Great Newyear... or was it a dream?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Paulstainton -

Wel­come to my im­pos­si­ble dream for a great 2013! The mists are clear­ing, it’s just af­ter mid­night and my mind­has­trans­port­ed­me­tothe TownHall­party, whichlooks to be in full swing.

“Happy New Year”, shouts a coun­cil­lor in my ear, be­fore plant­ing a bristly, Jager­bombflavoured kiss on­my­cheekand then ex­plod­ing into the ether with a high- pitched whine.

I didn’t havethe­heart, orthe in­cli­na­tion, to ex­plain to her why that is un­likely to be the case for many this year.

As I float through the air on a pink marsh­mal­low pil­low, I spy coun­cil­lor Seaton in his Christ­mas jumper, throw­ing some in­cred­i­bly odd shapes on the dance floor, whilst a queue of coun­cil­lors wait pa­tiently to get their bumps felt by Mys­tic Marco in his tantric tent.

Surely though, no­body needs a crys­tal ball to see the econ­omy flatlin­ing, debt ris­ing and cuts to jobs, ser­vices and ben­e­fits, sav­aging peo­ple’s lives all across this city?

Iam­now­in­minia­ture, amini me, brav­ing a jelly tot storm, be­fore squeez­ing through the tini­est of doors and en­ter­ing a room full of part- baked piz­zas, all with the word“idea” writ­ten on­them– I am­inWayne’sWorld – ex­cel­lent ( not).

Ablind­ing flashof light sud­denly en­velops the room and trans­ports me sky­wards, to­ward­sone­giant, all- see­ing, eye.

“Hello, my name is Gil­lian”, booms the op­ti­cian’s night­mare.

“I can­showyoua­pos­i­tive­vi­sion of the fu­ture.”

With that, im­ages be­gin pro­ject­ing rapidly from her di­lated pupils onto the ceil­ing of the Town Hall, re­veal­ing some of the things that could hap­pen in 2013...

I see some of the big­gest names in the city hand­ing over wads of cash to help those suf­fer­ing from cuts to their ben­e­fits – that’s amaz­ing.

Look, there is Terry Rich be­ing mobbed by grate­ful rel­a­tives, whilst cut­tin­garib­bonon abrand­new­coun­cil­care­home. It can’t be! That looks like a sub­way be­ing built un­der­neath the rail­way at Kings Dyke... and is that farm­ers still tend­ing the land around New­bor­ough?

Three su­per­mar­kets for Whit­tle­sey and the build­ing work in Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre fin­ished? No way. Oh and that is crazy – Dar­ren Fer­gu­son hug­ging Dar­ragh MacAn­thony in front of the new Moyes end, as Posh se­cure Cham­pi­onship safety by win­ning their fi­nal 22 games of the sea­son.

All we need now is for Greece to strike oil and pay back the rest of the world what they owe us!

But as the crowd’s cheers gen­tly sub­side, I wake from my slum­ber and very quickly the harsh re­al­i­ties of life in 2013 come flood­ing back.

Al­most ev­ery day on the ra­dio I talk to those strug­gling to make ends meet and I know, for many, that this year is go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult.

I don’twant­toap­pearflip­pant and make light of what peo­pleare­go­ingth­rough, but this is af­ter­all a newyearand there­fore we should all hope and dream of a bet­ter one to come.

Af­ter all, our dreams cost noth­ing, they can­not be taxed and they can­not be hi­jacked and some­times they do come true.

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