An astounding year. Just throw your mind back to the dying days of last summer and the PM’s 2020 gabfest, a moment of chinos, shirtsleeves and ideas, when vision and possibility seemed in the ascendent. It seems a world away now. In Australia we had a new government and a sense of expectation. The apology, Kyoto, federalism …. Rudd and Co ticked the boxes of an agenda that promised a transformational term. The story changed mid-year as a sobering sense of encroaching dark spread from the financial markets and plush eyries of Wall Street to what we came to think of as the ‘real economy’. Now we needed hope and change more than ever, to face the challenges of a faltering economy and a growing sense that much would be set aside in the interests of plain survival.

Running against it all through the length of the year was the long contest to select a new US president, another case in which hope would trump cynical conservatism. It’s no surprise Crikey readers chose Barack Obama as their Person Of The Year. None. But the choice is not diminished by that inevitability. Obama’s was far and away the most stirring narrative of the year. His political victory was as astounding as the achievements of his life story were unlikely. The challenge now is to transform the audacity of his personal and political vision into a steadying actuality that might bring us not just change we can believe in, but also a future that will nurture and support us. Here’s hoping. 

This is the last Crikey edition for the year.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all.
We’ll be back in your inbox on January 5.