Business Eye: Predictions for 2015

Alex Pratt
Alex Pratt

Predicting the future is a mug’s game, so please accept these views simply as one imperfect man’s imperfect opinions about an imperfect world.

I am a little buoyed by marking myself nearly an “A” for last year’s musings.

On the surface what we have to worry about most is the fact that many got a bit poorer again last year but the truth is more frightening.

We are in the presence of a “risk” of real and present dangers, from the war against ISIS, to the continuing aftershocks of the financial crisis, from the occupation of Ukraine to the continuing chronic weakening of our institutions like Nato and Local Government, and from the degradation of the planet to the mirage that ever smaller independent units is a solution to anything.

Our debt mountain continues to grow like topsy, our population continues to age, and we insist on blaming others for our plight, be they politicians or the European Union.

The truth is we are simply living way beyond our means. Mr McAwber might have said: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen and six, result happiness. Weekly income two billion pounds less than expenditure, result misery.”

Starting with the big known 2015 national debate; despite the momentum of the UKIP bandwagon, theTories will win the General Election with a small majority.

The need to blame immigrants and institutions is a human condition, not an ideological belief, so UKIPers will come from all parties. The Lib Dems will be given a serious electoral kicking for stepping up and helping to save us from financial ruin. I’m no Lib Dem but history will record our electoral assessment as a tad immature.

The intensifying pressure for local unitary government will not abate and when given the choice, we will express a stronger loyalty to our parishes and towns as integral parts of Bucks, than to any administrative district structure that would see it destroyed.

The lights will definitely flicker at least once in 2015 because we really don’t have the capacity to produce the electricity we need, and despite continuing very low oil costs and a Euro zone tinkering on the edge of the deflation precipice, I cannot see us going another full year with interest rates at rock bottom.

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