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Monday, January 14, 2008

Mystic Skinner

Exactly a year ago today, I made my 2007 predictions. I even foolhardily suggested that the good folk of the blogosphere should go out and punt their hard-earned on my predictions.

So, is there now a mass mob of irate and skint bloggers headed to Skinner Towers to attack it again?

Let's find out:

I said:
The NI elections will see a bump in the SDLP vote, but not enough to overhaul Sinn Fein. Both parties will hail their performances as a success. The UUP will similarly close on the DUP and both parties again will claim public support for their strategies. Ian Paisley will then find further nit-picking reasons not to enter power-sharing, and the whole process will end up on ice again, and Northern Irish citizens will still be denied democracy.

2007 said: Ner-ner. Totally wrong. Big Ian ended up fancying Marty McFly something rotten and now they both love being in bed together, so to speak. Who knew?

I said:
More American troops will enter Iraq, which will deteriorate further, if that is indeed possible. The US government will blame Iranian influences within Iraq for the upsurge in violence and, with the support of Tony Blair, though without British troops, will attempt to overthrow the Ahmedinejad regime.

2007 said: Half-right. It's still a work in progress. Only yesterday the Bush baby was out sabre-rattling about Iran again. This is coming down the pipeline, just a little slower than I thought.

I said:
The destruction of Afghanistan will continue apace, in media silence and to no particular outcry from the Western world. Al-Qaeda will retain a presence there, and British and American troops will start to leave in order to free up manpower for Iraq, and later, Iran. Opium will flow out of the place, children will starve, women will be suppressed and many people will die needlessly.

2007 said: Bang on the money. Ross Kemp in Afghanistan isn't going to show you the opium dealing or the complete chaos that is Helmand province. But he will make a nice show about the brave squaddies still stuck out there. Bless.

I said:
Fianna Fail will be returned to power in a bad-tempered election marked by the emergence of negative campaigning for the first time in Ireland. Expect particular trouble in the Dublin Central constituency, where Bertie the cheque signer faces off against the fashion wing of the Republican movement, Mary-Lou.

Hard to fault that. 2007 says, well done Skinner! 100%

I said:
However, the PDs will not be returned to power, leaving McDowell in control of himself only in the Dail, as Mary Harney, Mae Sexton and the rest all bow out ungraciously. The PDs will be behind Joe Higgins' Socialists in parliament after they secure a second seat.

2007 said: Close but no cigar. Harney stayed and McDowell lost. So did Higgins.

I said:
The Shinners will boost their number of TDs, but not so much as to create a hung Dail. Bertie will make up the numbers of his government with randomers like Jackie Healy-Rae as he did previously.

2007 said: Yes on the all-sorts government, no on the Shinner tide. Half wrong and half correct.

I said:
Enda Kenny will face a leadership challenge, as will Pat Rabbitte. Enda may survive his, but Pat will not. Expect to see Brendan Howlin in charge of Labour by year's end.

2007 said: No one wanted Enda's job, so he stayed. Howlin didn't want Rabbitte's job so it went to Gilmore instead.

I said:
Tony Blair will finally get thrown out of Number Ten, to be replaced by Gordon Brown after a late party leadership challenge from John Reid and some other numpties. 'New' Labour will continue to ignore the needs of the British working class despite the figurehead change, and will continue to leak support to the Tories. The BNP, Respect and Scots and Welsh nationalist votes will all inexorably rise.

2007 said: Spot on again! Another bullseye.

I said:
The Basque peace process will collapse, leading to further sporadic bombings and violence. Shinners will wring their hands about it and talk about the need for dialogue.

2007 said: Yes, but not quite as critical a development as was predicted. Only a little violence, and only a few arrests. But this peace train is definitely going in reverse.

I said:
Conflicts will flare across Africa, in Sudan, Somalia, and along the Western coast. But that happens every year, so that's not really much of a prediction, I admit.

2007 said: Nope, not much of a prediction. But it did happen. Darfur is a genuine weeping ulcer on the face of the planet at this stage.

I said:
Manchester United will win the Premiership, leading to the 'mutually agreed' departure of Jose Mourinho from Chelsea. In a fit of pique, he will take Frank Lampard with him to Real Madrid. Whoever wins the Barcelona-Liverpool tie will win the Champions' League.

2007 said: Hope you made money on the Premiership tip because the CL was a little off. Liverpool beat Barca but couldn't get past AC Milan in their second final meeting of three years. Spot on about Mourinho, though. And as soon as he gives up on managing Liverpool and takes the Madrid job, Fat Frank will be packing his bags.

I said:
There will be a major spike in oil prices again.

2007 said: Instead there were many and repeated spikes in oil prices. And there's more to come.

I make that more than three-quarters correct. Is it time to start applying for a job as a seer or oracle?

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