Another decade is drawing to a close. As is this year of 2019, as ever a glance back over the shoulder is almost inevitable. How did we get here is perhaps an attempt to peer into the future.
What does the New Year which is striding inexorably towards us hold for us? A handful of days ago we passed though the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, the shortest day. One forecast we can confidently make is that summer is on the way.
For the rest the future really is unknowable. That will not stop a single economist forecasting the future and to prove they have a sense of humour they even predict to several decimal places of accuracy.
In the past year, as well as past decade, the UK has apparently been riven by dissent and divided by the process of Brexit.
Though the recent General Election appears to settled the question entirely and in just twenty four hours. Parliament has taken the next step in passing into Law the Withdrawal Agreement which will give effect to the departure from the EU by the United Kingdom.
Of course the European Parliament must also ratify the Treaty, should the EU fail to do so the consequences on all sides could be rather interesting.
That’s for next year and unlike Summer’s certainty the many steps in the Brexit waltz are unknown and perhaps unknowable till they are actually taken. We all hope that someone is practising those no doubt intricate steps.
As PM Boris Johnson would have it we are all Brexiteers now and is insisting that next year no references will be made to Leavers and Remainers.
Ten years ago the world’s financial system more or less imploded, though not quite. In some shambling fashion the financial system continued to draw one shaky breath after another and staggered into the year 2010.
Of course many did not see or immediately feel the consequences of the financial crises that struck our world during the years following the millennium and came to a head during 2008. The subsequent Euro crises underlined that none of us are an island but rather a part of the main.
The arrogance of some governments and individuals evident at various times and places which were for a space apparently immune from the effects of the financial system’s strains were all too soon shown to be utterly false.
There is not a nook or cranny of our planet’s many societies that have not been affected and continue to be affected by the crises playing out.
As individuals, families, regions and nations we look forward to the New Year and we make plans. Some confidently and some not so much. Some of the economists forecasts may even turn out to be correct; random chance would account for that I suspect.
We all hope that next year some or all of our problems are resolved. For others 2020 will see a celebration of particular significance. What ever your plans or the plans of your family and friends; wishing you and all of yours a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.
Nick Horne, London, England