Predicting the main events of the new year is always difficult as some of my earlier blog posts at this time of year illustrate.
For 2019 some predictions:
1. Newspapers. The Telegraph, currently I think owned by the Barclay brothers (not popular people at present on the Isle of Sark which adjoins the Barclay brothers' own home island of Brecqhou) will remain in publication as its owners are financially well off. The Guardian newspaper is less financially secure and may become insolvent in the absence of financial savings or as the Independent did, restrict its publishing to an online presence only.
2. Politics. The question for the UK is, will the Brexit the majority of people in this country voted for occur or not? The questions put to the population a couple of years back, were simple enough, namely to remain in or to quit the EU and the majority voted to quit. One difficulty is that most members of parliament disagree with the majority vote to quit. Another difficulty is that businesses do not get a vote in the democratic process. The latter difficulty is being tackled now but in an "after the horses have bolted" way, by the confederation of British Industry and others, weighing in with much publicity on the remain side. The former difficulty though is resulting in turmoil and confusion within and without the Houses of Parliament, to such an extent that securing any agreement on how to Brexit has proved impossible so far. The Prime Minister Mrs May who personally voted to remain, has come in for huge criticism at home but laughter and unfunny comment from some EU civil servants although her task is well nigh impossible. My own view is that because Members of Parliament cannot get their acts together there will be a Brexit with no agreement.
3.The USA. President Trump talks the talk that those who voted for him sought but sadly so far he has in many respects failed to walk the walk. The issue of building a wall between the USA and Mexico, President Donald Trump has spoken about for months yet now many state-run parts of the USA are unable to pay their staff because of his failure to persuade the Democrats to agree to allocate resources to pay for this expensive project. Will the President climb down or will there be a long shut down in the USA? As regards Syria the American President has angered his allies by declaring unilaterally that US troops will withdraw from Syria because so he says the war against ISIL has been won. He has spoken positive words about North Korea which country is now becoming more accommodating in a few ways with its southern neighbour yet North Korea does not seem to be winding down its atomic weapons programme which was the purpose of their talks with Trump. As for China, President Trump's imposition of import tariffs (affecting other countries also) is as yet not complete so further talks may follow - we can but wait and see. White House staff appear to resign every five minutes and gossip abounds about girl friends the president may or may not have slept with or paid off before he was elected. Meanwhile one of the lawyers said to have advised the president has been convicted of a felony. My personal prediction is that President Trump will be impeached in 2019.
4.Religion. The Catholic church is still being hit by child abuse scandals affecting priests and people around the world yet judging by local mass attendances, the faithful are if not returning to the pews in droves, at least hanging on in there and slowly increasing in number. I predict that as people become tired of the consumer society, aspects of which Pope Francis wisely warned us all about in his Christmas sermon, they will begin to return to and invigorate the Church more in 2019.
5. Oil and Global warming. The world's population has become so attached to motor car driving that the effects of CO and CO2 emissions on the world's atmosphere and the resulting global warming is being at best, ignored or at worst, refuted. Of course coal fired power stations eg those being built in China, India and brought back to service in Germany, add to the global warming as much as cars and trucks though the latter also cause massive noise pollution, which affects many but which few appear to care about sufficiently to comment upon. I predict though that in the UK electric cars will become more popular. Unfortunately nuclear power stations of the current design seem unlikely to be built safely or cheaply although smaller nuclear power stations manufactured by eg RR, for say some submarines, may be looked at again for more general use.