Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ten Predictions for 2010

Time to hop a ride on the prediction bandwagon. I've locked the science of perspectives under the stairs and gone with my gut. Here we go:

1) As unlikely as it seems now, Labour will scrape back in. The return to more traditional social democratic politics pays, much to the consternation of Blairites and
Tom Harris MP.

2) The Greens will get Caroline Lucas elected in Brighton. Nigel Farage for UKIP eats into John Bercow's majority, but the speaker is safely re-elected. As for the BNP, the strong anti-fascist campaign sees Griffin's challenge to Margaret Hodge off by a comfortable margin.

3) It's a bitter sweet election for Respect. Salma Yaqoob is elected but George Galloway is not. As for the rest of the left, apart from a respectable showing for Dave Nellist in Coventry and one or two fair (by the far left's standards) results the son-of-No2EU barely registers on the electoral radar. Once again, lack of name recognition and campaigning profile makes its traditional negative contribution, though everyone will prefer to blame the squeeze the Labour vote puts on it.

4) The economy returns to weak growth, though from the perspective of the two and a half million unemployed it feels no different.

5) As companies and the public sector cut back, more workers are forced into industrial action to defend their jobs and/or existing working conditions. There will be no mass radicalisation resulting from this, but strike figures and trade union membership will be up by year's end.

6) The United Kingdom will still be united. A referendum on Scottish independence will not take place - with opinion tilting against independence this will be a (quiet) relief to many in the SNP.

7) The Afghan war will rumble on, though by year's end there will be more talk about talks. Neither will there be an attack on Iran by the US and UK, and despite more Israeli sabre rattling no threatened air strikes will be forthcoming - the perceived opposition of such moves by a global anti-war movement figures heavily in the decision-making.

8) All kinds of irrationalism and mumbo-jumbo will - depressingly - make more headway in 2010. Climate change denialism becomes more of an anti-establishment badge of honour among hard of thinking circles. This in turns provokes a more strident rationalism in liberal-left circles.

9) The Sheridan case finally comes to court. Whatever happens it will rub added venom into the festering sore that is the Scottish left.

10) In July, the
Posadas position on UFOs is spectacularly confirmed as emissaries from the Galactic Soviet land in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. They immediately offer the crumbling Juche regime unconditional but critical support against US imperialism and its South Korean running dogs.

Nostradamus I ain't.

What do you think will happen in 2010?


Owen said...

Hah, you totally ripped off my post from last Sunday :P (Or you just happened to have the same idea as me, which is probably more likely.) Care to take a bet on the electoral prospects of Caroline Lucas or the Labour Party?

Derek Wall said...

any chance of you doing some election work for Caroline and Salma, make history real through your own agency.

Phil BC said...

Great minds Owen, great minds.

As I'm skint I can only bet my reputation as a sage. I would say Labour get back in with a 10-20 seat majority and Caroline with a majority of less than 1,000. Your thoughts?

Derek, Salma's a possibility - though it depends on how hard the SP will be working me. Should we go through with standing in Stoke Central I doubt I'll see outside the constituency for a fair few months!

luna17 said...

Not convinced by 1 or 10, but I suspect you're right about everything in between. In fact I think 10 may be slightly more plausible than 1 - I simply can't see the Tories failing to get elected. It's true there's no shift to the right in popular consciousness - people's ideas are the same as several years ago on most issues - but the disillusionment with Labour just runs too deep.

Derek Wall said...

Hi Phil,

I will put you down for Hall Green then, mail me! Green Left and Birmingham GP will be doing some work on the weekend of 30th January

Brighton is very easy, get on a train, get off at Brighton cross the street to the eco centre and we will give you some leaflets,

She will win if people put the work in....and lovely though Stoke is, send me details of how people can support Dave Nellist or an SP candidate with at least a shout of getting elected and I will let other know.

Jim Jepps said...

Derek - Brighton is quite a long way from Stoke, I'm sure Phil has worthy campaigns nearer to home that he can build.

Phil: I'd add to the predictions that Charles Clarke will lose his seat to Green Adrian Ramsay in Norwich South. It's a pretty safe bet at the moment, particularly as Clarke is trying his damnedest to alienate existing Labour supporters.

TGR Worzel said...

It pains me to say it, but I agree with your first prediction. I genuinely do think Labour will scrape back in due to vagaries of the electoral system, the consituency boundaries and the "hard-of-thinking circles" who proudly say that they vote Labour because they've always voted Labour, their Father always voted Labour, their Grandfather always voted Labour, etc.

Overall, it will not be a popular result, with Labour being returned by considerably less than 50% of the vote.

Because Labour are not universally accepted as having a mandate and with the country (and political system) in the mess that it is currently in, this becomes a much bigger issue than usual.

Negative comments about the Labour party, comparison with "fixed" elections in places like Iran and general disatisfaction with our "system" gain renewed momentum...

In such circumstances, the industrial action that you refer to develops into more serious disturbances, the like of which has not been seen for some time.

Matters are not helped by Labours crippling tax policy, the UK losing its AAA credit rating and the IMF having to bail-out the UK again, exactly as happened in the 1970's under a Labour Government...

The country gets so angry actually, that an attempt is made on the Prime Ministers life and troops have to be sent onto the streets...

Now I'm sorry to be controversial on a Socialist Blog, and I genuinely hope things don't ever get that bad, but this particular scenario is not entirely inconceivable, is it...?

Owen said...

Phil: My predictions in the post on 3E were a majority of 50-100 for the Tories and Caroline Lucas losing narrowly. I was thinking some kind of blog-related non-monetary bet rather than cash (I'm hardly rolling in it at the moment either). No idea how that would really work though.

