Now, as the auld year has pasted, it’s time to give some thought to what might take place in the year ahead. The year 2022 saw Scotland and the UK become poorer than it has ever been in recent history.
Who we blame for that depends, of course, on our take on economics and politics, but the fact of the matter remains that we are living in a country going through a period of economic decline.
So, given this backdrop, these are my predictions for 2023.
The Conservative Party will commit regicide (again) in October if the poll ratings for the Sunak-led government do not improve. With a General Election due no later than January 2025, the 1922 Committee will not let its seats in Parliament go without a fight. If this means another knife fight with the present party leadership, then so be it.
There are not a lot of opportunities for ex-Tory MPs out there to take advantage of, certainly not with a basic salary of £84,144 (plus expenses). With Boris as an “oven ready” Prime Minister and proven election winner waiting in the wings, the 1922 Committee has no excuse to go down without a final stand. Expect blood on the carpet before the end of the coming year.
This will become further entrenched within society throughout 2023. The Trussell Trust is currently running over 1400 Food Banks, feeding those who cannot make ends meet and who cannot put enough food on the table to feed themselves and their children. Food Banks are increasingly supporting the ‘working poor’ – people who work full time but, thanks to the pathetic salary they earn, need weekly support to stay alive.
Schools will become feeding stations for the nation’s children. Breakfast clubs providing every child with a substantial start to the day with a good two course mid-day meal will see us fulfil our generational obligation to the nation’s young people. Or, as Jamie Oliver put it when advocating the case for universal free school meals during his guest-editing day on Radio 4’s Today Programme this week: “The best value for a taxpayer’s buck.” Forget shrinking the State, 2023 will be the year of big Government. It must be for the sake of the health of the next generation.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will not last the year as the President of the Russian Federation. China refuses to get into bed with the increasingly desperate Putin, setting Putin’s end game in motion. Ukraine, buoyed by continued support of NATO, will demand regime change in Russia as a prerequisite for peace.
Weak Russian forces will be quickly expelled from all Ukrainian territory and President Zelenskyy is lauded as the new Churchill of European politics.
The year 2023 is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone. Scotland is not unique in the challenges it faces.
Sorry for not offering more cheerful predictions, but you did ask.