On New Years day, as a bit of fun, I made a set of predictions for the year. I'm the opposite of psychic, which is why I rarely gamble! I thought it might be fun to see how I did. My comments are in Red Italics.
We will shortly see the beginning of the roll out of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Many of us are pinning our hopes of a return to normality on this. I predict that the ramp up of the vaccination program will initially be a fiasco with questions in the house. Given the governments inability to organise anything, I don't really think you need to be Mystic Meg to predict this.
We will also see the inauguration of President Joe Biden. I predict that Donald Trump will not go gracefully and we will not have heard the last of him when he walks out of the White House. Trump grants whisltleblower Edward Snowden and Julian Asange a Presidential pardon on his last day of office.
I predict that Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives will initially rally around Joe Biden, to show that they do care about the National interest, in a bid to beat Coronavirus and stop the economy tanking completely. I suspect Biden will have a very good first hundred days, with Donald Trump claiming it is all really down to him.
I also predict that by the end of January, we start to see far less complimentary headlines for Boris in the Daily Express and Mail, as the true nature of what he's negotiated becomes clear. I suspect that we will see Farage claiming that the chaos is all because Boris betrayed Brexit and stitched us all up and that the chaos is down to not having a hard Brexit. I suspect that facts will not support this.
So, as I stated, I'm no mystic meg. I got the vaccine rollout completely wrong. For once, Boris Johnson and his govt got it right. Mind you I was spot on with Trump not going quietly. With every month it has become clear that Brexit is a fiasco.
By the end of February, we should see the fruits of the vaccination program starting to take hold, with a gradual easing back of restrictions. A return of crowds to football and us all to pubs and restaurants, albeit in limited numbers will be more than welcome. The national mood will start to improve. The papers will start to fill with stories of how Brexit is ruining businesses, problems for ex pats and stunted financial growth. I predict that President Macron will take great delight in whatever pain the UK suffers. I predict that Irish reunification will start to be seriously discussed as the DUP wake up to the fact that Great Britain has sold them down the river. As the Covid crisis improves, the SNP will step up pressure for a referendum to leave the UK. Within the Tory party, serious mutterings about the suitability of Boris as PM will start to emerge. When all the heavy lifting has been done with Covid and Brexit, the ambitious chancers will see the opportunity to steal the crown.
So I was a bit more on the nail with the Covid vaccination rollout, although over ambitious with the scaling back of the restrictions.
As the vaccination program rolls on, things open up ever more. Live music starts to return, larger crowds start to appear at football matches. The chancellors mind turns to how we are to pay the overdraft we've run up. For a nation that has had the worst year in living memory, this is not welcome news.
The governments postpones phase 2 of HS2 and calls for a major costs review. As the economy opens up, it is clear that the days of the High street as we know it are numbered. The people who have switched to online are not switching back. Our city centres are hollowed out as firms have realised that there is no point spending huge rents on offices when people can do the job at home. Rishi Sunak responds by bringing in new taxes on home working, in a desperate attempt to shore up the nations finances.
As the true cost starts to become apparent and the austerity ++++ measures become clear, any credibility that Rishi Sunak may have retained ebbs away. The questions as to how the Uk could have had the worst death rate and the worst economic damage in Europe start to hammer away at the government. With every day it becomes clearer that the Government needs a serious reboot. With the EU it is clear that the hastily signed and unscrutinised agreement needs a major overhaul as it is causing problems for both the EU and the UK.
It seems that far from ending the arguments, Brexit has just split the UK and caused deep structural problems. Nigel Farage claims this is down to the lack of a proper Brexit, Kier Starmer claims it is down to a bad agreement and Ed Davey says that it is because Brexit was a bonkers idea in the first place.
So again I was spot on about HS2 phase 2, if a bit out on the date. I think that is true of my comments on Brexit as well. This will become ever clearer as we emerge from Covid. I was wrong about Rishi Sunak's credibility. Not quite sure what Farage said, as he's become an irrelevant non entity.
The end of the pandemic is in sight. All of the vulnerable people in the UK have been innoculated. All of the key workers and schools, offices and public transport are declared safe to use. However the number of people commuting has declined. The London Mayoral Election looms amid total apathy. No one has any enthusiasm for Sadiq Khan and they have even less for Shaun Bailey. A Barnet Council by election in Edgware, formerly a safe Tory seat becomes interesting, as the decline of Edgware becomes a key factor. The rampant unpopularity of the Tory government looks set to deliver a massive upset.
Well again the pandemic predictions appeared pretty close to the mark, with the vaccination programme going well. I think my view of the Mayoral race was spot on. Sadly, the comments about Edgware were wildly optimistic. With Lockdown it was impossible to put the donkey work into turning the Tory majority there around.
