The time-honoured ‘humorous predictions for next year’ article is trickier than usual to write this time around, what with the nation having descended into a chaotic hellscape that renders traditional satirical hyperbole impotent.
Apologies if the tone of this gets dark, but these are strange times. For example, while writing this I saw that rather than, say, making a sensible long-term strategic plan, the health secretary is hatching a scheme to airlift medicines into the country if it all goes belly up in March.
Basically, what I’m saying is when David Cameron planned that referendum he should have given more thought to the difficulties it might cause future writers of whimsical filler pieces.
Perhaps society will collapse before 2019 even kicks off. Who knows? Maybe this article will never be printed, and instead you’re cowering in your surgery-slash-bunker translating it from Morse code, as the half-crazed editor feverishly taps out each letter into the ether from the ruins of Pulse Towers.
In which case, I apologise to all concerned for my unfettered sesquipedalianism.
Anyway, with such a sunny outlook in mind, my predictions for the year ahead are:
1. May will be gone by March. Whether she gets her deal over the line, we crash out or the nation has an unprecedented outbreak of common sense and decides to not totally shaft everything in a vain attempt to satisfy the demands of our collective racist nans, the Prime Minister will be out on her ear. But who’s that lurking quietly in the shadows? Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Ladies and gentlemen, your new PM, Jeremy Hunt. Told you it would be dark, didn’t I?
2. Drug scarcity will be the new normal, but with paradoxical benefits. Marvel at how many coughs suddenly clear up when amoxicillin is available only in suppository form and at how record numbers of elderly survive the summer heatwave as the national furosemide shortage leaves them fortuitously overhydrated.
3. The new government-backed indemnity scheme will be awful. Not sure if that means all-the money-you-savewill- be-taken-out-of-the-global-sum awful, or they-were-all-concentrating-on- Brexit-and-just-worked-it-out-on-theback- of-a-fag-packet awful, or frontier justice-every-time-you-make-a-mistake they- cut-off-a-finger awful. But awful.
4. The health secretary will keep banging on about apps, like the one-trick pony he is. Even as you’re slugging it out in a GP Battle Royale for the last remaining Epipen, Hancock will be preaching how you could eviscerate your rival so much more efficiently if you embraced smartphone technology.
5. 2020 will be worse. Happy New Year readers!
Dr Pete Deveson is a GP in Surrey