I really don’t have to do this.
But the temptation is just too great, because in the past I’ve been sure about…
- The 2008 crash. I saw it coming in 2007, and mentioned it to my boss just as work broke up for the holidays. I don’t work there any more.
- The Brexit vote. Though I admit this was only 2 days in advance of the referendum, and came as a result of Prime Minister Cameron’s abysmal performance on Breakfast TV (which ruined my bacon-&-eggs). He made Nigel Farage, sitting opposite him on the sofa, appear friendly and coherent. No, he really did.
And the biggie…
- The Trump Presidency. in the run-up to New Year’s 2015-16 I read an article ‘The Politics of Resentment’ which – do you ever get this feeling? – just ‘rang true’. I even wrote a warning story – ‘Gift’ – about the consequences, ten years down the line, for a New World country that turns its back on immigrants. ‘Gift’, the word, is German for ‘poison’…
All right so enough of the boasting. Here’s the bit where I stop looking so damn clever:
My boring Brexit guess is that we’ll stagger from temporary ‘fix’ to temporary ‘fix’, because no-one will dare to finish the job – in or out – for fear of alienating all the people who voted for (or just plain expected) something completely different. In other words, May’s ‘deal’ will get its vote and then no-one’ll know what to do about the ‘temporary’ bits.
This is likely to result in the mother of all recessions, as no-one dare buy anything major for fear of losing their job. But that may soon pass: I’ve been one of the Great British Public for long enough to know that enough of us get ‘thrift fatigue’ after a while: we’ll start buying again. We won’t have much actual money, but no-one except a few economics wonks will care.
Something ‘non-linear’ will happen to the student loan book.
A massive conglomerate that no-one except afficionados of the back pages of Private Eye has ever heard of will go bust (actually, that might be the student loan book!)
Hinkley C nuclear power station won’t get built, but it won’t not get built either. A bit like Brexit.
The (rest of the) E.U.
A country that no-one suspects, or has even much thought about, will have a financial crisis of the Greek or Italian kind. The E.C.B. will step-in with the usual usurious kiss-of-death to that country’s social economy. One of these days, but possibly not in 2019, it’ll dawn on the E.C.B. that this is how fascism starts.
So: what about events across the Pond?
The President will be taken from office, but not by hardworking Mr Mueller and his enquiry, or by the newly-enthused Democrats in the House.
That’s the guy who’ll come for the President. And it might not even be in 2019…
Meanwhile the individual states (California, Texas etc) and cities will do their level best to reduce Carbon emissions, raise quality of life, and generally perform all the functions people pay a central government to do.
Someone will fry eggs on the pavement. Again.
Everyone will continue to be terrified that China will do something ‘on the world stage’, but that’s not China’s style. It might, however, step-up its buying of all sorts of assets that would previously have attracted…
“воруют” _Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin, Historian
This single Russian word means “they’re thieving” and he meant, not from countries abroad, but from each other.
Countries aren’t people. Leaders aren’t people either, or at least they cease to act like real people once upon the World Stage. People everywhere – not leaders – are the ones who keep the whole thing going. The ones who repair the infrastructure, nurse the ill and injured back to health, keep the paperwork up-to-date so mistakes can be put right, clean up the mess, change to more sustainable ways when chance allows, grow the food, put up the fight against injustice, and tell the stories for the next generation.
None of this will stop in 2019.
We just need to do the work faster than our present ‘leaders’ undo it.
If this last should fail to happen, then being called daft next New Year’s Eve will be the least of my worries…