So what's 2013 been all about and where does it leave us? Here's my take... and Christmas wishes

Is that all there is, Peggy Lee once asked. Is that 2013 finally done and dusted? Phew. Although I'm not sure if anyone in the political world feels like dancing quite yet – the year has ended in a left-right stalemate that leaves everything to play for next year.

Inspired by the rash of speculation this week, I figured it's time I gave people a chance to make fun of me a year or two from now by giving my take on where we stand ahead of next year's election

It seems that 'The Game of Thrones: 2014 New Zealand Edition' is the game of the week. Everyone in my line of business seems to have a view on who will be forging alliances with whom and who will be chopped down to size over the next 15 months. And far be it from me not to join in.

Mana and the Maori party must now co-operate or perish. All parties, including Labour should be worried about the low turnout - where's the mood for change? National is losing coalition partners at an alarming rate. But the big question - will the Maori Party survive? Does it deserve to?

Labour's win in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election was big enough. 

Over the last three elections there has been a stable non-Labour vote in the electorate of around 50 per cent. The first job for any challenger was to collapse all the other candidates' support and set up a two horse race.  Labour cruised home because those opponents failed. 

Food in schools – Russell Wills now Key’s puppet – targeting, corporatisation and the charity model rule

Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills  gave a grand demonstration on RNZ yesterday of how even a well meaning and highly respected professional can become a right wing Government’s puppet in the blink of an eye.

Auckland's first-ever beneficiary 'impact' demonstrates poverty of policies as well as of people 

Almost unnoticed in the rush to Christmas, the first ever beneficiary ‘impact’ to be held in Auckland has been taking place this week at Onehunga’s Work & Income office.