Predicting the future is a mug’s game – so here are some predictions for 2024. I think the future might just possibly turn out something vaguely like the past. With a few unexpected twists and turns.
It is entirely possible that following Nigel Farage’s appearance on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Boris Johnson will appear on Naked Attraction but that is not quite what I mean. My serious prediction is that there will be an astonishingly generous spring budget and the Daily Mail will tell us all that we are heading for happier times under the Conservatives. It is to be hoped that an equally astonishing number of people will recall whose fault it is that they have been struggling so hard to afford their mortgage or their rent and won’t be taken in.
Predictions for 2024: Conservative meltdown
If so, then Rishi Sunak will lose power in the early morning of 3 May and dancing around the Maypole may yet be declared the national sport. Following their election defeat, the Conservative Party will split into the One Nation Conservatives, the Two Nation Conservatives, the I Don’t give a S**t about the Nation Conservatives (led by Liz Truss), the Reform Conservatives and the Conservatives for Reform.
Sunak will, of course, need an alternative career. He could try appearing with his wife on Strictly Come Dancing. If so, then expect the public to vote him out of that contest at the earliest opportunity with the same enthusiasm most of us have displayed for ending his political career. It is likely that Jacob Rees Mogg will lose his seat in a historic defeat so he’ll also be looking for a new line of work. He could follow Michael Portillo and return as the presenter of an unpopular travel show perhaps called ‘The Ramblings of an Old Moggy’ but I think it is more likely that he will choose to stay at home and spend more time with the money he has earned from lightly regulated offshore trading.
Eagerly anticipating the Rapture
I expect Keir Starmer to use his first speech as prime minister to stress how cautious and responsible it will be necessary for him to be in office. He may even apologise for having been so passionate in the past and promise faithfully to speak in a more boring monotone about less radical policies.
Over in the US, I would like to believe that Donald Trump will lose another election by over seven million popular votes before once again proceeding to whine about how unfair the result is. If that happens it wouldn’t surprise me if the governor of the state of Florida announced the end of days and the arrival of the Rapture before attempting to ascend into heaven by setting fire to the State House.
COP29 ‘sponsored by’ the fossil-fuel industry
As for the environment, I expect substantial progress in the number of delegates who turn up at a toothless talking shop called COP29. This time round I expect the conference to contain so many lobbyists that it needs to be held in an Olympic-style stadium constructed with sponsorship from BP. Organisation of the event could be outsourced by Azerbaijan to FIFA to take advantage of its experience in channelling funding to delegates via an untraceable Swiss bank account.
Meanwhile, global CO2 emissions will continue to rise rather than fall. Climate chaos will continue to get worse at an increasingly rapid rate. As the signs of trouble get clearer, the attempts to deny the evidence of our own eyes will get stronger and better financed. This will enable the British Museum to announce a major sponsorship partnership with the devil incarnate and explain that it had no choice as it was short of money and needed a refurbishment.
If that is a slightly tongue-in-cheek prediction then the next one is absolutely rock solid. The EU will not disintegrate. It won’t become a European superstate. Turkey will not be admitted to it. More people will regret leaving it. The UK will continue to remove environmental protections and weaken rights at work.
Predictions for 2024: the price of everything, the value of nothing
Corruption in UK politics will continue to mount until it is rooted out. If there is any justice then Michelle ‘Moan’ will formally announce her change of name by deed poll. But there isn’t any justice and so she will not go to jail for making false claims in order to take large quantities of tax payer money. Meanwhile, poor people who make false claims for small amounts of benefit money will continue to be severely punished.
The bias that is built in to the commercially funded media will continue to be supplemented by bias pumped into social media by expensively financed shadowy operations that never get fully exposed. Twitter/X will roll over and let this happen before being renamed once again – this time to ‘EgoTrip’. The only consolation I can think of is that it is possible that Elon Musk will send himself on a one-way trip to Mars with the last of his money.
Talking of losing money, I continue to believe that sooner or later there will be a massive run on Bitcoin as people suddenly realise they have spent a lot of money on buying electronic signals that are worth even less than tulips.
As for making lots of it, there is probably only a short time before Saudi Arabia makes a formal bid to buy the entire men’s Premier League and succeeds in arranging for all future matches to be played in 40-degree heat in an oil state.
A similarly obscene pursuit of money at all costs will result in President Vladimir Putin winning his election with a record majority and the full support of oligarchs who have been awarded very lucrative contracts to extract oil, gas, minerals and timber. It can only be hoped that that will be followed very soon afterwards by him being overthrown by the popular demand of the ordinary Russian people who have received little but misery.
All of which means that by next Christmas it is most unlikely that peace on earth and goodwill to all will have broken out.
We can but hope. And keep fighting. Don’t let the system grind you down!