Making any predictions for an upcoming year has become a perilous exercise recently. One only has to look at the Tory majority the experts (who people are now sick of as a result, apparently) said was less likely than an asteroid striking the Earth that did indeed take place, or the double punch of Brexit and Trump this year to see that telling people what is going to happen in the upcoming twelve month period will probably leave you with egg on your face at the end of it.
But I can’t resist. So here goes: this is what I think 2017 holds for us all.
- Marine Le Pen will win the presidential election in May.
This is a controversial one that most political pundits disagree with me about. I find their insistence that French lefties will turn out in big enough numbers to vote for a Thatcherite running significantly to the right of Le Pen on economic issues unconvincing. Part of this prediction, I will confess, is a covering of all bases – if Le Pen doesn’t win, I don’t mind being wrong, whereas if I am right, at least I was bang on. A bit like when you bet on something you don’t want to happen so you can feel okay either way.
2. Corbyn will remain Labour leader this time next year no matter what happens bar the man himself dying
This includes if there is a general election in 2017 (which I will stay will clear of predicting will or will not happen). Nothing is prising Corbyn out of the role, not even a crushing general election defeat. How many times does the man have to show utter disdain for every Westminster convention before people understand that things like losing elections have no meaning whatsoever to Corbyn and his people?
3. The situation in the Middle East will be notably worse this time next year than it is now
The possibilities here are terrifying: genocide of Sunnis in Syria after the US and Russia join forces there; a third intifada in Palestine after Trump’s initial shenanigans in the area; even an all out Sunni-Shia war kicking off cannot be discounted. Meanwhile it is very hard to see how anything will improve in the Middle East in any real way, as the incoming US president is easily the least qualified and ill-prepared American head of state to handle the situation ever.
4. With all of that to digest, I’ll end on a positive note…
Surely fewer cool public figures will perish in 2017 as compared to this year. Given the massive tally on this front from 2016 – which I won’t depress you all by raking over again – this one is definitely a lock. Right? Happy 2017 all.