Paul Groves looks at the fun-filled New Year we have coming up folks!

The traditional greeting might well be to wish people a prosperous New Year, but frankly the events of 2018 do not exactly engender too much confidence in what we can expect in 2019.

It is hard not be a merchant of doom given the farcical way our political leaders have conducted themselves since the original EU referendum.

I say original referendum, as we could still get Referendum 2, the sequel, in the next 12 months.

Anyone out there a fan of the National Lampoon franchise of screwball comedy? 

Wearing thin

If you are, how does it feel to be stuck in the middle of one of the “plots”?

National Lampoon’s Party-Political Pandemonium has been playing out for far too long. The joke wasn’t funny to begin with, so to say it is wearing a bit thin would be pushing it a tad.

So, now that you are immersed in such farcical nonsense, are you still a fan?

It seems unlikely that we’ll get much in the way of common sense as we move into 2019.

When our politicians seem keener to demonstrate their lipreading skills than debate Brexit in a responsible, grown-up and coherent manner than what hope can we have?

Stupid

Indeed, that whole debacle of late December 2018 revolving around what Jeremy Corbyn did or did not say to the Prime Minister is the perfect snapshot of what we face.

Within hours of the likes of the IoD, CBI, British Chambers of Commerce and other high-profile business organisations coming together in a pull-no-punches statement to demand an end to the “horrific” spectacle of the current Brexit debate and negotiations, the national media was saturated with the whole “stupid woman/stupid people” non-story.

It seems our business leaders hit the nail on the head perfectly.

And now the award for …

So, given such a shameful state of affairs, what can we can expect for 2019?

Here’s my attempt at some political and economic predictions by highlighting a few potential award winners over the next 12 months:

1.     Most likely to resign: No-one, our political leaders don’t even have the gumption to do that.

2.     Most likely to say I told you so: Pretty much 99% of the House of Commons.

3.     Most unlikely comeback: Tony Blair…yes, OK, just a joke!

4.     Least welcome comeback: Anyone who has resigned from office in the last 12 months.

5.     The Margaret Thatcher Award for Most Remarkable Change of Mind: Jacob Rees-Mogg – the lady may not have been for turning, but J R-M will finally see the light early in 2019 and ditch the double-breasted suit in favour of something more contemporary and skinny fit.

6.     The Mark Carney Award for Financial Excellence: Nadine Dorries (MP for Mid Berkshire), a sharp mind who constantly shows her amazing ability to regurgitate “facts” seemingly at will and without even having to think about them.

7.     The Donald Trump Award for Social Media Insights: Michael Fabricant (MP for Lichfield), the drinking man’s Boris Johnson and special hair advisor to the US president.

8.     The Jean-Claude Juncker Award for Diplomacy: Jeremy Corbyn for restricting himself to the word “stupid” when so many others were more appropriate.

9.     The Jose Mourinho Special One Award: Held over until 2020.

10.  The Nigel Farage Award for Benevolence: Nigel Farage, obviously.

11.  The European Union Award: Null and void, EU funds for regeneration projects, scientific research and anything that will help boost the economy and communities are no longer available in the UK.

12.  Person of the Year 2019: The British public, they deserve at least something out of the next 12 months.

Paul Groves is Editor of Specification Magazine