Old Moore’s Almanack: World Event Predictions 21st April

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Apologies to all readers as I have been busy and missed this write up but better late than never!

The new moon on the 21st April yields the following predictions:

  • There will be violent arguments in the Commons with backbench revolts and a high chance of part splits.
  • The economy remains positive with continuing buoyancy at the cheaper end of the housing market.
  • There is rising tension in Southeast Asia with chances of a military coup in Thailand or a short-lived border conflict with Burma and between Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • The civil war in Somalia threatens to cause much wider regional war.

Let’s see what happened:

  • There will be violent arguments in the Commons with backbench revolts and a high chance of part splits. – This seems a little wide of the mark.  There are always arguments in parliament but nothing of the magnitude that this seems to predict.
  • The economy remains positive with continuing buoyancy at the cheaper end of the housing market– This is almost the opposite of the facts.  The economy is struggling and we have hit a double dip recession, that is we poked our head into positive growth before the economy contracted again.  A cynical man mght say that we never left recession but the hundreds of billions of pounds worth of quantative easing that the Bank of England/ government ‘released’ into the economy artifically massaged the figures but the underlying issues never went away and that we are heading for a protracted downturn that is going to hurt the average family in the street.
  • There is rising tension in Southeast Asia with chances of a military coup in Thailand or a short-lived border conflict with Burma and between Vietnam and Cambodia – this again is a miss.  If there has been such a conflict or tension then is is bubbling under the surface for it has not made any of the major news organisations.
  • The civil war in Somalia threatens to cause much wider regional war – again I see no evidence of this.  Obviously Somalia is a failed or at the very least failing country and it does have an affect on its neighbours and especially the sea routed off its coast where Somali pirates are terrorizing passing ships but there is nothing to suggest that anything much has changed recently.

This is a very poor showing for Old Moore.  I will no dwell on the above but if anyone disagrees with what I have written please feel free to comment.

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Friday 13th January

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Welcome to the first of the Ides summaries.  Hopefully none of you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia as not only is this the Ides of January it is a Friday!  If you do suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia then 2012 is probably a bad year for you as there will be 3 this year!

So what happened on Friday 13th January 2012?

Awoke to a fine frosty Winter’s morning, the first of note of this winter (which just goes to show how mild this winter has been!), which meant that the car’s windows needed scrapping before I could take my oldest child to school.  And so began a usual Friday day in the Bagnall household.  After the school drop I headed into work (shades on – frosty morning caused by lack of cloud cover overnight; lack of cloud cover overnight means that the low winter sun can be seen in its full glory; I drive East to work means that the sun is in my eyeline for the majority of the journey hence the shades!).

Again a standard day at work with its usual spread of delights and frustrations with one of the better delights being a surprise lunch from one of my suppliers.  Just as I was walking out of the door to head to grab a bit to eat, I bumped into the supplier heading in for a spontaneous chat with me, so we killed two birds with one stone and headed to the nearest pub.  Who says that Friday 13th is unlucky!

Back home for Salmon Stir-fry and an evening in front of the box with the missus.  Not the most awe-inspiring ides that has ever been lived but a true reflection, a snap-shot of one person’s life on Friday 13th January 2012.

Globally, what was the news?

Obviously that is an enormous question but here a few little snippets:

  • The Hammersmith Flyover (A4 – West London) re-opened.  It was closed just before Christmas after serious structural defects were discovered during an inspection.  This is one of the major arteries for traffic heading into London from the West and so has had enormous ramifications on traffic on the alternative routes.  The flyover re-opened on Friday 13th January 2012 but with only one lane in either direction and only to light traffic.
  • A small (unconfirmed) number of people died and thousand were rescued when the Costa Concordia (a luxury cruise liner) ran aground and began to sink off the coast of Italy.  Obviously news agencies begin to make comparisons to the Titanic (especially considering it is the 100th anniversary of that disaster in 3 months time) mainly because they have to ramp up the fear factor when reporting the news or they believe that the general populace is too think to understand what a ship sinking looks like without referring to some Hollywood blockbuster.  The Costa Concordia incident and the Titanic disaster have nothing in common apart from they are both ships.
  • France lost its triple A rating from Standard and Poor adding to the on-going economic woes in the Eurozone (and the world in general).  Eight other European countries were also downgraded (Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta).  Cyprus and Portugal are now classed as junk status and Italy are on a par with Kazakhstan!  With talks in Greece about another bail out package (without which the country will default in March) it was a bad day for the Eurozone with stock markets reflecting those worries.  There are only 14 countries left in the World with a Standard and Poor AAA credit rating and only three (Canada, Germany and the U.K.) of the G8 with that highest of ratings.  Interesting economic times lie ahead.
  • And finally The Royal Navy captured 13 Somali pirates in the India Ocean.  Remind me which century we are living in.  Unfortunately Somali pirates (as far as I am aware) do not have wooden legs, eye patches and a parrot!

So not the most exciting of ides, especially from a personal point of view but a true and honest view of Friday 13th January 2012.  Here are three photos (and I aim to take the same photos each Ides if I am in the area).