And so here we are: another year older, but about ten years wiser.

Because if 2020 didn’t make you reassess everything in your life, and ten times over, then you really weren’t paying attention.

After all the challenges it set us, and the terrible tragedy it brought some families, it will all be in vain if we haven’t taken on board the profound lessons the last nine months have taught us.

It’s normally about now that we start to put the clouds of the old year behind us and look forward to a brighter dawn, building our hopes around what the new year might bring us.

But let’s be realistic.

This year has taught us to stop trying to predict what the next one has in store, and much less try to plan anything around it, and it would take a special kind of fool indeed to take anything for granted anymore.

Even those people whose objective seems to have been to return, as soon as possible, to the flawed ‘normality’ of life before the pandemic, instead of looking for new beginnings - even they must have had some kind of epiphany during the ordeal of the last nine months.

The only people in the whole of our society seemingly unaffected by all that has happened are the politicians.

To listen to them, you would think it’s still 2019.

Despite everything, and despite the huge challenges that are still ahead, their priority is still spinning the truth in an increasingly desperate attempt to convince us that everything is fine and under control.

As if we haven’t noticed that it isn’t.

Unfortunately, the first step to correcting errors is to admit they were made in the first place, and we all know it is not in a politician’s DNA to admit that.

And the only time they will concede that everything isn’t perfect is when it becomes an opportunity to shift blame to somebody else.

Meanwhile, anybody who stands up to point out that, actually, the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, is slapped down and told to be more positive or optimistic, and subscribe to a blind faith in them that they somehow imagine they have earned.

This may still wash with some, but for the rest of us who have survived all that 2020 threw at us, what we really need and deserve is a dose of honesty and reality.

The longer they churn out messages telling us how good things are or will be, even though 2020 will mostly be remembered for how bad they were, the less chance they have of winning our trust.

And as if their mistakes weren’t big enough this year, the biggest one they will make next year is imagining that the way to unite a battered and demoralised population is more of the same.

There must be change.

I hope we all get what we deserve in 2021, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that just wishing for it will make it come true.