Predictions for 2011 reviewed

Well, Hogmanay means that it must be time to review the predictions that I made for 2011 to see how I got on.

Here’s what I said on 1 January and a quick review of each one:

The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church will use their considerable intelligence, wit, guile and blogs to avoid expressing an opinion about anything at all. Oh, except one thing – that they think its OK to discriminate against gay people. (Which in private most of them will continue to say is a terrible thing that they don’t actually agree with).

I think I got this one pretty well bang on. There was the notable exception of the Primus saying that he thought that the Scottish Executive could reasonably legislate for same-sex marriage when the Roman Catholic bishops were saying the opposite, but apart from that I’d say that we’ve had a year of silence in public life from our church leaders which compromises our local mission. Meanwhile, I think that some of our bishops in Scotland really, genuinely believe that they are supportive of gay people in the church whilst taking anti-gay actions in private and saying nothing in public.

The Coalition in Westminster will survive the year. (But probably not for much longer).
Well, I got that one broadly right. There is no immediate sign that the coalition is going to break but it seems to me weaker than it was a year ago and the Liberal Democrats even more compromised.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will step down in the second half of the year. His place will be taken by John Sentamu. The new Archbishop of York will be Jim Jones, currently Bishop of Liverpool. The Bishop of London will remain as Bishop of London, despite making a significant contribution to the Royal Wedding as Chief Tiara Bearer.
Well, the Archbishop did not step down when I said he would. However, it is an open secret that arrangements are being put in place. I don’t now think that Sentamu is in the frame. The Tiara Bearer did perform beautifully at the Royal Wedding and remains the Bishop of London, but has not ended the year well, what with the goings on at St Paul’s. No-one saw that coming.

Debate about the House of Lords will make the C of E bishops who belong to it seem increasingly vulnerable. They will be astonished to discover that not everyone in the country values their place in the legislature. Most will not realise that not everyone in the churches values their place in the legislature.
Think I got that one right. Bewilderment in the press just the other week when Rowan Williams was trying to make a case for continued presence of Bishops in Lords.

The Labour Party will end the year with a Milliband leading it.
Lo, it is so.

The Scottish Parliamentary Elections will result in a Labour First Minister. A Labour-Green coalition will be much talked about but not happen because the Greens will refuse to do a deal. The Greens will have a good election and gain more seats from the List votes. The Liberal Democrats in Scotland will have their worst night in many a year.
This is the one that I got almost completely wrong. Landslide for the Nationalists was not something I could imagine. It seems astonishing now that I could have been predicting a Labour win. However, looking back at the comments from last year, no-one at the time challenged my view as absurd. It was reasonable then. How times have changed. However I was right about the Liberal Democrats. I continue to be right about the Liberal Democrats and the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland continues to get it wrong. His New Year message published today indicates that he thinks he knows why it was so bad but also shows that he doesn’t. It isn’t going to get better without metanoia – complete turn around and a few resignations.

The Anglican Communion will survive another year in name but not in reality.
Oh yes. Oh yes.

British troops will remain in Afghanistan.
As with several other items in this list, I take no pleasure in being right.

The AV referendum will be lost. However it will stir up interest in electoral reform and hasten the reform of the Lords. AV supporters will claim that people rejected it because they want proper PR.
Right on all counts.

The Church of Scotland will have a rocky General Assembly with a moderately conservative report from their Special Commission. (No more gay ministers, no questions to be asked about sexuality of office bearers but also no removing anyone currently in any post on the grounds of their sexuality).

I think I did pretty well with this one. I didn’t foresee the Assembly asking for new work to be done by a new Special Commission which might move the church forward.

No straight liberal in the church will feel the need to sacrifice anything at all for the gay friends they purport to support.
Now, this was the one which made people really, really cross. I’ll leave others to judge whether I got this one broadly right or broadly wrong. The stark way in which I put this certainly got people’s backs up. I did find myself thinking whilst I was interviewing Christopher Senyonjo that he might well be the proof that I was wrong. (Though I’m unsure whether he regards himself as a liberal). I said last year that I would be happy for all my straight friends to have a competition a year on to see who has sacrificed the most for the cause in the year that is past. I’d be happy to hear comment on that.

One of the things that I didn’t quite foresee was the number of straight allies getting behind the same-sex marriage consultation. That made me think that it is a battle we are going to win. I was moved by that support though even so, I’m not sure that it is the same thing that I was referring to in my prediction a year ago which annoyed people.

So there we have it. I think I did pretty well with my runes last year, what do you think?

Predictions for next year tomorrow.


  1. Ooh, do you do requests? Like many, I’m wondering if 2012 will FINALLY see the release of Detox ( ) and also if the whole Mayan Calendar End-of-the-World stuff is true.

  2. Russell Goulbourne says

    Excellent stuff, Kelvin. Will 2012 be Nick Baines’s year, I wonder?

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