The Futility Monster

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

Posts Tagged ‘predictions for 2010’

2010: Scores On The Doors

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 1, 2011 @ 14:43

OK, so I don’t blog any more – life happened, and politics drove me to despair – but there is some unfinished business.

On January 1 2010, I made the following predictions:

1 – The Conservatives will win the General Election (which will be held in May) with a majority of approximately 50 seats.

Well, I got that wrong. I lost my bottle. After predicting for years (pre-blogging, alas) that it would be a hung parliament next time, I got carried away with continuous polls showing a Tory landslide. I should have stuck with my gut feeling.

2 – George Osborne will not be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer.

OK, that was always going to be a long shot. More in hope rather than expectation. I thought he might get a different post, a more strategic one, and instead Phillip Hammond would get the job. Moral of the tale: wild predictions are often wrong.

3 – Gordon Brown will be replaced as Labour Party leader by Ed Miliband.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But no, that’s unfair. To me this ranks amongst my finest predictions ever. Best one since predicting Obama as next President in 2004. I just had a feeling that the Labour Party would turn to a “new” face, rather than David Miliband. I had been convinced Ed Miliband had the ability to win such a contest in 2007 at his conference speech. At least, I think it was 2007.

4 – Gordon Brown will get a job on the international stage and resign as an MP.

Wrong. I am really surprised that he is still an MP. Ex PMs just shouldn’t be in Parliament. Gordon Brown still doesn’t strike me as the type to overshadow the new leadership. I still think he will go. Perhaps the right opportunity hasn’t arisen yet…

5 – The new Tory administration will suffer a scandal of some kind. Yes, I know this is very vague, and a total cop out, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Well, I was half-right. By “scandal” I was, naturally, implying some sort of personal relationship issue. It was provided extremely quickly by David Laws and his questionable financial arrangements. But it wasn’t a Tory administration that provided it. Though on the other hand, it might as well be.

6 – The Tories will scrap the ID card, but questions will remain over whether the database behind the project actually disappears with it.

Half right again. It was a coalition government that scrapped the ID card, and it seems the whole database has gone too. In this case, I’m glad to be wrong. Good riddance.

7 – Obama will not only pass his healthcare reform bill, but will score a major political coup by passing comprehensive immigration reform, utterly dividing the Republican Party in the process.

Oh dear. Well, sort of half right. He did get healthcare reform – of a sort – but no immigration reform, more’s the pity. Instead, he went down to a thumping defeat. The Republican Party, however, is definitely divided. The mother of all splits is coming down the track with the Tea Party vs Traditional Republican clash.

8 – The Democrats will lose 30 seats in the House, and 5 seats in the Senate, worsening the already fractured relationship between Obama and an increasingly obstructive Republican minority.

Well, they lost 6 in the Senate, so pretty good here. But the House losses were twice as large as I thought. And I was spot on about the “increasingly obstructive Republican minority”. In fact, they’ve done nothing other than obstruct, and have had incredible success in the process. But they’re going to have to do try and do something with their shiny new House majority to prove they can do more than just generate soundbites.

9 – Australian PM Kevin Rudd will win the next federal election – a double dissolution – with a major landslide.

Back in January 2010, this looked nailed on. It couldn’t have been any better for the Australian Labor Party. The opposition were in disarray, Rudd was riding high in the polls, and the right circumstances were in place for Rudd to call a special “double dissolution” election, which would allow him the opportunity to make significant changes to the country. Instead, he bottled it, and ended up getting kicked out. The replacement leader managed to scrape home with the help of a new coalition, but whether she’ll build on that is anyone’s guess. Goes to show how important nerve is in politics…

10 – The Iranian crisis will either culminate in the death of Mirhossein Mousavi or there will be a popular revolution. That’s another cop out, I’m sorry, but either way I think this will be a significant year for the Iranian situation.

Moral of the tale here: steer clear of international situations you know nothing about.

Overall, not particularly bad. Lots of “half rights”. The biggest errors were when I let my hopes overrule my genuine expectations. Or when I just made a bizarre prediction for shits and giggles. But I’m so proud of my Ed Miliband prediction that I think I deserve some credit 🙂

But the less said about my prediction for Arsenal to win the Premier League, the better.

