New Year Predictions 2016

  1. Following recent revelations, this will be the year that former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey finally shuts up. Expect no silly press releases on the eve of Church of England Synod. (From Carey anyway).
  2. The Columba Declaration recently leaked to the press will not in fact be adopted unamended by both the Church of Scotland General Assembly in May and by the Church of England General Synod in February.
  3. Solid vote in favour of first reading of legislation for removal of definition of marriage from the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church opening the way towards a final vote in 2017.
  4. The Anglican Communion will move back towards being a fellowship of autonomous churches following the Primates’ Conference in January. Justin Welby will do the right thing for the wrong reasons. (ie he will accept the inevitable loosening of ties that stems from the global domination fantasies of his predecessors but not speak up for LGBT friendly churches).
  5. The SNP will win a landslide in the Holyrood Election. There will be UKIP representation in Holyrood for the first time.
  6. The SNP will continue to work for their preferred outcome in the European Union referendum – an overall majority in the UK in favour of staying in, a massive majority in Scotland for staying in and a majority in England for leaving the EU.
  7. The Democrats will retain the White House.
  8. Jeremy Corbyn will still be Labour Party leader by the end of 2016 and become a little more popular within the Labour Party the longer he is there.  The Labour Party will still seem unelectable at the end of the year. No major defections along the way. (There’s nowhere to go).
  9. A successful cyber terrorist attack on a major Western financial institution. (It is only a matter of time).
  10. Amateur drone crash causing loss of life.
  11. 3D printed food experiments in restaurants.
  12. More major news outlets closing down the comments sections on their websites as open comments become unmanagable.

Last Year’s Predictions

Each year I try to make some predictions at New Year. And each year I take a look back on Hogmanay to see how I did.

Here’s the rundown of how I did last year.

1 Those who voted YES in the Scottish Referendum will continue to behave as though they won. This may be unhelpful.
2 Those who voted NO in the Scottish Referendum will continue to behave as thought he referendum never happened. This may be unhelpful.

Well, I think I got these both right. I don’t see much sign that we’ve moved on from the referendum. Alan McManus’s magazine article was a breath of fresh air, but a rare one.

3 There will, I fear, be a Tory Prime Minister at the end of 2015.

Bang on with this one.

4 The Liberal Democrats will retain 10 – 14 seats in the House of Commons.

Well, I got the detail wrong – the Lib Dems did even worse in the General Election. When I made this prediction, most people were predicting a Lib Dem presence of 30 – 36, I think. My prediction of electoral catastrophe was just not taken seriously by those whom I know who should have taken it most seriously. I’m claiming this as a very near miss.

5 Nick Clegg will lose his seat and be Lord Clegg by the end of the year.

That’s a miss. Nick Clegg kept his seat if not his party.

6 The Labour Party will not be led by a Milliband by the end of the year.

Well I didn’t see Jeremy Corbyn coming but it was clear to me that Ed Milliband wasn’t going anywhere fast. Remember though that right up until the General Election, most of the polls predicted a hung parliament and uncertainty about who would be the PM.

7 The Church of Scotland will begin a new procedure under the barrier act to determine whether to accept ministers in same-sex partnerships who are married (ie not merely in Civil Partnerships).

Got this one bang on. Presbyteries have just voted by a narrow majority to send this back to the General Assembly for decision in May.

8 There will be legal victories for those seeking to extend Civil Partnerships to straight couples.

Well, we’ve not see as many legal victories as I expected. However, we’ve got a rather uncomfortable consultation just completed in Scotland in which the Scottish Government announced before consulting, that it didn’t want to do what a lot of people want them to do. I hope it sticks to its guns though and refuses to allow straight couples (or indeed future gay couples) Civil Partnerships.

9 Elizabeth Warren will become a household name.

Well, this one didn’t really come to pass. My fantasy of a dream Hilary/Elizabeth ticket doesn’t look like becoming a reality either.

10 (Some) straight liberals will lead the charge (such as it is) for (something less than) LGBT equality, (sometimes). Believe it or not, I’m excited by this and it is an improvement. [Remember that in 2011 I predicted that “No straight liberal in the church will feel the need to sacrifice anything at all for the gay friends they purport to support.” Things are changing a bit].

I’m claiming this one as a win. I could feel it all around me at Greenbelt but I’ve felt it in other places too. Increasingly, the things I’ve been fighting for are becoming mainstream. Deo Gratias.

11 Advances in e-learning in churches.

This one is a miss. I’ve dabbled a bit myself but there’s no real sign of denominations doing what they need to do if they are going to teach their people any better in the future than they have done in the past.