Things that will happen in 2013:
- It’s a beautiful morning in Edinburgh today: the sun is shining. It’s cold but not too cold. The weather in 2013 will be terrible with consequent knock-on effects on harvests and food supply. This in combination with legalised gambling on the price of food will mean food prices will be even higher by the end of 2013 than the beginning.
- Iain Duncan Smith and his Tory cohorts in the media will launch a fullscale attack on the “scroungers” who claim tax credits – that is, the low-paid working families who now need food banks and housing benefit just to get by – and thus justify cutting tax credits to “make work pay”, as the Tories and LibDems like to call it.
- George Osborne will continue to cut away at the economy and David Cameron will continue to argue that the cuts must continue until the economy improves. The recession will continue to be referred to as “the mess that Labour got us into”. In July 2012 there were 261 food banks in the UK. By January 2014 there will be at least 500.
- The cost of workfare will continue to rise, as more and more people are forced into taking unpaid work, and more and more people will die after having been found “fit for work” and told to report to the Work Programme and an unpaid job on benefits.
- Despite massive poverty, homelessness, and unemployment, the Church of England and the Catholic Church and other religious leaders will focus all of their political campaigning and media clout this year against equal marriage and access to abortion and contraception, claiming that allowing same-sex couples to marry and allowing women the right to choose how many children to have and when, will ultimately lead to societal downfall. The rising popularity of UKIP will tie into a fear-campaign about demographic winter, which is essentially a writhing snakes-nest of misogyny/racism complaining that as women get more rights and more education we have fewer babies.
- One of the richest families in the UK will have a new baby, and for several days this will wipe out all other news because once the baby’s great-grandmother, grandfather, and father are all dead, the baby will be head of state.
- The Tories and LibDems will grow ever more unpopular, and will cling to each other in coalition because MPs on both sides will understand that if they break up this will ultimately trigger an early general election, and the next general election will mean massive wipeout among MPs even in traditionally Tory and LibDem constituencies: polls will continue to show increasing support for Labour, UKIP, and SNP.
- The Tories and LibDems will continue to be the most effective advocates for Scottish independence: YesScotland will continue to preach primarily to those already convinced. As the likelihood of a Labour government rises, support for Scottish independence will fall.
- Julian Assange will end 2013 where he began it: in a small flat in Knightsbridge.
- Comet Ison will be worth watching. The world will not end.
I’m sorry. That’s a terribly cheery set of predictions.
I just don’t see much that’s going to be good about 2013 overall. Anyone who thinks the coalition will split under the pressure has forgotten John Major’s government. Things can go on getting worse for the rest of us for years while MPs cling to the job and the pay and the benefits that they know they will lose if there’s a general election.
It’s not the Snowdrop Campaign, but in Florida one gun seller, Frank James, owner/manager of Loanstar Jewelry and Pawn, heard the news about the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut … and stopped selling guns:
after talking with his 6-year-old daughter, he couldn’t put the AR-15 back on display.
“I’m not trying to send a message. I’m not trying to change laws. I believe in the Second Amendment,” he said. “I just don’t want to be part of a business where the ingredients . . . can cause such destruction.”
Sometimes, just one snowdrop is enough to lift your heart.
My own personal resolution: I will write at least four blog posts a week. (Resolving to write at least seven a week has been hellish fun, though. I don’t regret it.)
My personal hopes: Mohamed Nasheed will be elected President of the Maldives again: the Irish government will push forward the legislation necessary for legal abortion in Ireland, the Indian government will begin to try to make things better for the women of India – even proper support for menstruation would be a change that would support educating girls: having rape taken seriously as a crime for which the rapist rather than the victim should be punished would be huge.
The world is very big and we are very small. The history of the world compressed into a minute: