Referendum showed divide

The new year means looking back on the year that’s gone and forward to the year to come. With few memorable moments in Westminster, the most significant events of 2014 have been elsewhere.

There was the moving centenary commemorations of the start of the First World War, marked here particularly by the excellent Tynemouth WW1 Project.

There’s no doubt, however, what the most significant event was. The Scottish Referendum sent a shockwave through politics and continues to do so.

The UK may have avoided fracture along national lines, but there’s growing evidence that our country is nevertheless dividing.

I met credit-union volunteers who not only help people manage their money, but provide for some who otherwise would have nothing at Christmas. I met food-bank volunteers who told me most of the people who are referred to them are in work. There’s also the church members who took presents to homes when the children were at school so their parents had something to give them on Christmas morning.

It’s easy to predict the most important political event of 2015 – May’s General Election. The key questions will be whether ‘broken Britain’ is any better and who has the plan to mend our divided country.

I would like to wish you and your family all the very best for 2015.