Well, I got three out of my five predictions right.
At the beginning of 2012 I forecast the following:
1. One Eurozone country at least will leave the Euro and, shock horror, it won’t lead to the end of the world but instead that country’s exports will rocket. I got this wrong. Greece is still hanging on to the Eurozone helped by billions of Euros from German taxpayers. How long will this charade go on to save the embarrassment of Angela Merkel and José Barroso? Greece WILL leave the Eurozone eventually, it’s just a matter of when. Other Southern European countries will then follow.
2. Boris will win a second term as Mayor of London. I got this right. Well done Boris but may he never win the Conservative Party leadership!
3. The Olympics will be a success but paranoid security requirements will cause chaos in and around London (if you work in London and can work from home from July to September then do so!). The Opening Ceremony will be a bit embarrassing compared to Beijing but, hey, I guess that is the price you pay when you cannot force thousands of acrobats to train 18 hours a day, seven days a week (without pay) in preparation. I got this a third right. The Olympic Games were a success; in fact, they were more than a success: they were the best ever Games in the Modern Olympiad. I was wrong about the security: it worked miles better than any airport and the guards were polite (rather than acting like jailers at Belmarsh). The transport system also worked because hundreds of thousands of Londoners left the Capital for the entire period of the Olympics and Paralympic Games. I was very wrong about the Opening Ceremony: it was the best show I have ever watched. Danny Boyle should have been knighted for managing to encapsulate Britain’s glorious past so perfectly.
It is a disgrace he did not get any New Year’s Honour. UPDATE: it has been reported, Mr Boyle turned down a knighthood to stay as “a man of the people”.
4. Obama will hold on to the Presidency, just! As we all know, he won. But he leads a divided America. Half the United States population did not vote for Barack Obama.
5. Ed Miliband will still be Labour leader by the end of the year (which will be great for the Conservatives). In fact, it was a good year for Ed Miliband. He has cleverly shored up his core vote before moving his tanks on to the Conservative lawns with his talk on “One Nation”. The Labour leader will desperately be hoping the British public will forget he and and his sidekick Ed Balls were on the bridge at the time of the financial meltdown in 2008.
I’ve had a think about my predictions for 2013 (six this year!). Let’s see how I get on:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
6. Chris Huhne will escape a jail sentence when the charge against him is watered down.
Happy New Year.