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Opinion

Come with us into a better year

Many jobs are precarious and we at The Big Issue WILL fight for those who need us

I’ve yet to summon the gift of foresight.

Like many, I’m really, really good with hindsight. But that is of little consequence. You can’t go and tell the newsagent you were definitely, 100 per cent going to put those numbers on your lottery coupon. Well, you can, but you’ll be no better off afterwards. It may tickle your newsagent. And in a time of social distancing, that’s as close as you can get.

At this time of year many people are asked to look ahead to the year we can expect. It’s the bread and butter of journalism as the calendar turns.

Despite the rather difficult world we find ourselves in, there are still some pushing ahead with the predictions.

Neil Ferguson, the doom-laden infectious disease modeller, is talking about heavy lockdown restrictions until April.

Some commentators are insisting a variant strain/Brexit mash-up will lead to serious food shortages.

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As an optimist, you see the top of a hill not as a difficult incline to conquer, but a place to get a better view

I even heard one person insist Manchester United were serious title contenders.

Normally, I love the potential of a glass half full. It’s something to be savoured. As an optimist, you see the top of a hill not as a difficult incline to conquer, but a place to get a better view.

But, hot dog, that is being tried and tested now. I look enviously at the pessimists and their told-you-so schadenfreude. It’s tempting to see things as bleak.

I won’t though. Because there are always green shoots finding a way.

There WILL be a vaccine programme that moves on a big scale.

Many jobs are precarious and we at The Big Issue WILL fight for those who need us. We will use our Ride Out Recession Alliance to help people stay in work, or to find new work and training. We want to avert a new homelessness crisis.

And we WILL produce this magazine to help our vendors and get it to you, however that may be done.

There will come a time when the year we’ve had will be a proud story of embattled fortitude. It feels a long way off.

But I predict 2021 will be better than the year we’ve just had.

Paul McNamee is editor of The Big Issue 

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