Whatever the New Year brings, we know it will entail change, all of it unpredictable but much of it, we hope, positive.
For me, the focus is on May and the opportunity to represent South Belfast as MP.
The Belfast we wish to create is within reach: an ambitious Belfast, a united Belfast, a diverse and prosperous Belfast. We have made progress — not least in the latest round of Stormont talks — but we have still not realised our full potential.
Two out of five young people fail to obtain the basic qualifications at age 16 to enable them to succeed academically, our youth unemployment remains obscenely high at 20 per cent, our economic recovery is too sluggish and those most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of Mr Cameron’s austerity agenda.
And yet we have the vision, the genius, the passion, and the commitment needed to build a better Belfast.
We also have the ability to resolve the remaining issues around mutual respect which hold us back as a people and are epitomised by the North Belfast parades stand-off and the continuing refusal to usher in a new era of cultural renaissance with the long-promised Irish Language Act.
Issues of identity, as our friends in Derry, have shown us, can be a strength not a weakness. It’s not too much to hope that the politics of 2015 will be the politics of addition and multiplication rather than of division and subtraction.
So let’s hit the ground running — and, yes, I will be calling for your support in my election bid — and carry that gospel of hope, change and progress into 2015 in the knowledge that the bright side of the road lies just up ahead.
In the meantime, you’ve a chance to see an exhilarating and dedicated politician transform our sister city of Boston in this great 25-minute TG4 documentary on the inimitable Marty Walsh.
Hopefully, he will in his usual welcoming mode when I visit Boston on 29 January to promote the Belfast Homecoming 2015 and to discuss new air routes from Boston to Belfast. I will be with Belfast ambassadors in Toronto the following day and New York that evening to honour the heroes of police services across the US in the sixth annual Irish Law and Order Awards. If you’re in the neighbourhood…