Last year, I published an article charting my Predictions for 2016. I am not a psychic, obviously – that’s not a real thing; neither am I an expert in geopolitics, as many of you may have noticed. That being said, I hoped I might manage a couple of insightful guesses.
Having just revisited my 2016 predictions, it’s clear that, alas, I didn’t connect with many truth buttons.
In my Predictions 2016 post, I purposefully overcooked and exaggerated my prophecies – after all, I’m not taking this particularly seriously, it’s little more than a wild stab in the half-light. When it came down to it, though, 2016 was a lot more mad than my semi-fertile imagination had thought possible.
Brexit and Trump’s presidency were both absent from my post, as were the wealth of celebrity demises. Huge oversights on my part.
Before I start with 2017’s forecast, I should mention that it wasn’t all doom and gloom in 2016, there were plenty of positive things afoot:
The amount of acid pollution in the atmosphere retracted back to pre-1930s levels; a WHO report found that malaria deaths had dropped 60% from 2000; Malawi achieved a 67% reduction in the number of children being infected by HIV.
Ebola seems defeated; Myanmar swore in its first elected civilian leader in over 50 years; the longest and deepest traffic tunnel in the world was opened in the Swiss Alps… the list goes on. I predicted none of them.
It’s no surprise that good things happen in any given year. Good and bad things happen all of the time. But, seeing as most people love to wallow in misery and fear, it’s the scariest stories that get clicked on and viewed with most vigour. It is worrisome stories that news agencies, TV, radio and websites are most likely to cover.
People generally choose to watch things that involve death and suffering over something that talks about life or love; it’s an ingrained (if a little faulty) survival mechanism – in the wild, if your colleague is being eaten alive, you should watch events unfold to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes yourself. For modern humans, the predator-prey relationship is a little more complex these days, but old habits die hard.
So what’s going to happen in 2017? Here are my mighty predictions:
I didn’t predict any celebrity deaths in 2016 (other than the queen), and seeing as 2016 was such a kick in the guts for famous folk, I thought I’d better pitch in this year. This is who I reckon will die in 2017:
Judy Finnigan (of Richard and Judy fame) – chokes on a piece of lego.
George W. Bush – laughs himself to death whilst watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon.
Kim Jong Un – kidney infection, exacerbated by diabetes.
Either Ant or Dec – freak accident involving a courgette.
Tony Hawk – trips and falls awkwardly whilst brushing his teeth at home.
David Attenborough – I know, I know, I don’t want it to happen, I’m just saying, he’s pretty old. Seems like a good prediction… I hope I’m wrong
Celine Dion – develops kuru from eating human brains.
Beyonce – develops kuru from eating human brains.
Greg Wallace – develops kuru from eating human brains.
Teresa “money-on-my-mind” May will continue to drag her heels about leaving the EU. However, Brexit (whether hard or soft) means Brexit, remember? As the year winds down, the rest of the EU will get more and more angry with us for taking so long.
In the same way that a child who is stalling because he doesn’t want to go to bed gets a smacked bottom, Germany will sever ties with us in one fell swoop, around October 2017. Initially, Britain won’t feel too much of a pinch – these things always take time – so the final months of 2017 will be filled with the odorous stench of Farage’s laughter.
However, immigration policy, despite being the primary reason why most Brexiteers wanted to leave the EU, will be left unchanged. Why? Because foreign workers are good for business, and the Conservatives love cash money. If immigration was bad for the economy, the Conservatives would have stamped it out ages ago; the Tories don’t do anything out of kindness, do they?
No, if immigration caused any kind of economic pain, Cameron would have kicked foreigners out years back. The reality is, the country is strung from a backbone of foreign workers and easy transit.
Aside from the economics of Britain at large, the more important question for most Brexit Brits is – does immigration impact individual British people and communities? That’s a separate question, and, in some areas of the country, people are convinced that “foreign workers are undercutting them… doing the same job for less.” That, of course, is a politicians problem to fix. No one should be able to undercut anyone else; we should all be able to earn a fair wage for working hard. This is not the case.
In 2017, more and more Brits will begin to realise that it is the government and not immigrants who are to blame for homelessness, unemployment and poverty. But it will be a slow drip feed.
Rule of thumb: if you are poor, yet work hard while others own 10 houses and 8 cars, but don’t work at all, immigrants probably aren’t to blame. That sounds like someone at the top is taking the Mickey; big time.
As I predicted last year, inequality will continue to worsen in Britain (and elsewhere) because politics and economics are complicated, so no one can fully understand all of the reasons behind their poverty, and rich people only get richer because money breeds money, protection and power. It’s not fair, but it does seem annoyingly inevitable.
Scotland will plan another referendum; Wales will also discuss a referendum but no one will take them seriously. English-Welsh relationships will sour further. Brighton & Hove will increase their efforts to separate themselves from the rest of England.
As Christmas 2017 draws close, financial institutions and large businesses will slowly enter a hell-hole financial free-fall. No one will tell consumers that things are getting bad, though – in case it scares them into scrimping on their Christmas shop. Then, all of a sudden, around about February 2018, when everyone is broke and fat after Christmas, things will really get serious.