To no ones great surprise, Sadiq Khan delivers a victory with a far smaller turnout than ever. The Tory candidate Shaun Bailey gets a comprehensive kicking coming fourth, as Londoners blame him for Brexit and the failures of the pandemic. The Tories come fourth in the Edgware by election behind the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour as a huge protest vote. It appears that Boris is living on borrowed time.
See comments for April
The UK and USA officially declare the pandemic beaten. Boris announces a 'Festival of Brexit' to celebrate, to widespread derision. Keir Starmer says the money should be spent rebuilding the NHS and Nigel Farage says that Brexit has been betrayed so there is nothing to celebrate. Ed Davey announces that Lib Dem policy will be for a referendum to rejoin as the economic figures show that Brexit has had a massive impact on UK GDP. Boris states that the impact is due to covid and Starmer claims it is down to Boris mismanaging everything.
In June, things opened up. I went to my first gig and Boris declared the Covid restrictions lifting as irreversable. Sadly, no opposition figure has the balls to address the elephant in the room that is Brexit
Japan announces that the Olympics are being postponed, as a new vaccine resistant variant of Covid is identified and start to spread across the globe. Boris announces that Britain is well placed to develop a new vaccine to beat the virus because of Brexit. Everyones holiday plans are thrown into chaos as borders are closed and flights cancelled. Boris announces that the Festival of Brexit is being cancelled as a precaution.
Thankfully the Olympics did go ahead, although sadly the prediction of new variants was also pretty accurate.
President Joe Biden announces that his 'Virus task force' has a new vaccine and we only need to wait three months before it can be deployed. The UK sees its first cases of the new strain of the virus, as Boris is criticised for not following the EU and closing borders. Boris reaches a record low popularity.
Again, this is pretty much correct if out by a few months.
Jeremy Hunt launches a leadership bid, stating that the Tories are finished if they don't appoint someone not tainted with the failures of the past year. Rishi Sunak throws his hat in to the ring, as Boris succumbs to the inevitable. As is the way with the Conservative party, the favourites are shafted and Elisabeth Truss takes over, largely on the basis that no one has a clue who she is, so they don't hate her yet. Boris responds to his fall from grace by claiming French citizenship and moving to his Dad's chateau.
Clearly most of this was wishful thinking, although I suspect that by April next year it might appear a slightly better prediction.
Elisabeth Truss flies to the USA to try and negotiate a trade deal. Joe Biden tells her that this can only be completed if the UK cedes Northern Ireland to the Republic. Truss agrees and Irish Nationalists everywhere celebrate. Truss claims that her action is only a practical recognition of what Boris had put into effect with the Brexit treaty. The DUP announce that they will be seeking full independence for the North.
Well Liz Truss has negotiated a trade deal with Australia, albiet one that has shafted British Farmers. I suspect that my comments about Biden and a Trade deal are not far from the mark.
The UK enters lockdown as new cases of the mutant virus run rampant. Liz Truss announces that Xmas is cancelled as we will not have a vaccine until January. Keir Starmer announces that it is 'Groundhog Year' due to Tory mismanagement. Ed Davey bemoans the fact that the EU has slammed 500% export duties on the new vaccine to the UK, ensuring that we have no supplies, except for the mega rich who can afford it from private clinics. Liz Truss announces that this "levelling up in action".
Omicron emerged. We had new restrictions as a result, albiet not a full lockdown. Earlier in the year we saw EU shenanigans about vaccines. Of course Liz Truss is not PM!
Donald Trump launches his new TV channel, based in Moscow, where he has fled to avoid the FBI. On its first day, it reveals that the USA has been in constant contact with Aliens since 1947 and that Joe Biden is in fact an Alien. Trump reveals that the Chinese have also been in contact with the Aliens and it was the Aliens who distributed the virus to ensure he was not re-elected.
In the UK, the Queen's speech is a rather different affair. Her majesty makes an unexpected live broadcast. She apologises to the nation for the total ineptitude of her government and announcing that she is abdicating as she's had enough of them all. Furthermore, she is taking up German citizenship, as she's of German ancestry and they seem to know what they are doing. Her parting shot is "I am leaving you lot in the hands of Charles and Camilla, God knows you deserve each other.
Well, oddly enough, the us govt has been making all sorts of strange noises about UFO's. They've released footage of Navy pilots chasing them and set up a new task force. Donald Trump announced he's setting up a new media platform, albiet not from Moscow. Watching the Queens mas speech, I could almost imagine that she wished she was delivering the speech I imagined. No woman her age deserves the year she's had. Losing her husband, a weekly call with Boris, the antics of Randy Andy and estrangement from her Grandson.
All in all, I think I deserve 8/10 on the mystic Meg scale. If only my football bets were as accurate!
Let me leave you with some music to see the New Year in. I am rather proud of this video and music, it's had a great response. If you enjoy a bit of Ska and nostalgia I think you'll enjoy it.