It's hard to say what the biggest threat of 2012 is but I'll nominate one all the same.
Andrew Rawnsley celebrates democracy in the Observer this morning but democracy counts for nothing if there is no choice on offer. That is the goal of neoliberalism, which has long seen democracy as a market impediment. But now neoliberals are seeking to enshrine their thinking in EU law by outlawing Keynesian intervention in the economy. That is the aim of the December 2011 agreement on the future economic management of Europe which effectively bans deficit funding even though this is the only known and proven mechanism for ending recessions. In effect the neoliberal leadership of Europe is as a result seeking to end democratic choice and the role of government in the management of the economy henceforth - guaranteed by international law that will over-write local choice. The only option that will legally be offered to electorates henceforth will be a right wing one. No other option will be allowed, by law.
I call that the biggest threat of 2012.
And it's happening on our doorstep and with the implicit consent of our government - which has removed itself from the debate so that progress can be made on this measure designed to reward the 1% at cost to the 99% without the UK ever being heard to even make comment, let alone objection.
If you want some idea of the size of the mountain the left has to climb then this is it. In effect a totalitarian neoliberal regime is being built across Europe and the press isn't even raising comment or objection.
Perhaps that's the most worrying bit. It certainly proves that Rawnsley has entirely missed the point. Having democracy when there's nothing to choose from is not democracy at all.