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Brown The Backbencher

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 18, 2010 @ 17:47

Gordon Brown in his better days...

One of my predictions for this year is…

Gordon Brown will get a job on the international stage and resign as an MP.

And I like that prediction. It feels right.

The reason why is fairly simple. Labour are sure to lose the election. In that case, Brown goes, possibly quickly, but if Labour are not ready, which seems unlikely, Brown will sit around for a little while. But even if they “win” – i.e. scrape out a slight lead in the number of seats, Gordon Brown is still toast.

Why? Well, because it’s impossible to see any minor party, the Lib Dems, or even the Tories, wanting to work with him. Their price for any coalition, or backing of the Queen’s Speech, will be to demand Gordon Brown’s head. It would be unacceptable to the electorate to see the leader of the government – in dire straits – being allowed to be sustained. There might even be rioting on the streets of High Wycombe.

With Brown gone, Labour will move on.

And, let’s face it, just in the same way no one wanted or could envisage Tony Blair sitting on the backbenches, I don’t think Brown is back bench material either. I can’t imagine the hulking beast brooding on the backbenches for four, possibly five years. Labour will be desperate to move on, desperate to change its image. That cannot happen if the media can keep accosting Brown on the corridors of power and getting sly quotes from him.

Brown probably knows this as well. For all his faults, he is a Labour man. Once his time is up, because he really doesn’t think he’s been given a fair crack of the whip, he will accept that it is time to move on.

He will, as such, resign as an MP.

He may move to the Lords. But even that is dangerous. He would still be too involved. It would be too easy to taint his successor with the Brownite-Blairite division, even though both men would have long gone.

And the idea of a former PM being on the backbenches? It’s just laughable. I don’t know how John Major did it for four years, but he was a more affable chap, more adept at laying low and not causing a scene. The very notion that Brown could keep his trap shut for the length of a Parliament would be remarkable.

So there may still be life in the old dog yet. There are endless whispers about how wonderful Brown is on the international stage, and his abilities at bringing agreements and organising the chaos of the associated summits. He’s hosting another one on Afghanistan in a few days time. It wouldn’t surprise me if Labour worked their magic just one last time and made sure Brown got a good retirement…

In many ways I feel sorry for Gordon Brown. He is clearly not up to this job. But something a little more focused, and a little more in tune with his personality may be a good move, and one he wouldn’t refuse after being kicked by the electorate.

We shall see, eh…

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10 For 2010

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 1, 2010 @ 10:32

I dunno about you, but that just looks so cool!

In time honoured fashion, the start of a new year is always a good time to consider what it might herald. And so, not to be outdone by other bloggers who’ve done the same thing, I’m going to share with you 10 predictions for this year.

1 – The Conservatives will win the General Election (which will be held in May) with a majority of approximately 50 seats.

2 – George Osborne will not be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer.

3 – Gordon Brown will be replaced as Labour Party leader by Ed Miliband.

4 – Gordon Brown will get a job on the international stage and resign as an MP.

5 – The new Tory administration will suffer a scandal of some kind. Yes, I know this is very vague, and a total cop out, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

6 – The Tories will scrap the ID card, but questions will remain over whether the database behind the project actually disappears with it.

7 – Obama will not only pass his healthcare reform bill, but will score a major political coup by passing comprehensive immigration reform, utterly dividing the Republican Party in the process.

8 – The Democrats will lose 30 seats in the House, and 5 seats in the Senate, worsening the already fractured relationship between Obama and an increasingly obstructive Republican minority.

9 – Australian PM Kevin Rudd will win the next federal election – a double dissolution – with a major landslide.

10 – The Iranian crisis will either culminate in the death of Mirhossein Mousavi or there will be a popular revolution. That’s another cop out, I’m sorry, but either way I think this will be a significant year for the Iranian situation.

Oh go on, one more, I hear you cry. Well, it’s not going to be what you’re expecting.

Arsenal will win the Premier League.

There, I’ve said it. Cos I’m interested in more than just politics, you know. I’m not that boring…

Hey, that was a lot of fun. Wish that could be my post every day!

And now I’m almost looking forward to the end of the year to see how spectacularly wrong I’m going to be. Wish me luck! Unless you don’t want any of those events to happen, of course.

Happy New Year to you all. Here’s to much more futile monstering in the year to come 🙂

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