The most obvious prediction is that vaccines will defeat the COVID epidemic and life will begin to return to normal. Full normality is unlikely until the late summer but a semblance of normality will begin at the end of March provided the government prioritises vaccine administration, recruiting pharmacies who already provide vaccinations to the effort as well as anyone else who is competent from medical students to vets. The UK economy and the global economy are on the rocks but will recover rapidly in 2021. However, it take years to recover to 2008 levels of wages. The Bank of England will continue playing the very dangerous game of using "stimulus funding" to bolster FTSE companies and banks rather than wages - this stops inflation but leads to ever increasing differences in wealth
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The most obvious prediction is that vaccines will defeat the COVID epidemic and life will begin to return to normal. Full normality is unlikely until the late summer but a semblance of normality will begin at the end of March provided the government prioritises vaccine administration, recruiting pharmacies who already provide vaccinations to the effort as well as anyone else who is competent from medical students to vets.
The UK economy and the global economy are on the rocks but will recover rapidly in 2021. However, it take years to recover to 2008 levels of wages. The Bank of England will continue playing the very dangerous game of using "stimulus funding" to bolster FTSE companies and banks rather than wages - this stops inflation but leads to ever increasing differences in wealth and social unrest. The FTSE will probably see a small rise at the beginning of the year followed by stabilisation.
The Labour party will have learnt from the Democrats and subvert the UK Postal Voting System in the same way (activists distributing/applying for forms and offering to post them etc). This will almost certainly happen if postal voting is widely used in the UK May elections because of COVID. We can see it coming so the Tories will only have themselves to blame.
The UK-EU Trade Deal has removed the prime argument from the Remain campaign: that the UK economy would be demolished by tariffs and quotas. I never agreed with this economic argument but perceptions are most important and those who believed that Brexit would destroy the UK economy now have their answer: trade will continue almost as usual. It is this realisation that there is now no argument for rejoining the EU that caused such depression in the mostly pro-EU media when the Deal was announced. However, hell will freeze over before the UK media cover the fact that the UK can only rejoin the EU if it accepts the Copenhagen Criteria of agreeing to monetary and political union.
China will become a major player in global politics in 2021. We have already seen open intervention in Nepal. More important than direct political intervention will be articles financed by China on the UK media. Democracy will be portrayed as less efficient than the Chinese system and this will appeal to big business. Expect the beginnings of a "national debate" about democracy in the coming year (all puppeteered by China in the background). The UK has an anti-British, broadcast media that can be exploited by foreign powers. (See note 1).
Our government and security services must be wide awake to the multifaceted threat from China. The media will continue to suppress obvious news such as the Asian "Belt and Road" scheme being a strategic preparation to keep trade flowing during a showdown in the South China Sea. Expect alliances between India and Australia and perhaps even India and Vietnam to be on the table to oppose Chinese expansionism in Asia.
In the Middle East expect ISIS to return to the headlines. In Sinai it is engaging Egyptian forces and is an important player in Southern Yemen. ISIS has regrouped under cover of the pandemic and is now a major, dispersed terrorist force in Syria. Libya may be preparing for elections in 2022 but whether these will resolve the civil war is anyone's guess. The other headlines in the Middle East will be the continuing rise of Turkey which will intervene in most conflicts and Israel will successfully cut the Palestinian state on the West Bank in two, ending any hope of a two state solution for the Palestinians.
Expect the Maoist Black Liberation Movement (previously known as "Black Lives Matter") to receive less funding from anti-Trump Foundations although China may step into the vacuum. This may result in less BLM coverage on UK media. BLM is probably on the wane in the UK and Europe.
Despite Trump's anti-democratic reaction to defeat in the US election he is still supported by over 40% of the US electorate. There could be continuing trouble in the USA over the election but we can imagine that most Republicans will slowly come to terms with the "stolen" election being the result of legal flaws in the postal voting system (not a secret ballot) rather than a deliberate conspiracy. Will the USA heal? The Trump phenomenon is a reaction to an overbearing media and corporate class who think they "know best" so the short answer is "no".
With any luck there will be changes at the BBC after Clementi stands down as Chairman. Clementi's BBC is anti-British, irresponsible and regards the centre ground of UK politics as something entirely different from the centre ground in the country. His replacement should complement the appointment of Tim Davie as CEO to avoid gridlock. This is probably the last chance for the BBC to avoid being defunded.
We will all be amazed at the end of the year as SpaceX begins its colonisation of near space with its Starship.
Note 1: Unfortunately the "thousand talents" programme, in which hundreds of thousands of Chinese students trained in the West, has given the Chinese a keen appreciation of what is needed to defeat Western societies. During the COVID epidemic the Chinese showed masterful control of the media on the national and international scale. The Chinese government pay 40,000 staff to represent it on social media and have an AI development programme to control the Net. This worked in China to prevent any COVID related news that the regime thought was damaging from escaping into the public domain. China also has connections in the Western media and supplied the finance required to shut down reports on COVID being a laboratory escape. We will need a National Internet Firewall and an increasing ban on Twitter and other social media that support the armies of Chinese internet trolls.