Armageddon, inflation, zombies, trains cancelled, the cost of Marmite reaches dizzying new heights.
Trump will be President of America in a few days time. LOL – not LOL. Some pundits are hoping that Trump will “shake things up;”others are concerned that he is a narcissist, a bigot, a sexist, and an all round horrid chap. He mocks the disabled, he breeds racism and he is friends with a bunch of people that are only interested in furthering White Power’s mantra.
Now, I’m all for shaking up a political framework – it really does need a good shake – but I’m unconvinced Trump will be a benefit to the country overall. As with Brexit, Trump flew to power on the back of working class people who have got a bum deal.
Economics and politics are complex, and, to a large extent, hidden from the populous – there are a bewildering number of potential factors involved, and no one feels that they can trust experts or politicians to explain things honestly to them. So what’s a guy supposed to do? Vote for Hilary, in the vague hope that she won’t be exactly the same as the past few governments – stamping on his American dream, burning his food stamps and peeing in his drinking water?
Nope. No one is helping them. Something needs to be done. So let’s blame the immigrants (because that’s what so many politicians are doing) and follow the one guy who doesn’t use complicated, elitist language. It’s not a surprise Trump got into power when you look at the situation like that. However, I was surprised at the time, as many others were… I mean, Trump in the White House… mad.
Anyhow, down to 2017’s American predictions:
Trump will have less power than he thinks he will have – a blessing for us all. “The wall” will not happen, and he’ll stop talking about it, too. Immigration will not be curbed (it’s good for business, as discussed previously, so no one in government will let that happen).
Trump will insult many world leaders, journalists, races, religions, and creeds throughout planet earth.
One thing that has become clear is that Trump, aside from immigration, doesn’t really have any policies. He has a range of weird conspiracy theories and likes to defend himself vehemently against other people’s slurs, but that’s about it. So, rather than worrying about Trump’s ideas (he has none), it might be more insightful to predict what his new government will do.
He’s hired quite a few folks from the so-called alt-right, or, to use layman’s terms – fascists. So we can expect some racist stuff throughout 2017. And that goes for Western Europe, too.
As I write these predictions at the back end of 2016, no less than 1,058 people have been shot dead by the cops of America, that’s slightly less than in 2015. I predict that this number will rise in 2017. I call it the “authoritarian trickle down effect.”
Last year, I predicted that Russian-American ties would sour, and they did a little, until Trump got in. Strangely (or not strangely) the American-Russian relationship is probably stronger now than it has been since WWII (yes, pro-Trumpers, Russia were on our team during that scrap).
Although it’s nice that the threat of nuclear war between the two countries is lower than normal, it’s a bit of a weird predicament. Putin can be trusted no more or less than any other politician, but we need to ask why he is so keen on Trump? Is it the racism? The homophobia? The sexism? Or, is it, as I believe, that Trump appears so clueless and inexperienced that Putin thinks he’ll be easier to manipulate?
Trump is used to getting his own way; he’s used to having people suck up to him and obey him ALL OF THE TIME. Putin, on the other hand, is a former KGB agent who is well versed in manipulating his own public image and the opinions of those around him.
I believe Putin will have an increasingly tight hold on Trump, but Trump won’t know it. I can’t tell whether that’s going to be good or bad. Either way, I predict vodka drinking will increase in the US, as will bear hunting and ice swimming.
China has, historically, been a friend to Russia. They share a communist backdrop. China has also been friendly with America over recent years – they have a shared love for economic strides and cheap tat.
Recently, however, Trump annoyed China by taking a telephone call from the Taiwanese President. What’s that? One of the richest countries in the world is cross with another one of the richest countries in the world because someone took a phone call from someone they don’t like? Yes, that’s right. Petty doesn’t even come close.
So, with China getting the hump with Donald – and Donald not being likely to budge, that could get messy. Trump also says he wants to move industry from Asia back to America. I’m fairly sure, as I said before, that Trump won’t get anything done, but if a phone call can wind up China, I’m sure that will, too.
Odds And Sods
North Korea: oil will be found in North Korea. America will institute a “regime change” for the “good of the people.” Things will become a lot worse for North Koreans. America will become wealthier.
The Great British Bake Off: the latest incarnation of the surprisingly popular TV show will be hosted by Mel B and Susan Boyle in a vague stab at continuity. Mel B, Susan Boyle, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will all be dead by 2018. As a side note, 2017 will be named “The Year Of The Tuile.”
Coldplay: no change.
Google: the search engine will be entirely blamed for mass stupidity and earth’s decline in average intellect. In a first-of-its-kind case, an algorithm will be sentenced to death.
Illuminati etc.: Tupac comes out of hiding, at last.
Summary Of 2017
I’ve really focused on Brexit and Trump this year in an attempt to make up for my shortfalls last year. Perhaps I will be totally wrong, and neither will make any difference to anything. It seems unlikely, though.
Popular music will remain average, politics will still be underhanded, and humans will continue to be divs en masse. Overall, 2017 will be roughly as good and bad as 2016. Truth will become even less popular and seeing someone else’s point of view will be further vilified by all.