OK. The bones have been rattled. The entrails have been studied. The huge balls have been stroked. It’s time for the latest round in my occasional game of making a few predictions for the year ahead. So here, in no particular order, are the first ten visions which manifested themselves to me through rips in the very curtain of time itself. Remember to check back in January 2015 and marvel at how uncannily accurate these were:
1: US [with pet poodle in tow] will find a new 3rd world country to drop high explosive democracy and freedom on. Most likely in the Middle East again. Although it will not be Iran, don’t rule out Egypt getting a bit of a kicking, as things continue continue to deteriorate there.
2: Prince Phillip will snuff it. Probably at a strategically opportune time when either the Royal Family is ‘getting a bad press’ about some very dodgy scandal rumours. These and all other considerations will be swept away on the usual tide of sycophancy. The Daily Mail will publish a stupendously unfunny cartoon, showing a shocked Prince Phillip being greeted at The Pearly Gates by immigrant worker angels
- 3: The Scots will wimp out and fail to vote for independence by an embarrassingly wide margin. The turn-out for the referendum will be embarrassingly low. SNP will blame UK lies and disinformation. Tories will crow jingoistically about how it shows how much the Scots love Britain and being part of Britain.
4: Nokia lifeboat company Jolla will bring out a breakthrough model which will start competing seriously with what’s-left-of-Nokia’s Windows Phone offerings. What’s-left-of-Nokia will be forced to release a few Android handsets to avert further crisis.
5: India’s Mangalyaan Mars probe will unfortunately ‘do a Beagle’ and disappear whilst attempting a landing. Meanwhile, Discovery will continue to fail to find any signs of life ever having existed on The Red Planet. In more positive astronomical news, an exoplanet will be discovered which tick all the “Goldilocks Zone” boxes.
- 6: The biggest cultural hit of the year will be a film/series/dance craze, paying homage to the Second World War era. Cue lots of tacky supposedly 40s-inspired clothes and tat adorning the ‘tracky-bottoms and trainers’ fraternity for the five minutes it takes for the fad to pass.
7: Outbreak of civil strife in South Africa as, with the grand-paternal calming influence of Mandela gone, the disillusioned poor start agitating for a bigger share of the pie. Comparisons with Zimbabwe and dark murmurs about “white flight” all round.
8: Major diplomatic incident caused but full-on conflict narrowly avoided, after a ship sinking incident in the region of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Trigger-happy US most probably the cause.
9: Humongous shale gas discovery in Scotland will intensify the pre-referendum political fighting.
10: 2014 will finally be “The Year of Linux on The Desktop” [Sorry. Only joking. Couldn’t resist!]