2011 was a strange year. I've never felt moved to write corny greetings on New Year's Eve before, but I'm going to this year.
On a personal note, I've been reminded too many times for comfort this year that time and tide wait for no man and that I am a man. Well, obviously, I am a woman but you know what I mean.
In 2010 my dear grandmother died, but I didn't feel so miserable then as I have this year when too many people died untimely. Ali, Patrick and Alan I knew personally and will miss. People close to me have also lost loved ones, and one of those has had a big impact on my life this year.
We have lost some national figures as well, Brian Haw stands out for me.
In the world at large, I'm sure there have not been an extraordinary number of deaths, but there were many that were truly shocking, for example, the 77 Norwegians murdered by Anders Breivik, and those who died during the riots in August.
If I tried to enumerate the astounding international and national political events that took place this year, I wouldn't do it half as well as the Sunday supplements will tomorrow so I'll spare us both.
I wish everyone well always. But humanity is divided against itself, men from women, nations, races, religions, along lines of sexual orientation and physical ability, age and so on. In all these tensions, real and imagined, I don't take a side. But there is one way that people are divided where I do: class.
I don't believe that we can make progress in healing all our other divisions unless we end the inequality of resources and opportunity which stifle many of us as individuals and the absurd waste inherent in the capitalist system which stifles us as a species.
I don't expect most of you to agree with me, but I'm sure there will be times in the coming year when we will share views on the way things are going in Barnet - downhill! - and class, I believe, has a lot to do with that.
There, I have left myself wide open to some digs from David Duff. So I will end with something my grandmother said, which was hardly original but effective. She always said it as a toast: "Here's to those who wish us well, and all the rest can go to..."