Sunday, January 01, 2012

Holidays End

It's wonderful to have 10 and 1/2 days off (they chucked us out of the office at 2pm on Friday 23rd December). There was the option of working for the three days between Christmas and the New Year, but I didn't take it.

So M and myself have had a great time relaxing and doing very little except eat and watch telly and sleep.

I'm dreading going back to work on Tuesday and the only consolation is our tennis group starts again on Saturday January 7th.

2011 was a shocking year in terms of new events (it reminded me of 1982 in that respect) and there seems universal gloom about the economic prospects for 2012. I'm not so sure, not least because prediction is a really inaccurate business, the US economy is showing signs of revival at last, and the Olympic Games in London will give the South East economy a small boost and the entire country a psychological one.

Having said that prediction is a difficult business, here's the text of a message I wrote to David Young who asked me my opinion of the US Presidential race, specifically the Republican candidates:

At this stage, there have been several drop-outs already, and the players (runners?) left are:

Michelle Bachmann,
Newt Gingrich,
Jon Huntsman Jr.
Ron Paul,
Rick Perry,
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum

The most recent poll I could find (today on the Gallup site) had the candidates in the following order:

Romney (26%)
Gingrich (24%)
Paul (11%)
Perry (7%)
Bachman (5%)
Santorum (5%)
Huntsman (2%)

I believe that while the poll numbers fluctuate quite a bit, we can safely exclude the candidates in single figures - they've lost too much ground, and lack charisma and/or credibility. A pity really, as I enjoyed the batshit insanity of Michelle Bachman very much. Definitely an 'only in America' type candidate.

Of the three remaining 'serious' players there seems to be a well coordinated attempt to discredit and attack Ron Paul. A great shame, as he seems to be the only candidate whose offering some fresh thinking and new approaches, particularly on things like the crazy war on drugs and the very costly and dubious foreign policy blunders that have marred the last decade. In other words, lets exclude Ron Paul.

As for the last two, it's much tougher to choose. I believe Newt Gingrich is carrying too much baggage from the past to secure the nomination, even though he's got a huge amount of political experience and 'will to win.' By a process of elimination, that leaves Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate, whom almost nobody really believes in. He will go on to lose a tight race against Barrack Obama next year. Obama goes on to have the traditionally ineffective and disappointing second term...

It'll be fun to see how right or wrong this prediction is.