Firstly, may I thank so many readers for their efforts in promoting the Conservative Leadership Foundation's writing competition. Your support will be invaluable to making this year's competition the biggest and best yet.
The competition (and all the activities of the CLF) is my way of investing in the next generation, something that many of you also do in so many ways.
A brief message today as I am in Senate Estimates - a week of long days and thousands of questions – that makes it hard to concentrate on much else.
One of the subjects that came up earlier in the week was the matter of Australia’s new submarine fleet. It also happens to be an issue that a number of readers have raised with me privately in recent weeks.
The challenge for many in public life is to be considered and consistent in the application of first principles. Whilst individuals will adhere to different ethical frameworks, it can be rather awkward to apply them across a broad range of subject matters.
The new political year kicked off in exactly the wrong way for conservatives – with a spill motion against the Prime Minister.
The motion failed but it took its toll in so many ways. There is no doubt the PM is chastened by the experience and has committed to changing some of the internal processes of government. If he delivers along the lines of the plan he outlined to the Party room, I am hopeful the stocks of the government will improve.
Right now in politics there is only one topic of conversation: leadership and the office of the Prime Minister. It is a terrible discussion for a first term government to be having and, whatever the outcome, will only further turn people off politics and the mainstream political parties.
I scarcely know where to begin this letter given all that is going on at home and abroad. So let’s start with wishing all my readers and their loved ones a healthy, happy and blessed 2015.
The year ahead is one that I expect will be marked by significant change. A change in public attitudes, a change in the global economy and change in global politics. We are already seeing some indication of this which I will touch on below.