This article was written for the News & Star.
As we head to the New Year it is always a good time to look ahead, make predictions, and – if you are feeling brave enough – make some resolutions.
Predictions are always interesting. I often find it quite amusing how much media coverage in politics is about predictions – after all, really all they are is someone’s opinions, informed or otherwise. This is particularly the case in economic affairs where there are always predictions of recession, boom, or some other event. Invariably they turn out to be wrong, but no one ever looks back and challenges the authors or forecasters. However, it does make a good headline for newspapers!
Not that there isn’t something to gain by trying to understand what might happen in the future. It can be interesting to look ahead and make your own assessment of what the future holds.
I thought I would keep my predictions for next year as straightforward as I could. The two big political events of 2024 are of course the UK General Election and the American Presidential election.
In America I think there may well be a surprise – that neither Biden nor Trump will win. Instead, I think Nikki Haley will come through the middle and win the Republican nomination and then the presidency itself. If she does, I think there would be a collective sigh of relief from many!
As for the UK, well, perhaps I am too closely involved to be able to objectively state anything, so I won’t make any predictions on the national result – other than to say that I do think things will be closer than many suspect.
Away from politics, I predict Carlisle United will fight hard and do enough to remain in Division One. This will set them up nicely for future years, especially given with what looks to be the very positive impact of the new owners.
Resolutions are different from predictions in that (theoretically at least) we are the ones who decide whether they happen or not. I say theoretically as often the ones involving more fitness and less drinking don’t quite go to plan, but perhaps that’s just personal experience.
I have learnt to try keep resolutions as realistic as possible and achievable! In the year before the 2010 election, I said I would run 4 half marathons and then in 2010 itself I promised to cycle to London if I were elected. I did manage both, but was I much younger then. Now I would like still to be able to run a half marathon this year, but undeniably preparation is getting harder. Still, it is a goal worth aiming for – maybe with the Cumbrian run in October, especially as that gives me plenty of time to start training…
Whatever your own resolutions and predictions, I do wish you a Happy New Year and I hope that 2024 brings you peace and happiness.