If we’ve learned anything in the years since this esteemed organ first hit the stands (relax, organ means newspaper in this context) it’s that we live in unprecedentedly tumultuous and upheavalous (I don’t care if that’s a word; it is now, damn it) times, and that as such, only a fool, a ninny, an imbecile, a drooling simpleton, an irredeemable schlemiel of the first water would ever DARE to make any predictions for the coming year.
With that in mind, here are my predictions for the coming year:
The Met Office warns of an unexpected cold snap coming in from the east, which arrives unexpectedly despite having been specifically predicted by the Met Office. It takes the country completely by surprise, as sudden blizzards and snowstorms in January are an almost unheard of phenomenon in the UK despite happening about one year in every three.
Chaos ensues, with roads cut off, vehicles abandoned and schools and businesses shut down across the nation, which has no idea how to cope with such a “three or four times in a decade” emergency. Reporters and weathermen brave the elements to deliver on-the-spot coverage, reflecting upon how disruption on this scale hasn’t been seen since the last time this exact same thing happened back in 2017 or was it 2018.
Eventually, after a harrowing 72 hours the longed-for thaw sets in and a grateful nation purges the whole incident from its collective memory.
The first general strike in nearly a century brings the UK to a standstill; to the horror of the government and their allies in the right-wing press, no amount of anti-union spin (including a widely circulated and highly convincing deep fake video of a cackling Mick Lynch biting the heads off puppies) can seem to turn public opinion against the strikers.
With plans to use the police to break the strike falling through when it becomes apparent that the police are also on strike, the government decides that the only possible response is to go on strike themselves, and suspend all the usual functions of the administration. This gesture in turn proves less than effective when it turns out that nobody can tell the difference.
Frustrated by judicial hold-ups, Suella Braverman loads a dinghy with refugees and, with the full support of justice secretary Dominic Raab, strikes out into the channel with the objective of rowing them to Rwanda herself. When concerned advisers point out that Rwanda, an entirely land-locked country in east Africa, is inaccessible by sea, Mr Raab responds: “It’s in AFRICA?”
The last Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine; Vladimir Putin insists that this in no way counts as a defeat because he was “only kidding about wanting to annex Ukraine, and ha ha you all fell for it”.
With nothing much else to do, chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy “Hunt” Hunt unveils a new mini-maxi budget, because why the hell not. In it he announces the creation of a new privately held benevolent fund to oversee distribution of all social security payments, the “Heremy Junt Foundation”. The news is applauded by all on the Tory benches except for Grant Shapps, who mutters something about plagiarism. The plans for the new fund are outlined in a white paper headed: “Just 18 More Months in the Trough, Guys”.
Having been kicked out by his wife Carrie, Boris Johnson is found wandering the streets at 3am trying to decide which of his mistresses is least likely to tell him to piss off when he turns up on the doorstep.
The Met Office warns of a sudden heatwave coming in from ( just re-read the January bit and swap cold things for hot things; I’m in danger of busting my word limit)
The Lionesses shock the world of football by defeating Brazil 9-2 in an epic Women’s World Cup final (edited highlights 11.35pm, ITV4).
The Conservative Party bucks decades of tradition by convening its annual conference in Buenos Aires, and refusing to return to Britain when it’s over.
Elon Musk unveils his plan to buy Ceefax. Jeff Bezos unveils his plan to buy Elon Musk.
Ukrainian forces cross the border into Russia because, as Volodymyr Zelensky reflects: “It’s worth a shot, isn’t it”.
Having bided its time for much of the year, the Covid-19 virus stages a flamboyant seasonal comeback with the unveiling of the Omega variant, which should hit the shops – and everywhere else – just in time for Christmas…
POEM OF THE WEEK
Can’t believe what we’ve been through
From ’20 up to ’22
God only knows where we will be
By the end of ’23
Am I a romantic dope
To cling so doggedly to hope?
We need more than despair and fear
Squaring up to one more year
We got beat up but we came through
From ’20 up to ’22
So brace yourselves and we will see
What we can make of ’23