It was an election year in Britain in the shadow of the financial
crash and a giant fiscal deficit; the war in Afghanistan rumbled on
inconclusively; the Euro tottered, President Obama stuttered and global power continued to shift eastwards. So it was a year full of news, and more than half of our cover stories focussed on those events I have listed.
But January’s issue started the year with big pieces on whether
geoengineering can save us from the extremes of climate change by Oliver Morton, the future of video games by Tom Chatfield and our poll on public intellectuals and the financial crash (won by Simon Johnson). There was also a prescient piece (by James Crabtree) on whether Labour could hold on to power by learning how to apologise in the right manner for its policy mistakes.
February’s cover was on the potential of the internet to change government and enable greater participation. It was based on exclusive access to the conversations between Tim Berners-Lee and Labour ministers—it seemed a big deal at the time but it remains rather an elusive deal now (though the coalition is also keen on the idea). Stewart Brand argued that third world slums were the hope of the planet and Paul Romer revealed his plans for new cities. On a more melancholic note, Michael Collins reported on the quiet disaffection of the working class in the south east of England.