The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

2011: Scores On The Doors

Posted by The Futility Monster on December 31, 2011 @ 15:00

It’s that time of year again. Not that anyone else cares, but I like to keep score…

The AV referendum will pass

Oh dear. Totally wrong. I just thought maybe for once we’d be able to have a reasonable debate – but in the end it was extraordinarily lop-sided – and there will never again be a chance for electoral reform in the UK. Nice job.

The “Other” 2011 referendum – in Wales – will also succeed, but with a larger majority in favour.

Correct. But that was an easy one…

Following that, Welsh Labour will win. But perhaps not as big as they will hope. I predict an extremely close finish, with them just falling below the magic 31 seats for outright majority control.

Correct and then some. Extraordinary precision. Incredible insight. Labour won the election with 30 seats of 60. One seat short of that magic 31. I am very proud of this one – makes up for the AV disaster!

The Scottish Nationalists will lose power in Scotland’s May general election

OK, so maybe my Scottish politics is not very good compared to my Welsh. My thinking behind this one was that perhaps the rise of the Coalition in England would force Labour voters to return home as the only way to create some clear red water at the border.

Instead, the SNP have established themselves as an extremely credible and powerful electoral force. Whether they turn that into support for independence remains to be seen. But the Scots electorate is very happy with them, and I’m delighted that I got this one very wrong.

Meanwhile, in London, the Coalition will last the whole year, without too many hiccups, despite sluggish economic data.

That wasn’t very difficult, but it was right on every level. Shit economy, after all.

Somewhere during the year, the Liberal Democrats will hit another low in their post-2010 election opinion poll woes.

I could probably have proved this any way I liked, choosing any of the multiple pollsters. But the fair answer is to choose one barometer and stick to it. My weapon of choice is the ICM/Guardian monthly poll that’s been going since 1984.

Their lowest Lib Dem share in 2010 was 13% in December 2010. Their lowest Lib Dem share in 2011 was… 12%  in June 2011. Beautiful. I count that as a win!

In the post-May reshuffle, Nick Clegg will receive a real portfolio in a bid by David Cameron to shore up support for the coalition amongst demoralised Liberal Democrat MPs. Home Office, anyone?

Well, this one was wrong because there was no post-election reshuffle. Never mind.

Also to boost the Lib Dems, House of Lords reform (defined here as anything 80% or more elected), will pass the Commons, but die a sad death in the Lords itself.

I’m really not sure why I predicted this one now. House of Lords reform to make it elected wholesale will never happen. I should have trusted my standard instincts when it comes to serious political reform.

Looking abroad, Silvio Berlusconi will finally reach the end of his woeful Prime Ministerial career.

Another beauty. Bye bye Silvio.

Barack Obama will have a traumatic year: under fire from the hostile House of Representatives, a ceaseless war in Afghanistan, and unable to achieve anything of great significance. This will seriously damage him running into the pivotal 2012. And if that happens, expect Sarah Palin to run for the Presidency. Whether she gets the nomination, however, will have to wait till next year’s prediction…

Let’s try to digest that. Barack Obama has indeed had a terrible year. I knew it would be the case. The House has been the thorn in his side, and the disastrous Afghanistan still rumbles on with no progress and no sign of ending. At least he has ended the Iraq one.

But what I didn’t get right was the bonus Sarah Palin prediction, in spite of all that. Little did I realise that she actually has no intention of running for serious office again. It was all a sham to make money.

Finally, North Korea will come back to the negotiating table at long last. But will a deal be reached? Extraordinarily unlikely. Unless Kim Jong Il croaks it, and his son is, to everyone’s shock, slightly less of a lunatic than his father…

I’m going to count this as correct. Not necessarily because of the negotiating table thing… even though there was some movement in that direction a few months ago. But because I talked about Kim Jong Il croaking it – which turns out did happen!

So what’s that then…


And I also got my bonus prediction of Man Utd to win the title correct, though that was easy.

So we all drop some clangers from time to time. And once again, they were because of either sheer naïveté or simply making a ludicrous prediction to sound good. But then again, some of the ones I did win also sounded a bit ludicrous at the time. Hmm.

Maybe I’m not that bad after all… but let’s face it, no one could have predicted the actual major events of the year – the Arab Spring, the phone-hacking scandal and the ceaseless decline in Europe and the US.

A fresh set of predictions tomorrow!


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