Hello, blog fans. I see from my records that I’ve posted here precisely once since I published my predictions for 2017. In that British Bulldog (bank holidays only, if wet in town hall) spirit, I have failed to conjure up any predictions for 2018 whatsoever. I know. Blame Trump et al. Any relatively sane projection is confounded by the mincing machine masquerading as current affairs, and I’m still finding it hard to predict anything other than “Everything dies except cockroaches and Farage”.
Nevertheless, we have mostly survived to the end of 2017 (at time of writing) and 2017’s predictions must by contractual obligation be marked. As ever Mr C Walsh plays Judge Rinder. The voice you shall now hear in square brackets is his.
- Civilisation does not end in a nuclear fireball or similar Trump-triggered catastrophe. [True! 1 pt ]
- 2017 is not the warmest year globally on record, causing morons to assert that climate change isn’t happening, etc. [Not hottest, but top 3 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-41859288 — 1pt]
- Mike Pence becomes Acting President after invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution with the help of his chums in Congress. (Pedants: under this clause, Trump would remain president but have no powers.) [Nope]
- Trump resigns as president. (Pedants: see above as to why this is not the same prediction as that.) [Nope]
- Self-inflated gaffe balloon Boris Johnson loses his job as foreign secretary. [Nope]
- Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency and oh god will this never end. [Nope … vive Le Macaroon!]
- Olympics! Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 summer games. [Nope. One olympics out … Paris next, then LA http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/paris-to-host-2024-olympic-games-los-angeles-2028-a7869826.html]
- Formula One! Lewis Hamilton wins the World Drivers’ Championship. [True! 1 pt]
- Cricket! India win the ICC Champions Trophy. [Nope, Pakistan.]
- Ladygolf! Europe win the Solheim Cup. [Nope, USA]
- Soggy oars! Cambridge win the women’s university boat race. [True, 1pt]
- Sandy balls! Portugal win the men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Yes it’s a real thing. [Nope, Brazil.]
Science and technology
- Samsung drops the 3.5mm headphone jack from at least some of its phones. [Still there, and staying for next year apparently http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/samsung-galaxy-s9-latest-updates-specs-news-headphone-jack-size-3-mm-leaks-launch-a8129761.html]
- The Nobel prize for physics is awarded for the confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves. [True! 1pt]
- A self-driving Uber kills someone. (Pedants: when the software is in charge, whether or not there is a person “supervising” in the driver’s seat.) [Crash, but no deaths. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/26/uber-suspends-self-driving-cars-arizona-crash-volvo-suv]
- Google buys Slack. [Nope, lots of cash from SoftBank though http://fortune.com/2017/09/17/slack-raise-valuation/. Hope they’ve kept enough back to give me a bonus!]
- Apple’s next major release of the iPad (probably called iPad Pro 2) includes both 3D Touch and a haptic engine that tries to make typing on a screen feel more like typing on a keyboard. [Oh I don’t know! I’ve still got an iPad 2 that’s getting on for a decade old. That doesn’t have anything haptic. Still plays Cradle of Empires though, so no need to upgrade yet. Here’s a loooong article that I haven’t read that suggests iPad will never get 3D touch. https://www.imore.com/why-ipad-pro-doesnt-have-3d-touch]
- A major ISP is hacked and the internet browsing habits of its users are published online. [This didn’t happen, so null points. They don’t need to get hacked now though, they can just sell your browsing history: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/28/so_my_isp_can_now_sell_my_browsing_history_what_can_i_do/]
- Oscar for Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Fences. [Casey Affleck, for Manchester by the Sea. (Confusing title — Manchester is nowhere near the sea. Do they mean Liverpool?)]
- Oscar for Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Jackie. [Emma Stone, La La Land.]
- Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival. [Moonlight. Still not seen it!]
- Oscar for Best Picture: Fences. [No — it was won by La La Land. Sorry, I mean Moonlight. Ahahahaha!]
- Channel 4 announces that the Great British Bake Off will be hosted by Jo Brand. [No, but she’s still doing a sterling job on extra slice.]
- In the second Fantastic Beasts film, the role of Dumbledore will be played by Hugh Laurie. [Jude Law, apparently. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/fantastic-beasts-2-jude-law-young-dumbledore-the-crimes-of-grindelwald-johnny-depp-a8134721.html]
This year I’m predicting different things for different people.
- living: Betty White, still going strong at the end of 2017. [True, 1pt]
- out of the closet: Cristiano Ronaldo, probably via accidental Instagram. [No, just the opposite! Steadfastly heterosexual, with a girlfriend and newborn baby to prove it!]
- hired: Brooklyn Beckham, as a magazine photographer or similar. [1pt Photography book deal, purely on his own merit! 1pt! https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/08/nepotism-self-entitlement-brooklyn-beckham-photographs-book-deal-hadley-freeman]
- fired: Jack Dorsey, as CEO of Twitter and/or Stripe. [Nope, still gainfully employed.]
- retired: John Humphrys, as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. [Still going strong, despite a strong challenge from Prince Harry]
- expired: Henry Kissinger, please and thank you. [Still going strong.]
Attendees of the ceremonial lunch that heralds these predictions were invited to suggest their own. By this stage, some drink had been taken.
- Andy H – Celebrity deathwatch: David Attenborough. [Nope.]
- Andy C – the UK does not invoke Article 50. [Nope.]
- Andy C – Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister. [Nope.]
- Andy C – Celebrity deathwatch: Harry Styles. [Nope (he even survived Dunkirk!)]
- Andrew M – Scotland votes to leave the UK. [Nope]
- Andrew M – Celebrity deathwatch: Princess Anne. [Nope]
- Chris W – Some chunk of wall of some kind is built between Mexico and the US. [1pt — prototypes built, apparently: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/29/16298346/trump-administration-started-building-wall]
- Chris W – Celebrity deathwatch: Nicholas Lyndhurst. [No Goodnight Sweetheart for Rodney.]
Science and technology (1/6)
Celebrity somethingwatch (2/6)
Guest submissions (1/8)
TOTAL: 8/38 – 21%
In lieu of a big list of concrete measurable predictions, I have some general wishy-washy hand-wavy Feelings and Thoughts from my hessian yurt.
Will Mueller find a smoking gun? Probably not doing yer actual bang, but pretty obviously damning. Will it make a difference? No, unless the Democrats can retake Congress.
Will the Democrats retake Congress? They might get one house. I’ll be surprised if they retake both.
This presupposes Trump doesn’t kill us all in the meantime. He might.
In the parade of gleaming dustbins that is May’s Britain, I can’t see her lasting the year. Possibly in a classic Tory internal knifing she’ll be replaced by one or other of the current set of honkers in cabinet, all of whom are barely more competent than dogs typing. Possibly the crumbling tower of Brexit collapses and there’s another election.
Corbyn as PM? It’s possible. Will he be any better? Highly unlikely. The Brexit rollercoaster hurtles on through the nethers of the Temple of Doom, and it doesn’t look like anyone on board is wearing any shoes.
Another referendum? I can’t see it happening.
Second half of Eurovision. Second round of the World Cup. There you go, chew on those…