We’ve got a confession to make. This was originally supposed to be a list of ten things to look forward to in 2017, but we couldn’t think of any more than five. It’s been a tough year. But hey ho, chin up, nil desperandum and all that. We’re pretty sure the ones we did come up with will definitely, definitely cheer you up. Probably.
1. There won’t be any more referendums
We’re done. That’s it. Referendums are as out of fashion in political circles as mauve tank tops and shocking pink flares, now that people have stopped voting the way they’re told. Even the SNP wouldn’t dare trying an independence poll next year.
All of which is great insulation from sinister, Rumsfeld-esque unknown unknowns. All we have to worry about now are the known unknowns, which as we know come in all shapes, sizes and haircuts...
2. We will make a beautiful trade deal with Donald Trump
Brexit could hit the economy harder than a UKIP MEP’s right hook, but Europe isn’t the only sparring partner in this gym. Unlike the spurned technocrats of the EU, newly elected President Donald ‘The Donald’ Trump doesn’t take ten years to negotiate trade deals.
Instead, Theresa May will secure a favourable arrangement with the Trump administration within two weeks of his inauguration, after agreeing to a few trifling concessions such as opening a Trump Grill in the House of Lords and giving planning permission for a new 18 hole Trump golf course in Buckingham Palace gardens. It’ll be very classy, a truly fantastic location, the best golf course in London, if not the world. Bar none.
3. Interest rates will finally go up
Interest rates are like cod liver oil: they make you gag but on some level you know they’re good for you. We got hooked on cheap money during the financial crisis, and many economists argue the cure is worse than the disease. Insurance, pensions and savings are all languishing at near-zero rates.
It may leave a sour taste in the mouth, but at some point we’re going to have to pinch our nose and down it. Might as well get it over and done with. Open wide...
4. Business will boom (if you work in cyber security)
Okay, we’re reaching a little here, but hear us out. Cyber criminals are getting more and more daring – and successful - but that’s not all bad. There are in fact several groups that benefit from this state of affairs. Aside from Russian hackers, the Chinese government and crisis PR consultants, it’s also a Godsend for Britain’s cyber security firms.
Besides, 2017 could easily be the year when boards actually start listening to the advice (from cyber security firms) to take cyber security more seriously. It won’t stop the hacks, but at least they’ll be handled better than they were last year.
Other sectors that can expect a boom include international trade lawyers, Mexican construction firms and barbed wire manufacturers.
5. It can’t really get any worse*
Business likes stability, and 2016 has been anything but stable. Uncertainty has become the ‘new normal’. But turbulence has its advantages. Daring entrepreneurs will arise in these hard times to take opportunities that risk averse corporations won’t touch – thus unleashing the revitalising forces of creative destruction. Thank you Schumpeter. And who knows? You could be one of those daring entrepreneurs – in which case 2016 could end up being the making of you.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr
*It absolutely can get worse.