Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Predictions.

As always my hopes (and fears) become confused with my predictions as we start another year. And the dominating hope (and fear) is that all those dear to me enjoy good health and happiness. The 'big event' in 2008 which we already know about is the wedding of No 3 son, Tim to his Irish fiancee, Adrienne. The wedding will take place in the magnificent church in our village of Berriew, and the reception will follow in our garden. And its on the anniversary of our own wedding on 26th July, 1969. It will be the first Catholic wedding ever to take place in Berriew Church. I predict that it will be a very happy occasion.

I predict that there will not be a General Election in 2008. I do think that Gordon Brown planned for one, but his ludicrous dithering last September put an end to that. It will be called for early summer, 2009. It seems to me that Gordon Brown is so damaged that he will never recover any significant lead in the opinion polls, and will go to the country as soon as he thinks he has any chance of winning. He knows his history, and will not want to go the full term.

I predict that the relationship between the National Assembly for Wales and the UK Parliament will become very fraught as the inbuilt 'conflict mechanism' which is the Government of Wales Act delivers the inevitable ... conflict. This would become an even bigger problem if the architect of this stupid system of Legislative Competence Orders, Peter Hain is removed from the Welsh Office, for whatever reason - and I predict that he will be.

There will be increasing tension in the Wales Labour Party as contenders to replace Rhodri Morgan start maneuvering for position. I predict that it will come down to a contest between Carwyn Jones and Leighton Andrews. I fancy Leighton to mop up the 'Not Carwyn' votes rather than Andrew Davies - mainly as a consequence of the responsibilities the two of them will have over the next year. I just think he will appeal to Labour MPs more, as they become increasingly estranged from the National Assembly as the rows increase about Legislative Competence Orders. During the summer, Jenny Randerson will replace Mike German as leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Assembly after a bitter contest. It will be reported on page 22 of the Western Mail and very few people will notice.

The Labour Government will announce that several Nuclear Power Stations are to be built. Gordon Brown will be out of the country when the announcement is made, and the reason given for this decision will be to combat climate change.

Hilary Clinton will be elected the first female President of the United States, beating Mike Huckabee in a close and bitter election. She will prove to be a disaster and will last only one term.

England will win the six nations, while Wales will beat only Italy and Scotland in close matches. Despite this, there will be no criticism of Warren Gatland, but Chief Executive, Roger Lewis will become more of a target of fans criticism - the price of taking a high public profile. Joe Calzhage will beat Bernard Hopkins and retire undefeated (Please Joe). David Haye will beat Enzo Maccarinelli, but it will be a good enough fight to demand a return.

Governments in Wales, Westminster and Scotland will conclude that their rush to cover the uplands of our beautiful countryside with wind turbines do not deliver enough energy to justify the damage that they are doing. Every Government's current renewable energy target will be missed.

I predict that there will be pressure put on all politicians to stop 'blogging', as concern grows about the possibility of 'gaffes' and 'independent thought'. I also anticipate that political 'blogs' will grow in popularity and number.

And finally, a hope rather than a prediction is that there should be a by-election in Montgomeryshire - as a result of the current MP being asked to take over as a TV talk show host and to ghost a column for Hello Magazine.


Anonymous said...

I predict that there will be pressure put on all politicians to stop 'blogging', as concern grows about the possibility of 'gaffes' and 'independent thought'.

Don't say you've been put under pressure, Glyn! :)

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I think there's some merit in the argument that certain politicians should be muzzled/caused to stop blogging ... here's how one start to 2008 turned out c/o one former Welsh AM ...

This festive season a group of inquisitive, gentle and kind pigeons have become part of our family. They have made their home on our top floor balcony, which is blessed with pigeon friendly views of the surrounding area.

The pigeons watch us through sliding door windows. There they huddle and look up at us with such appealing lidded eyes. We peer back at them and wonder about them. We feel so bad, there’s us feasting on mince-pies and watching “Trading Places” on TV and there’s them, outside in a huddled mass.

I’ve become so taken by these festive pigeons that I have started to leave them presents. Wee ear mufflers to insulate them from noisy car back-firings, wee blinkers to help them cope with frightful fast moving shadows, and marbles to distract themselves by playing their own version of Subbuteo-Pigeon Soccer.

While lovely, these creatures do produce a rather extreme amount of the “black and white stuff”, so taking the advice of Glyn Davies, prospective MP for Montgomeryshire, to scoop them up (I think the words were: SHOOT THEM) and have Pigeon Pie for New Year’s Day, I planned to sneak up on them, unseen and unheard to bash them over the head Punch and Judy style with a cooking pot and have Pigeon Pie for New Year’s Day!

Sadly, the pigeon’s were ahead of me, pigeon positioned marbles sent me over the balcony and now they are in my lounge, on my comfy chair, eating my popcorn and watching Trading Places.

Anonymous said...

gordo is never going to have any chance of winning so you will have to wait until 2010 glyn

Glyn Davies said...

anon - No, really.

