Most of us have 20/20 hindsight, but as I stare into the New Year I find myself blessed with 20/20 foresight. Today, in this season of goodwill, I share my vision with you and state, with utter certainty, that which will happen in the year of our lord, 2015.
In the destiny of our once great and glorious nation, a Big Kahuna lies ahead. It is called the General Election (GE). They say it will the closest GE for a generation or more. Those who dabble in clichés declare it, ‘impossible to call’, but I call it all the same – some kind of Tory-led coalition will end up governing.
But the point is this this: it doesn’t matter who wins, no more than it did last time. This election won’t change anything.
Let me explain.
The rise of beige-ism
At time of writing, Labour – or is it the Conservatives? I do get them muddled – is marginally ahead in the polls.
There is muddle because the aspirations and actions of both are interchangeable. Their aim is to occupy the middle ground – what I like to call, ‘the beige area’. In focusing on the beige, they have betrayed the principles in which their parties are rooted. Labour is no more socialist than the Conservatives are free market. In fact, both, in their bid for beige, are trying to shake off these restrictive monickers, and the true meanings of ‘socialist’ and ‘free market’ have been corrupted in this process of beige-ification.
The Conservative disassociation with its traditional values has, of course, led to the rise of UKIP with Nigel Farage as the libertarians’ champion.
But UKIP of late – for reasons best known to itself, but perhaps the bastards have finally ground the great Nigel down – seems to be moving away from the classical liberal principles that attracted so many towards the same populist fudge that has smeared the other parties. I’m thinking in particular about its recent NHS mollycoddling, not to mention its protectionist housing policies. The heady days of the Carswell defection are over. I fear UKIP is following the red brick road towards the pastures of pandering.
I suggest others with a keener eye than me are starting to feel a little betrayed by new UKIP. This has led me to fear that the UKIP surge may have peaked and that the upheaval their rise once promised may not yet be realized.
Meanwhile, the Left’s own UKIP – aka the Green Party – is now on the rise. Just as UKIP attracted ‘traditional’ Tories, so are the Greens, despite a total absence of charisma in their leadership, attracting many of the socialists who, rightly, feel betrayed by Labour.
So, to sum up the rough position of British politics in the lead up to May, you will have the ineffectual socialists (Green), the crony-socialists (Labour), the crony-capitalists (Tory), and the crony-libertarians (UKIP), not too mention the crony-democrats (LibDem), led by Nick Beige.
Far more efficient would be for all parties to get together and form the Crony Party. Maybe that’s what will happen in May – only they’ll call it a ‘multi-party coalition’ or something. And if we get a Lab-Tory coalition, the result will look suspiciously like ‘Lavatory.’
So to my prediction for May and beyond.
First, we are going to get a parliament that, unlike your author, is extremely well hung.
And then this …
Despite all this recent talk of revolution, despite the huge desire for it, despite the huge need for it, despite the huge ideological battle that is unfolding between left and right, nothing is going to change.
Even if we do get UKIP’s dream referendum on the EU (which won’t happen till after 2015 anyway), voters will choke and we’ll stay in, just like the Scots did.
Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor will widen further – you would have thought the laws of gravity are such that it couldn’t get any wider, but it will. The cost of living will continue to rise – even in a deflationary, falling oil-price environment. (That’s because, despite what they tell you, the cost of government has a far bigger impact on your outgoings than the cost of oil).
The young will be even more priced out and will continue on their great emigration to Birmingham. There will be more talk of cutting back, but government spending will continue to increase, as will the double Ds of debt and deficit. (The same rules of gravity do not apply here either). Yet more capital will be diverted away from productive endeavour and disappear up the black hole that is the state, while the merry-go-round of the mediocre plays out in its departments. And, whether it’s on the Left or the Right, there will be even greater discontent and dissatisfaction.
In other words, all those things that wound you up in 2014 will continue to do so in 2015. As the white van driver that is so loathed of the left might say, ‘Same shit, different number’.
There’s still hope
All is not lost, however.
Tech, not politics is what causes change. Silicon Valley and its off-shoots are going to save us. There is new technology called the blockchain – the thing that’s behind Bitcoin – and it is going to cause untold upheaval in the years ahead – possibly as much upheaval as the internet brought us, only this time it’ll be things like banking, finance and government that take the hit instead of publishing and music. But we’re still a couple or three years away from the meeting of the proverbial with the fan.
So, in the meantime, I suggest you, one, get your own house in order, and, two, go out and enjoy yourselves.