This time last year I predicted the following:
1. One main prediction for this year is it will be pretty boring. But after the sporting and patriotic events of 2012, a change is as good as a rest. That’s not to say we won’t get a little excited about the Royal birth in the Summer. Hey, I’ll toss a coin and predict the baby will be a girl. We certainly got a little excited but I was wrong on the sex front. It was a boy!
2. Both Coalition parties – Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – will perform very badly in the England County Council elections in May. Cameron and co. will put it down to “mid-term blues”. I will put it down to another nail in the coffin for the Conservatives’ chances of winning the General Election in 2015: Opposition and a leadership contest will be that bit closer for the Tories. On the yellow peril front, the sharks will start circling around Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg but he’ll be safe in 2013. Correct. The governing parties did appallingly in the County Council elections, especially the Tories who were pushed into third and fourth place in some divisions by Ukip. Nigel Farage’s party captured one in four of the votes cast in the England County Council elections, winning 150 seats. To reflect his democratic mandate, the Ukip leader was immediately elevated to being on a par with the mainstream political parties on TV news interviews and programmes such as the BBC’s Question Time. Because of Nick Clegg’s reneging on the Coalition Agreement back in August 2012 by refusing to back boundary changes, the Tories immediately lost 20 seats at the next General Election. It’s not exactly in keeping with this post, but in 2015, David Cameron will become the first Conservative Party leader to lose two General Elections in a row. I was correct again on Nick Clegg: he survived to be annihilated another day.
3. UKIP’s stock will continue to rise. The party will do well in the County Elections. Nigel Farage’s troops won’t necessarily win many seats but they will deny the Conservatives a bundle. This will be another milestone on their journey to European Elections victory in 2014. Half correct. Ukip’s stock certainly did rise (see above) but they won a lot of seats for a local government election: 150 in total!
4. The economy will hardly grow this year. The only thing which will change is more debt will be added to the already huge pile, which currently stands at over £1 Trillion! Correct. The economy did grow but by less than 1% and this has only occurred because of the growth of assets (houses, national infrastructure etc). The meagre growth in the economy is still not being felt in the country with people still poorer in real terms compared to before the crash of 2008. This is mainly because inflation is still rising faster than the growth in wages. Debt certainly is still increasing. £600bn will be borrowed between 2010 – 2015 to pay primarily for the bloated welfare state which is still exceedingly generous (you’d have to earn £35,000 to take home the capped handout of £26,000, which of course is tax free).
5. Andrew Mitchell will return to Government (probably not until the year-end) and serving police officers will be charged with misconduct in a public office. Half correct. A police officer was indeed charged with misconduct in public officer over allegations he sent an email to Mr Mitchell’s deputy John Randall falsely claiming he had seen what happened in Downing Street in 2011. However, Mr Mitchell was not returned to Government by David Cameron.
6. Chris Huhne will escape a jail sentence when the charge against him is watered down. Wrong. Chris Huhne pled guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sent down for eight months but was out after two (go figure!).
And this is what I predict for 2014:
1. Ukip will win the European Elections in the UK.
2. The Coalition Government will stay together despite constant carping from the likes of Vince Cable.
3. Scotland will vote ‘No’ in the Independence referendum.
4. There will be a royal engagement: either Prince Harry will get engaged or the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson will get engaged (again!).
5. Thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians will travel to the UK.
6. As much as I would like to be proved wrong, England won’t make it through the group stage at the Brazil World Cup.
Let’s see how I get on in a year’s time!