My Predictions for Earth

To ring in the new year of 2018 (your time, not mine) the Sunday Times newspaper got in touch to ask me for my outlook on the year ahead. Now, I know that their Antipodean proprietor is a power-hungry megalomaniac, but space lords in glass starships should not throw stones. And besides, I thought you Earthlings should know where you are heading, so I deigned to agree to the request. Read on and take heed!

When The Sunday Times asked me to forecast the big events that will occur over the next 12 months, I confess I allowed myself a slight chuckle. For I am baffled by the obsession humans have with bracketing their lives with the measure of when your planet completes an orbit of your mediocre sun.

You see, an Earth year is a mere blink of the visor as far as an intergalactic space lord like myself is concerned, and thinking of life in this way increases the likelihood that when you analyse your planet you will draw the conclusion, “Oh dear, we’re all doomed.”

Understandable though that is, when I evaluate alien worlds I prefer to look at the bigger picture. In doing so, with respect to the human race, I would sum up the past 50 years of your species with this soundbite: “Procreation. Progress. PlayStations.” And if that doesn’t provide you with hope for the future, I don’t know what will.

But I digress. If you want to know what I think will happen on your little world over the next Terran gravitational solar transit, strap in. Here are Lord Buckethead’s forecasts for the year ahead.

• Theresa May will stage a big publicity event wearing a hard hat and hi-vis jacket to celebrate the moment in 2018 when the British government finishes building a house.

• Interest rates will rise by 0.00001%. Nobody will care except the rolling news channels, which will go into meltdown for a week.

• George Osborne will take new jobs as a non-executive director at both Bisto and Network Rail.

• The number of reasons expressed in the mainstream media for why the British economy would be better off without Brexit will rise to an ironic 350m a week.

• John McDonnell will be overheard at a railway drinks kiosk, pleading to borrow an Americano coffee for which he says he can cover the costs in about 10 years, and screaming: “It pays for itself!”

• Bitcoin will be found to be self-aware and to have been investing in itself. Nobody will know what this means. The fact that bitcoin has also been investing in research and development for a series of cybernetic organisms, with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton, will not be discovered till later.

• George Osborne will take a new job as visiting professor of opportunism at Bath University.

• In the media industry, a leaked report will blow open a huge scandal regarding the inaccuracy of television ratings, which are the cornerstone of commissioning decisions. During Ratingsgate, it will be revealed that Russians have hacked the computers that calculate ratings, inflating the figures for shows such as The Apprentice, Sunday Brunch and Mrs Brown’s Boys, thus warping TV executives’ ideas about what is popular with viewers. True figures will emerge proving that the ITV game show Cannonball is, in fact, watched by no one at all.

• Doubt is thrown on the Labour Party’s economic policy when, after supporting plans to buy back the railways and water suppliers, the grassroots campaign network Momentum takes a chance and buys a hotel on the Old Kent Road.

• To distract from a crushing night for Republicans in the US mid-term elections, President Donald Trump will announce that there has been a huge drop in revenues for the American government since his tax-cutting measures, which “cannot be explained but is probably due to North Korea”.

• George Osborne will take a new job as life chairman of the Wellcome Trust, throwing doubt on the veracity of both words in the institution’s name.

• With regard to the debilitating and deleterious long-term effects of quantitative easing on the fundamental integrity of the British economy, no one will say anything whatsoever.

• The Third World War will not begin.

• Sir Vince Cable will make a statement on the economy. I mention this simply because otherwise it won’t be reported.

• George Osborne will take a new job alongside his role at the Northern Powerhouse, as honorary president for the Cornish Turbine, Sussex Dynamo and East Anglia Energy Metaphor. (At least one of these names will double up as a T20 cricket franchise in the new English league starting in 2020.)

• Ambitious billionaire Elon Musk will take advantage of fluctuating property prices by buying the whole of Doncaster. He will then raze it to the ground and build a brick-by-brick replica of central London in the north of England, promising: “No hipsters.” He will make a lot of money.

• Boris Johnson will post human excrement through the letterbox of No 10 on live television in a new attempt to be fired by Theresa May. He will be made to keep his job (in both senses of the word).

• Vladimir Putin will win the Russian presidential election — clearly, I’m sticking my neck out here, which is something that I would strongly advise Putin’s opponents not to do.

• Russia will win a football match in their home World Cup tournament thanks to a dodgy refereeing decision. (Note to self: put a bet on this.)

• George Osborne will take a new job as chief operations officer for JobCentre+.

• It will snow — and everything will be fine.

• Lord Buckethead will not use his Leviathan-class mother ship as a laser manufacturing centre in your solar system (which would, incidentally, avoid the punitive tax system of the Delta Quadrant). Lord Buckethead’s business interests are entirely principled, fair and above board. He cannot emphasise this enough. 

Plenty more will happen but I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Happy new year!