Posts Tagged ‘2012 predictions’

2012 predictions: Dave and Nick to wed, the boundary review to be dropped and maybe Lansley too

05/01/2012, 09:17:01 AM

by Kevin Meagher

A mug’s game and a fool’s errand, but in the spirit of offering hostages to fortune, making rash and arbitrary predictions and being willing to be hoist by my own petard, please find my political predictions for 2012:

1. “With this pact I thee wed…”

This will be the year that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats finally face up to the indisputable logic of a pre-election pact. Like a couple who have lived together for years, there is little reason to hold off from tying the knot – sooner or later they will realise this. They get on better than either side initially expected. Their candidates go into the next election with a joint record. The two parties’ fortunes are now symbiotic so there is no point manufacturing differences.

For ambitious Lib Dems, carrying on with the coalition is their best shot at retaining a ministerial career. For Cameron, Lib Dem ballast gives his government a better equilibrium, ensuring he doesn’t have to try too hard to please his right flank.

Austerity is going to stretch into the next parliament. Both sides can sell the deal as a continuation of “acting in the national interest”. Brutally, the number of marginal seats where the Tories are the main challengers to them would see off half the Lib Dems current 57 MPs. So logical and self-interested then; but will this convince both parties’ grassroots?

2. A shuffling of the pack

2012 will see a significant cabinet reshuffle. Commendably, David Cameron is proving a reluctant butcher. By the spring, however, he will want to freshen up the cabinet’s middle ranks, probably waiting until after May’s local elections. At the very least, Clarke, Spelman, Gillan and Warsi are all expendable. If Boris beats Ken for the London mayoralty, he can risk promoting a generation of Cameroons. (more…)

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Peter Watt’s 2012 crystal ball

29/12/2011, 07:51:26 AM

by Peter Watt

No doubt we will begin to see people’s predictions for 2012 over the next few days. So here are mine.  I have two, which are inter-related and they are to do with the economy and leadership.

First the economy. You don’t need to be much of a soothsayer to know that next year will all be about the horrific state of the international economy. Much of the world, although by no means all, is teetering on the edge of recession. I am no longer sure that anyone knows either what is happening or how to sort it. Years of trade deficits in much of the West coupled with cheap credit of which many individuals and countries took advantage have produced huge instability. Add in a toxic mix of complex financial instruments that would challenge the average nuclear physicist plus a bodged European single currency. You have to ask how we never saw this coming. But it seems that payback time is nearly upon us.

The euro might collapse; it might not. I suspect that ultimately it won’t. But the next few weeks will all be about the desperate battle between countries and the markets. The chances are that the markets will win. There will be endless Euro summits that nearly make a decision and then definitely don’t.  Spain, Italy and probably France will come under pressure and the cost of borrowing and servicing their debt will rise. Germany is going to have to decide what will cost its taxpayers more – saving the euro or having it collapse. But something will have to give, because the status-quo cannot endure. Either there will be a much stronger financial union, with Germany effectively calling the economic shots within the eurozone, or the currency will collapse. Both scenarios will have huge implications for the UK, European and indeed the world economy. Even those who feel that a collapse of the euro would be the best outcome can’t really know what the immediate implications would be.


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