Christopher - You shouldn't have tried to shoot them if you like them. I remember taking my father's 12 bore when I was about 7 years old and trying to shoot pigeons - but I didn't know how to hold the gun and finished up with a broken finger and a black eye as a result of the recoil. Damn dangerous things are pigeons.

anon - 2010 is ok but my money is still on June 2009. If its 2010, it may well not be Gordon Brown!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> ah, recoil … manifestation of Newton’s laws of motion (yeah, like he created them). Action force = reaction force, hence how rockets "reach for the sky boys" (did Elvis really say that?). Anyway, it was a made up story – I once a “Saturday Boy” for a butcher’s shop – plucking fresly killed turkeys is one thing, plucking urban pigeons, yuk.

2008 predictions? The UK economy is in for a ride (downhill), at least a 10% drop in GDP from the private sector – the government will be unable to make up for the drop in private sector output because of tighter restrictions forced on government budget strings through decreasing confidence in the government and Bank of England, lowered confidence that the BoE can really change anything will undermine and severely narrow the options open to Gordon Brown’s government, the downturn is going to be so severe that the City of London will be changed for ever, there's going to be mass layoffs of workers, City of London will bleed (in a non-violent way, but its going to bleed some, and then some more); somebody else will be in Gordon Brown’s shoes by the end of 2008, the next Labour leader will not do “a Gordon” and will call a snap election – probably in early 2009; the covenant between the Government and the British Military forces, which has been severely strained under Gordon Brown’s insensitive childish and grotesque indifference, will bear rotten fruit, absent a fundamental change in attitude, the British military might just well give up and hang up their uniforms; more Brits will leave the UK, tired that they feel so detached and lacking in confidence that their country can cope more will permanently leave the UK; city and rural stresses will increase as city folks impinge on the rights and way of life of rural folks, the Liberal Party in Cardiff deserve to be obliterated come election time but I am not sure that will happen because of the state of the other parties on which the Lib-Dem party parasitically depends … have several more predictions for 2008, but don’t want to swamp (too much). If anyone wants the long version with insights … email me.

Leighton Andrews said...


I voted yes in 1979 and helped run the Yes campaign in 1997 - with you on the other side, as I recall.

On what basis then do you call me an 'anti-devolutionist'?

Happy New Year


Anonymous said...

No wonder you're under pressure if you boast that you're not bound by your party's manifesto!

Anonymous said...

Greetings One And All, and Happy 2008!

It is going to be one of the most significant years in recent history, and definitely since 2001 (of Twin Towers infamy).

The British economy looks in an uneasy state and may take a sharp downturn in the Spring. The New Labour Government is lurching from crisis to deeper crisis and may well fall this year, whether Gordon Brown wants to call an election or not. We will see major events in international politics: the looming clash between Russia and the West of the future status of Kosovo in Serbia. Major and seemingly never-ending upheavals in the Middle East, notably in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. Environmental degradation will continue with some ‘interesting’ natural disasters heading our way I’m sure. More Government policies for despoiling our hillsides with unworkable wind farms and pylons, and cutting our local services to the bone, starving schools, hospitals and amenities such as Post Offices of funds.

This does seem all very bleak, but I do not want my wish of a ‘happy’ new year to sound sarcastic. I see great opportunities for us this year!

If the economy slows, but does not go into full recession – then house prices will stabilise allowing more first time buyers to get on to the property ladder without the need to concrete over every square inch of Greenfield land. We may well rid ourselves of the Labour Government and return Britain to a low tax, low regulation model. A new era of concord and agreement may be brokered in the Balkans and the Middle East if the West, Russia and China can learn to work for rather than against each other. The future is in our hands, we must not be afraid to make it ourselves!

Glyn Davies said...

Leighton - Sorry about that. I've edited the post. I didn't write that in the way that I should have done. What I meant and what I should have written is that (in my opinion of course) you might emerge as the 'Not Carwyn' candidate. I hope this correction is helpful!!

anon - not sure what point you're trying to make. I always have and will continue to fight eletions on the basis of my party's manifesto. Sometimes, I may not agree with every proposal in it, in which case my usual strategy is to say nothing on the subject - unless pushed, and then I would always make clear what the official party line is. Never voted against 'the whip' in my life. And there's been no pressure put on me - not that I've noticed anyway.

Glyn Davies said...

Roman - started off thinking it was time to emigrate. I'm not as pessimistic as you. But I do suffer from excessive optimism about the inventiveness of the human race to see sense in the end.

I do think that you are right about the economy. Mind you, lower interest rates would suit me. I suspect that the Prime Minister has been preparing us for a rough time by all this talk about turbulance.

I too think that lower (but not too much lower) house prices will have some benefit. In the long run, pressure will be on house prices to rise unless the anticipated population increases slow down - or some way is found of increasing supply of housing.

alanindyfed said...

In your predictions you omit to include the phenomenal rise in popularity of Plaid Cymru as proved in the forthcoming council elections and the enhanced impetus towards a Welsh Parliament, and wide acceptance of the real possibility of independence as an eventual outcome leading to dissolution of the Union and greater integration with Europe.

Glyn Davies said...

alan - must have missed that. We shall have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

In response to alanindyfed, it does seem strange when so-called Welsh Nationalists (as opposed to Welsh Patriots like myself) who carp on about Welsh independence and breaking away from the UK only to submerge themselves in the far less benign European Union.

Glyn Davies said...

roman - good point. I sometimes think some of what we might call 'extreme seperatists' are more interested in breaking up the UK than giving Wales political freedom.