I've been reading the predictions for the New Year in various blogs and have no intention in trying to compete with those who are far better informed that myself. Here are my thoughts for the coming year, in no particular order.
1. Yet another weird pop group will hit the headlines and become "celebrities" within days. They will probably receive awards in next year's New Year Honours list.
2. I will continue to prefer Vera Lynn, Val Doonican and the music of Acker Bilk & Kenny Ball. I will buy at least one CD of a top military band. (I don't buy many, I'm busy putting my LPs on CD at the moment). Classic FM will remain my favourite radio station.
3. As the new Lord Mayor of London has not been given the traditional award on appointment (presumably he's a banker or at least involved with money), the City Fathers will originate some new award which will in the long term be more highly prized than any awarded by the government in the name of the Queen. The Duke of Edinburgh will offer to carry out the ceremony.
4. Crime will fall. In order that the Crown Prosecution Service can increase their conviction rate to meet their targets, all murders will be downgraded to manslaughter, and all manslaughter will be considered to be an accident. This will also reduce the prison population, avoiding the need for new prisons.
Other crimes, except motoring, will be treated in a similar manner.
5. Victims of knife crime will have to pay for their NHS costs on the basis it was their own fault for being where they were and getting in the way of someone practising knife throwing.
6. More people will be claiming mental illness as a reason for their having committed a crime. This will increase quite rapidly as the medical profession, or the drug companies, discover more mental illnesses requiring expensive drug treatment.
7. Inflation for pensioners will continue to rise at over twice the rate as compared with normal working families, but their pension (where index linked) will only rise at the government calculated RPI. More pensioners will spend their savings as the interest doesn't even match inflation.
8. A footballer somewhere will be paid the highest salary in the world, far more than the highest paid bankers. No one will notice as it will be expressed in terms of weekly pay, and the number of people who can multiply a number by 50 without a calculator is getting less each year. NuLab will insist that he is providing value for money.
9. No-one under 50 will be allowed to buy alcohol in Tesco unless they are accompanied by both parents. Over 50's will only need the presence of one parent.
10. The number of CCTV cameras in the country will double, and a new offence will be created of failing to look towards the camera.
Afterthought: I expect Nigel Farrage to win Buckingham for UKIP!
Alastair Campbell New Hereditary Peer
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