2012 will forever be the year of “Call Me Maybe,” or was it “Gangnam Style?” Or Obama being re-elected? Or the revelations surrounding Jimmy Saville and numerous others? You know what? It doesn’t matter.
The fact is, 2012 is now the past (or soon will be). What matters now is what will happen in 2013. Will President Obama actually be able to do a deal with Congress to increase taxes on the rich? Will Leveson have any real effect on the media? If you ask me, those two are the very definition of “uphill struggle.”
I have a few predictions for 2013 (Which, like the Mayan’s prediction about the end of the world, will also probably be wrong):
- North Korea’s rocket launch will see President Obama do more deals with China to maintain some influence over the maverick one-man state’s only ally. Not that North Korea is in any position of actually doing much damage at the moment.
- Starbucks will still pay a pittance of the amount of tax they should (morally) be paying in the UK. The boycott ran out of steam after a combination of the press pointing out that it’s up to Starbucks franchisees to pay the correct amount of tax for stores they run, with the Starbucks Corporation’s “deal” with Revenue and Customs to pay more tax effectively finishing it off.
- Johann Lamont will resign as Scottish Labour leader. She effectively called for universal free tuition to be axed – it’s not the first time she’s called for a universal benefit to be axed, its game over for her. It would take a near-miracle to come back from such a policy disaster as that.
I would like to predict that Obama will strongly tighten gun control in the US, but I honestly don’t think that it will happen. There are far too many nutters in America with influence to prevent it happening – after the Dunblane tragedy in 1996, our government banned all hand guns. Across the Atlantic, there are people who are genuinely suggesting that the best course of action would be to have armed cops at every school. One response to this was posted on a Facebook page by a man named Jef Johnson, who said “I suggest putting a teacher in every gun store.” Jef Johnson, you are my hero.
2012 may not matter, but there are a few things that were so good that they deserve to be set in print again. Like this headline from The Globe and Mail in Toronto: “Stylish but illegal monkey found roaming Toronto IKEA.” You can accuse local papers of all the sensationalism you want (Not that you’ll find it in this publication. Well, apart from this column, perhaps.) But this headline was anything but hyperbole – a monkey in a sheepskin coat escaped from a shopper’s car in an IKEA car park and wandered into the store, according to city byelaws, it was indeed illegal to possess the monkey.
Local papers are wonderful!