Ms Chief said...

Come on Phil BC - "Whatever happens it will rub added venom into the festering sore that is the Scottish left" that's not nice talking about your comrades in the Scottish CWI like that.

Joking aside since its New Year and my New Year's Resolution is not to be bitter - I think it is rich for someone from the "left" in England calling the Scottish Left a "festering sore" - read your predictions above - the left in England is as split a sunder as the left in Scotland and whether you agree or not with the Scottish situation there is a reason for it - what is England's reason?

What ever happens in 2010 hopefully there will be some resolution - good or bad.

Phil BC said...

TGR, I don't think things will come to that. I can't see anyone having a pop at Brown - in my experience he's more a figure of ridicule than hate.

Derek - I'll email you. Are you at the same address?

Ms Chief, as horribly sectarian the left outside Scotland is at least it's talking to each other - I have heard a rumour that the SWP have been talking to son-of-No2EU, for instance. Where Scotland is concerned the division will rumble on and on, long after the Sheridan case is history. Short of something from the outside knocking heads together (such as the (unlikely) formation of a substantial left alternative), that is how it will stay. Happy new year!

Ms Chief said...

Phil, be careful of what sectarians tell you - in Scotland when there are important things to do socialists speak and work together - fighting fascism, Palestian solidarity, defending and supporting asylum seekers, trade union work etc. Don't believe the hype. I don't see any left unity in England is any more further forward and please remember youse lot are 10 times the size of us. Scotland's population is half the size of London.

When it comes to nonsense then you don't need unity.

Derek Wall said...

Hi Phil

yes same email,


asquith said...

Do you think the BNP have much of a chance in Sjoke Central? Obviously I hope they get soundly thrashed- I actually don't see them winning. It'd be interesting to see how they spin Lucas & Farage winning their target seats but them losing.

I think I will go & vote for David Jack- I find his comments on Pits & Pots (where I don't encounter you- unless you become "Pooter" after a very stressful evening & a few or very many ciders to wind down, where are you at?) absolutely hilarious, & if Walley wins anyway I might as well vote for the candidate that lets me say it wasn't my fault because I didn't support any of them. Being as my vote never counts for anything whatsoever.

Plus I think there is a fair bit to be said for the Liberal Democrats- I am not one of them, or one of anyone, but I presumably like them more than you do, eh?

Because of my experience of only having tits to vote for (I like Walley* but I think the reason I don't vote for her is obvious- she will support NuLab when push comes to shove) I have arrived at the view that we're better off working for whatever it is we support outside electoral politics.

In my view this is part of why Obama has stalled. His supporters just haven't got the hunger, they expected miracles & are jaded & don't like the thought of the hard work that is called for. Because these Republican 'stains are out there lobbying 24/7, the right-whingers never stop, but too many Democrats are just too pro-government & too prone to tantrums. Whereas I myself am critically supportive of Obama.

Is it any predictions you're making for the blogosphere?

*She is very good at responding to letters- has done a respectable amount of work on environmental causes too. I might even consider voting for her if Labour were in opposition. But you cannot ask it of me after 12 years of Blair & Brown, seriously.

Ms Chief said...

On predictions I think that there are enough stupid people to vote for the Tories and they will scrape in - New Labour might find "social democracy" too late.

And I hope Caroline Lucas and Salma Yacoob do get in, don't like Gorgeous George much so indifferent to him being elected (though I do respect his anti-imperalist stance) but would be excited if Salma and Caroline got in - two great women and activists.

So it would be good for the left to suport getting good activists in but that probably won't happen.

JimPage said...

Farage and UKIP are up against a tory vote of 57% - and with BNP and Greens also standing, i think, dont think he will win

Griffin will nearly do it in Barking

Phil BC said...

Asquith, the BNP will get a sound thrashing in Stoke Central. Because their national resources will be concentrated in Griffin's fight with Hodge their vote will suffer. The departure of Alby Walker hasn't helped either. Also, if the general election happens on the same day of the locals the BNP are screwed - they won't win/successfully defend a single seat because of the Labour vote turn out. If not it's anyone's guess.

Sister C said...

I am not too sure about what will happen with the BNP in Stoke Central. I'm pretty sure that because of all the issues with the candidate selection for the Abbey, the local Labour party are not going to be wanting to campaign there. This is a great shame because really they should all be working to make sure that Labour picks up this seat, even though they (the local party) didn't get the candidate that they wanted.

I think you are correct about number 1, i've been saying it for a while now, Tory fear is most definately setting in. Even Cameron can see it hence why he appealed to the Lib Dems.

My only hope if Labour do win is that they return to what they once stood for and I think this is a possible especially as the members have been calling for this for years and they will lose what little membership they have if they continue down this road.

Phil BC said...

I don't know about the Abbey. Whoever Labour stand will be an improvement over the previous candidate - I've spoken to a few Abbey folk in recent years who've been turned off by his idiotic and incoherent leaflets. I don't think many people will give a toss about internal Labour politics.

Sister C said...

I totally agree, however if the local Labour Party won't do any campaigning in the Abbey then the chances of Labour winning the seat are reduced. Doesn't matter what the current candidates leaflet is like if no one will deliver it, no one in the Abbey will see it.

Phil BC said...

But then again if the council is up on the same day as the general election, the increased turn out could help Labour's chances in the ward. Not that Stoke Central need excuses not to campaign ...

Btw, are you now back?

Sister C said...

I am back now yes. Tea sometime soon?

Phil BC said...

Aye. I'm in Weds and Fri (not sure about Thurs yet) so if you and/or Bro G are about give me a bell.