Kate’s royal twins spark a succession row, China buys Greece — and polygamy is legalised…
23:40 GMT, 28 December 2012
Thought the world of politics was beyond satire Then read SIMON HEFFER’s tongue-in-cheek predictions for the coming year…
Moving forward: David Cameron makes his long-awaited speech on the future of Europe, saying he wants to renegotiate our arrangement
January: David Cameron makes his long-awaited speech on the future of Europe, saying he wants to renegotiate our arrangement.
The other 26 countries tell him to get lost. In yet another U-turn on same-sex marriage, he announces that the Church of England will be allowed to marry homosexual and gay couples.
In Italy, 76-year-old Silvio Berlusconi embarks on his election campaign with his 27-year-old fiance. Two heart surgeons are in his entourage.
Back home, following calls for programmes showing recipes using unhealthy ingredients to be screened only after the watershed, the Government considers ordering all aspiring cooks to go to bed before 9pm.
February: In a further development of the Prime Minister’s same-sex marriage policy, he now announces that not only will the Church of England be allowed to marry homosexual and lesbian couples, it will be open to heavy fines if it refuses to do so. Silvio Berlusconi’s Bunga Bunga Party wins the Italian election. He promises to spend, spend, spend the country’s way out of stagnation.
The euro drops by ten per cent on the foreign exchanges.
Pre-Budget leaks hint that the Chancellor is considering putting VAT on all foods deemed by doctors to cause obesity. As Britain shivers through the coldest winter for 100 years, the Prime Minister renews calls to build more wind farms to fight global warming.
March: Following more than 30 U-turns after last year’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne decides not to have one this year. However, there is an immediate U-turn when he realises that because of his lack of growth policy he needs to organise another tax raid, and has to have a Budget after all. His Sugar and Fat taxes cause outrage in various industries, notably confectionery. The nation’s chocolate-makers commission medical research to prove the health-giving properties of their products.
Following pressure from the Prime Minister, the new Archbishop of Canterbury changes tack and says he welcomes the obligation to marry same-sex couples, and that his clergy have a duty to go out and actively look for them.
April: The Chancellor performs a U-turn on his tax-raid-on-the-rich policy announced in the March Budget, after thousands of wealthy businessmen and bankers decide to leave for Singapore and pay no tax here at all.
Change: The Chancellor performs a U-turn on his tax-raid-on-the-rich policy announced in the March Budget, after thousands of wealthy businessmen and bankers decide to leave for Singapore and pay no tax here at all
As the weather warms up in the Mediterranean, riots break out in Spain about the continuing hardships caused by the austerity policies imposed by the Germans. Asked why they, too, are not rioting, the Greeks say they can’t afford to.
At the prompting of the British Medical Association, the Government agrees to force crisp manufacturers to put health warnings on their bags. As the Prime Minister dithers over an in-out referendum on Europe, both Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband — worried about Ukip Hoovering up their respective votes — both call for one within hours of each other.
May: The FA Cup Final is preceded by a coin-throwing competition to allow fans to get it out of their system before players go on the pitch. George Osborne is seen running round with a bucket picking up the coins before play starts.
The new Bank of England Governor declares he will reduce the value of our debt by arranging rampant inflation. His remarks promptly reduce the value of Sterling by 25 per cent. The Queen’s Speech contains only three Bills, as the two coalition parties struggle to agree on anything they might legislate on. New crime figures show a massive increase in offences in London, which the Met Commissioner claims has nothing to do with hundreds of his officers investigating the late Jimmy Savile, Plebgate and phone-hacking rather than catching criminals.
Restricted: The Queen's Speech contains only three Bills, as the two coalition parties struggle to agree on anything they might legislate on
June: Following the decision to allow people of the same sex to marry each other, a pressure group is formed to legalise bigamy. It is immediately attacked not by politicians or clerics, but by divorce lawyers. After more disappointing growth figures, and with no royal wedding or Olympic Games to blame them on, the Government finally admits the financial malaise may be down to its economic mismanagement.
The eating of burgers in public places in banned for health reasons, with leading doctors expressing their concern about ‘passive eating’. Scores of heroes return home from Afghanistan to receive redundancy notices, while African dictators go on another Mercedes-buying binge with their latest Treasury overseas aid cheques.
