Friday, 22 May 2015

Grand astrological prediction for 2065

According to the Telegraph 'The Liberal Democrats will be out of office for fifty years, grandees fear, after the parliamentary party was all but wiped out in “cruel and punishing night”'. I'm sure they have been wiped out for now and for the foreseeable future, but fifty years isn't the foreseeable future, unless you're Nostradamus (and not even then, because his "predictions" are completely worthless).

Imagine a 'grandee' from 1965 trying to make a firm prediction about what the next half century would hold for any given political party, based on contemporary events. It was a different world back then:
For all I know the average UK citizen of 2065 won't have a clue what a Lib Dem was (assuming there's still a UK in 2065), but the important words here are 'For all I know.' I have no spooky knowledge of what this country - if it still exists - will look like in 50 years, or whether any existing political party will be either prospering, declining, changed beyond recognition, or consigned to the history books by then. And neither does anybody else, even people grand enough to be called 'grandees.'

But never mind the grandees - the article also makes a claim about William Hague having a crystal ball that's proved accurate over a more plausible time period:
William Hague had foreseen the rout. On completing the coalition negotiations in 2010, he is said to have told his wife, Ffion: “I think I’ve just destroyed the Liberals.”
What interests me here isn't the alleged prediction of a reasonably foreseeable outcome ('The lion will lay down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep', as someone once said), but the implication that destroying the Lib Dems was always part of a thought-out Conservative strategy, rather than just being a byproduct of the sort of power imbalances which generally stop seven-stone weaklings prevailing against 800-pound gorillas. Hague's quote sounds too apocryphal to clear that one up, though.