Christmas is usually a time of brief truce when it comes to relationships, war and politics. 2008 has been such a disastrous year economically and financially that this writer has stopped listening to the morning news; it’s just too gloomy. So as we go back to our families and contemplate our 2009 resolutions, how can our Governments restore some degree of hope in combating the Recession?

Governments need to focus in 2009. Think the big stuff and explain it. Don’t be distracted by roadblocks and special interests. Remember, that elected democracies have been mandated to implement changes for the good of the people. That is some level of trust and investment of power. Use it wisely.

There should be a public audit worldwide on the real merits provided by the public sphere. It’s time to end the charade that only private is good. Level the playing pitch and see how many institutions properly staffed and delivering services compete with private sector models. The number of superior public sector options will be surprisingly high. Ignore right-wing economists and think tanks that say this is not the case.

Banks need to be treated even more harshly in 2009. They need to be reminded that they operate under licence, that enormous losses should result in Directors losing their pensions or facing jail time. Tax avoidance should be shunned as a profession, regulators need to be beefed up and leaders need to have the courage to take on city whiz kids to stop a recession becoming a depression.

The World’s governments can give future generations a real legacy in climate change reform. For once, politicians can save the World, and there’s not a lot of time to do it. Go over the head or assist the laggards and ridicule the deniers. This is too serious an issue to let drift. Let’s change things today. Then let us at least have tried and failed rather than not to have tried at all.

We are strong when we are united. It was governments that banks turned to for corporate bailouts; an international approach is the only way of dealing with the crisis. Wars are fought by mobilising national and international resources; let’s mobilise the same resources for peaceful goals and change things for the better. Do not let our politicians fail us – vote for change where needed. We have a voice; let it be heard. 2009 can be our year.