Between now and the same time last year, lots of changes. Mandela has left us. But, as was shown by the attendance at his funeral, he also left a huge stamp on all mankind.

The US managed to re-open the mighty US Government after a threatened full shutdown caused by a small group of really ornery Republicans.

Bermuda has survived its first year under its third government after Voters decided to change governments for a second time; and have begun discovering the wisdom of the ages that some things don’t really change — much.

With Christmas and the New Year so close I think of both the past and the future and I realize that Bermuda is in new territory, in a new time, and is facing problems that are new to Bermuda but are really old and frequent facts for the rest of the world.

We see our once prosperous ‘sister island’ of Barbados dropping a “you’re gonna’ get fired” bombshell on about 3,000 government employees – and doing so just eight days before Christmas. We read that the Government of Barbados is now admitting that they held on to government employees for five or six years too long in the hope that things would ‘turn around’ in that period. But now, Government finally and publicly and all too painfully admits that it got things wrong.

Here in Bermuda, we’re probably facing a Christmas that, one and two years from now, we will all remember with fondness as a ‘good’ Christmas.

To all my readers, those who like what I write; those who disagree with what I write; and those who just read and move on; I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Good New Year.

To all those people who stop me on the street and in shops, who call out to me from their passing vehicles or call from across the street, who track me down and phone or email me; I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Good New Year.

To all the politicians who, having been elected, must now play and win the game with whatever hand – and some are really bad – that the voters dealt them; I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Good New Year.

And to everyone else, from my family to you and your family –  a Happy Christmas and a Good New Year. n