July: The nation rejoices as the Duchess of Cambridge gives birth. However, she has twins, one of each gender, and the boy is born first. Feminists immediately call for an official inquiry, claiming the girl has been defrauded of her rightful place on the throne. In his address to the nation on Bastille Day, France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande announces a rise in the top rate of tax to 95 per cent.
How Kate's 'twins' might look: The nation rejoices as the Duchess of Cambridge gives birth. However, she has twins, one of each gender, and the boy is born first
The campaign to legalise bigamy in Britain is welcomed by the Prime Minister, who says that since he believes in marriage, there should be more of it. Croatia joins the EU, prompting most of its population to leave to look for jobs elsewhere in Europe, especially Britain.
In the Irish Sea, the controversial gas-drilling technique called ‘fracking’ causes an earthquake along the Golden Mile in Blackpool. Happily, the resort is nearly empty and there are no casualties. It is decided to seize a historic opportunity, and not rebuild it, but to expand the sea by several hundred yards.
August: Inflation reaches 5 per cent. Just before the House goes into a three-month recess, the Government rushes through a Bill to legalise bigamy, including for same-sex threesomes. The Prime Minister orders his Tory colleagues to holiday at home, to boost the British economy and to seem as though they are just like everyone else. Everyone else makes last-minute bookings to Spain, to avoid running into Cabinet ministers while on holiday. Angela Merkel, fighting for re-election in Germany, tells her voters that all the money they have poured into Greece to shore it up has been worthwhile, because it has saved the European dream.
September: The Lib Dem party conference is held in a Dormobile. Ed Balls’s speech at Labour’s conference is followed by an opinion poll dip of 5 per cent. This increases to 10 per cent when Ed Miliband speaks the next day, and the nation waits in vain for his plan for economic recovery.
More from Simon Heffer…
How our toddler's trip to A&E turned us into a social worker's suspects
Landlord, why have you barred my dog A walk to the pub is a perfect treat for Boxing Day – but not if you have to sit outside in the cold with your pooch
When the police lie about politicians, we should ALL be very worried
Plastic fivers That will really devalue the pound
How Blair conned the Tory Party into selling its soul
Why George Osborne has no alternative but to cut taxes
A nanny state that dictates what we drink will soon be telling us how to think
Why should anyone listen to a country whose imploding economy could drag the whole of Europe down with it
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Meanwhile, polygamists — who think mere bigamy is for wimps — express their outrage at being marginalised by the Government as their type of marriage still remains illegal, saying this proves the Tories are still ‘the nasty party’. Angela Merkel wins her general election, and immediately pulls the plug on Greece.
October: At the Tory conference, Mr Cameron tells a small audience comprised largely of gay rights activists that the party’s brand is now properly ‘detoxified’. He does, however, promise to review the position of polygamists, who are threatening to take their cause to the European Court of Human Rights.
At the UKIP conference, a considerably larger audience of supporters cheers the programme of Conservative policies outlined by Nigel Farage. Inflation reaches 10 per cent. Unions demand a ‘winter of discontent’ unless inflation-linked pay rises are awarded, particularly in the public sector.
November: After protests from Roman Catholics, who say they are victims of Protestant bigotry, Guy Fawkes night is banned. The Government decides to legalise polygamy. The few remaining Anglicans in Britain join the Catholic church, while the Established Church is taken over by Mormons.
Greece finally leaves the euro, putting itself up for sale. The Chinese buy it for 100 drachmas plus liabilities, and plan to turn it into a classical antiquities theme park. Berlusconi makes a surprise visit to Beijing to open negotiations about China buying the bottom half of Italy, which is flat broke.
December: Inflation in the UK reaches 20 per cent. Having seen how easily Greece has escaped from the euro, the Spanish, Portuguese and Italians all decide to quit, too. A hint by the French that they might go as well prompts Mrs Merkel to give a speech about Germany’s three invasions of its neighbour between 1870 and 1940, and how sad it would be to have to mark the centenary of the second one — in 1914 — by launching a fourth. China intimates it is interested in buying France.
After a year of devastation for High Street retailers, the few remaining store chains still trading start their January sales three weeks before Christmas. A national pressure group is formed to allow people to marry their domestic pets, bigamously and polygamously. Conservative MPs rebel, claiming that a civil partnership should be adequate for such cross-species couples, but they are dismissed by the PM, who says that in caring, sharing, modern Britain everyone has their rights, even Fido and Tiddles.