Fri, 28 Dec 2012
The last twelve months have been lit up by moments that will stay with us forever.
When Mo Farah approached the final stretch of the 10,000m final, who wasn't up on their feet, screaming at the TV?
When Nicola Adams beamed at the crowd after winning the first ever women's Olympic boxing, who didn't smile back? I was lucky enough to be there, and that's one I'll never forget.
Was there anything more British than that drenched choir in the Jubilee River Pageant, singing Rule Britannia! in the pouring rain?
Incredible images. Spectacular shows. Jaw-dropping personal triumphs.
And, above all, a year defined by shared experiences and national spirit too.
As for 2013, there will be more great moments, I'm sure.
And some big challenges as well.
Many families are still feeling the squeeze.
Look at the world around us and you see continuing economic uncertainty - particularly in our European backyard.
We are living through fluid, difficult times.
What I can tell you is that, whatever 2013 throws at us...
The Liberal Democrats will continue to anchor this Coalition in the centre ground...
And we will hold firm to our key purpose in this government:
The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy, in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.
Over the holidays people want a break from politics as much as from work - I know that.
But as you look to the year ahead, you also deserve the reassurance that your government has a plan to steer the country onto better times - and that we're going to stick to it.
So I want you to hear it from me, on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, that this Coalition Government is not going to lurch one way or the next.
We will stay the course on the deficit.
We will cut income tax bills and help with childcare bills.
We will invest in boosting jobs and we'll reform welfare to get people into work.
A stronger economy.
A fairer society.
Where everyone can get on.
That's what we're about.
That's what I want 2013 to be about.
And, however you usher it in, I hope you have a fantastic time...
Happy New Year.