Five years from now...

IF ALL went well with the coloured ovals and the counting machines, then by the time you read this you will know the result of the 2020 General Election.

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Due to deadlines, however, I have to commit my opinions to paper totally blind to the outcome.

Therefore, given my past history of calling everything wrong, I’ve decided to reinstate my ‘Horacle’ byline and do a bit of crystal ball gazing to make predictions about events five years into the future, on the basis that in five years no one will remember what I was predicting.

I’m sitting on my bumper book of Combined Candidate Manifestos, not purely for comfort but also to allow a strange political process of osmosis which will allow the cornucopia of manifesto promises to permeate through me and concentrate in my brain.

With the aid of my daily dose of 11 prescribed medications (blessed be Big Pharma), I am able to gain brief glimpses of Guernsey 2025.

Through the mist and clouds I see that nothing much has changed.

That comes as a great disappointment to me because the Promised Land I saw clearly from the manifestos seems not to have materialised.

I see people doing hard manual labour in extreme weather conditions being paid less than heads of departments in warm, dry offices doing nothing less arduous than lifting a coffee cup from desk to lip. Equal pay for equal work? Whatever happened to that promise?

I see people driving cars with considerable manufacturing carbon footprints going hither and thither around our small island, picking up little Tommy and his double bass at A, then taking him to B before going home to C to get his sports gear and taking him to D.

When did lives get so complicated that people need to travel between parishes on a daily basis?

I do see the miles of new cycle lanes throughout the island but they seem to have a major tumbleweed problem.

Talking about weed, I cannot see the cannabis cafes I was expecting, nor the long queues for Senner’s renowned cannabis-infused hot cross buns.

It would appear the number one most important policy for a large majority of candidates failed to be implemented. How could this be, were the proponents of the policy distracted in some way?

Education in 2025 seems to be very similar to education today. A similar number of children are being taught a similar number of subjects by a similar number of teachers in a similar number of classrooms and receiving similar results. This despite the five years of disruption as schools are remodelled, rebuilt or just built around them. But at least they are all equal in their struggle, apart from the 30% who opted out with their wallets for a more peaceful life.

As to the size and cost of government, I doubt I need to tell you that in 2025 government will be bigger and cost a great deal more. I know that manifesto after manifesto promised the opposite but come on, you never really believed it, did you?

Tackling climate change was another big manifesto issue. I’m sorry to tell you that, in 2025, despite our best efforts, climate change has not been tackled. I can see that we have done an awful lot of green-washing by buying energy certificates and carbon credits but, even sacrificing so much money from our economy, the world has still not been saved.

Talking of the economy, I am amazed and astonished to see that we are no longer dependent on the finance industry for survival. Instead we have reverted to our rural economy of the 1950s and are growing our own food, exporting cannabis and living as one with nature.

I am, of course, pulling your leg.

In 2025 I can see that we are still wholly dependent on finance and despite the external pressures it is holding fast and keeping us going through difficult times.

This despite the internal pressures of the business-unfriendly candidates who managed to get elected by dazzling the electorate with their social consciousness and control of the narrative, which always forgets that social policies have to be funded and the funding comes from creating wealth.

The most amazing turn of events that I saw through the mists of time was the evolution of the power hierarchy in the States of Guernsey.

For those readers who received a proper education, which included the classics, you may be familiar with the end of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire.

According to my vision, in 2020 we were once again faced with the two great men of our time, St Pier and Ferbrache, in a contest which only one could win. I’m not sure which is Caesar and which Pompey the Great, but having the two of them in the same place and at the same time is just as destructive for us as it was for Rome over two millennia ago. As a result of this second round of the Clash of the Titans, I predict a similar outcome, which is four-and-a-half years of constant bickering and infighting.

The lesson I learned most from my session with the crystal ball is that we, the electorate, should not blame ourselves for how things turn out in 2025. We have now played our part in the process. Every four or so years we, for a short period of a few weeks, become important to politicians. They shake our hands, kiss our babies (or is that not PC these days?) and promise us the Earth. Come election night, we become surplus to requirements.

We will no longer be badgered to be their Facebook friends, they will no longer engage with us on social media or keep us updated with learned blogs or even vlogs. Our part is done. And don’t feel guilty about the outcome in five years’ time because just about any permutation of the 118 candidates would not in any way deliver on their manifesto promises.

But what inspired me the most when looking into our future was that, despite the ‘best’ efforts of government, Guernsey remains our beloved home and life here is better than most other places on Earth. And nothing our representatives can do will materially change that.

Good old Guernsey!

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