of it was happening on our doorstep.
"Even the most ardent republicans respect the Queen". And with that statement so ends the debate. Ardent or otherwise, it is tough enough to get a discussion about ending the monarchy going, let alone begin a process that would actually bring about its demise. Conservatives, lower and upper-case c, appear to have this one sewn up as most of Great Britain celebrates her diamond jubilee, during which affection for the person will overwhelm any doubts about the institution. Not only is 'respect for the Queen' the default position in the media and politics, but in a recession the idea of something as unsettling as ending the monarchy can be dismissed as a waste of money and a priority of abyssal insignificance. However, in the long term it is anything but.