As I sit here, sweltering in the afternoon sun, I suddenly have a clearer and more optimistic view of the immediate future, for the UK and the USA.
I don't base it on any pretense of knowledge of the human psyche. I don't base it on any divine inspiration or reading of tea leaves. I don't base it on any super analysis of political factors. I base it on common sense, and an understanding of the normal or the average reaction to events, and I am very average.
In 2014 and in 2016, the British people or parts thereof, were invited to express their opinion, on independence for Scotland and independence for the UK (from the EU). Whatever the lies on all sides, as I see it and there is plenty of evidence for this point of view, what swung it for Scotland in the final analysis was the fact that they would have to leave the EU while the rest of the UK stayed behind. In 2017, in another wider referendum, the UK voted to leave the EU. Herein began the lies that managed to swing that vote, and which, I believe, will eventually out, and eventually correct themselves by 2019.
Firstly, it wasn't the British people who voted leave, it was the English people. Scotland didn't and neither did Northern Ireland or even Gibraltar; the parts of Great Britain that have long realized that their fortunes and those of the EU are intertwined and interdependent.
Next we have the hardcore Brexiteers, those that never wanted to join in the first place, and ever since 1973 have been complaining, planning and conspiring to drag the UK out of the EU again. Had the last 45 years been bad for Britain then maybe things would be different, but the fact remains that being part of the EU gave the UK a boost. Irrespective of the fact that Britain loses out in trade (only 20% of its international trade), if there is anybody that honestly believes the UK's mastery of the EU financial sector is solely because of Britain's performance; and nothing to do with the fact that they are a part of the EU ... they truly are masters of stupidity and fake news!
But as with many things in life, luck plays a role, and for populism its stars were in the ascendant. In 2016 they came into in alignment and literally, for a while at least, the whole wide world went crazy. All the norms appeared to go out of the windows, and political punditry appeared to have no validity any more. Herein lies the basis of my predictions. The supremacy of populism is unnatural and unsustainable. It represents the supremacy of the extremes over the much heavier middle. In a 80-20% world, it represents the 10% (one end) over the middle 80%, and assuming we survive the age of populism, the middle will eventually reassert itself.
As I said, the stars were in alignment, and the main factor of discontent, was the unequal benefits that came out of globalism. Nobody can doubt that globalism has increased the size of markets and brought in massive profits. But as is common in human history, its greed meant that these windfalls were not distributed evenly and again as is common, many got left behind. In the UK, as much as anything else,this was made much worse by, possibly the most stupid economic policy (Tory) of all time. In a world of very low interest rates, made so deliberately to encourage investment and growth; the UK decided to go in the opposite direction, not to spend anything and simply pay off its debts. The resulting misery this created for the British people was utilised by the Brexiteers (at least in part) to redirect this anger at austerity, against the EU.
Now, whatever the reasons were for LEAVE, the fact remains that nobody, but nobody of any sense voted to make life poorer, more difficult and more isolationist than before. Whatever the lies of before, every day that passes presents more and more evidence of this happening. My prediction for 2019, a new referendum will take place. Either Teresa May, in a desperate last attempt to stay in power will pass it back to the voters or alternatively, a new election will take place in which the Tories will lose miserably, Labour (Corbyn will be forced against his personal judgement to concede) another vote. Most probably it will be a three way vote on the final decision.
(a) Accept the deal and leave amicably, but stupidly (b) Reject the deal and fall back on WTO, assuming Trump hasn't ripped it up or (c) Stay behind in the EU, having fudged it to look as if Brexiteers are retreating to fight another day.
I conducted a 7-day straw twitter poll. In almost 30.000 respondents, ⅓ voted hard-Brexit, ⅓ voted soft Brexit and almost ⅔ voted 'cancel Brexit'. I believe these numbers are real and will be revealed in 2019. One further prediction, the Tories will lose the next election and the Brexiteers will be the first to be swept out of power.
In November 2016, a loudmouth reality show merchant managed to ride this wave of world dissatisfaction, of populism, all the way to the Whitehouse. In all honesty, I don't understand this growth in popularity of Reality TV. I can understand how somebody with a great voice or a great athlete can be chosen to be leader the pack. I can understand how a genius, how a super-nerd, can become a hero of the people or a even world class musician or orator; but exactly why a family that specializes in shopping and showing off their various body parts can become so influential, truly is beyond me.
Be that as it may, there is a limit to how far one's lies can stretch., and already they are beginning to catch up with Trump. While there may be a lot of people that are willing to forgive him many of his sins, he has pissed off almost every woman in America, and that will be my first prediction for the future of Congress for 2019. A surge in the percentages of women congressional members. Furthermore I predict Democrats will easily take Congress (much more difficult, possibly impossible to take the senate unless Trump does something super stupid like accepting an invitation by Vladimir Putin to visit Russia).
As a result he will be impeached. I believe evidence will appear confirming collusion of the Trump campaign with Russian officials, and possibly even proof that Trump had knowledge of this. In fact I am pretty certain Mueller already has his evidence but is opting to wait for November and a more favourable Congress to support him
As I said, 2019 will be a bumper year for traditionalists, and if they are smart they will realize that a solution to the migrant problem in the EU, and greater leniency towards the poorer members of the Union is to their long term advantage. In America I predict the NRA will get it in right in the teeth, in 2019.