The media will tell us that:
British food has improved in the last ten years.
Britons love bizarre sports like bog-snorkelling.
Children don’t learn to read as fast or as well as we would like. Many adults are illiterate.
Etiquette is a thing of the past/undergoing a revival.
Families don't eat together any more.
Fashion houses are making bigger sizes and using larger models.
Girls grow up too fast these days.
If you don’t wash your hair, after six weeks it cleans itself.
Internet/app dating has lost its stigma.
It’s OK to be single – and holiday at the seaside.
Masculinity is in crisis.
Men use prostitutes.
Motherhood is denigrated.
Nobody talks about “spinsters” any more.
People are going in for “hook-ups” rather than relationships.
People expect too much from marriage (“It’s not happy ever after”).
Police don't interfere in "domestics".
Rape victims should get better treatment.
Spousal abuse happens in all levels of society.
The fashion industry has recognised the existence of the older/larger woman.
The NHS is failing old people who can’t feed or wash themselves.
Therapy has lost its stigma.
There is bullying in care homes for the disabled.
TV ads treat men as lovable idiots.
Welfare money lies unclaimed because people don't know what they're entitled to. If they do know, the claiming procedures are so Kafkaesque they give up.
Women don’t need to get married any more.
Women experience period pains in silence.
Women giving birth are ill-treated.
Women suffering miscarriages get no sympathy.
X% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.
You can cook with flowers.
Young women aspire to marry rich men.
Zeppelins are back. (The Times predicted their return 31 Aug 2013.)
Any news of a Viagra for women will be met with claims that for women “sex is all in the head”.
Journalists will misunderstand average age of death (everyone in the olden days died really young, yeah?).
Journalists will refer to women as a “minority”. (According to the 2011 census women outnumber men in the UK by almost a million.)
Journalists have given up pretending not to understand Twitter, but they will complain about hashtags and outrage.
Journalists will exclaim over some “new” internet acronym that has been around for decades – and will claim that it’s “youthspeak”.
Someone who has never even looked at Facebook or Twitter will write a pompous article about why they don’t use FB or Twitter (breakfast, celebs, Stephen Fry, attention seeking, me me me, silly “like” buttons”).
Another grumpy old git will complain about people taking instagrams of food.
Young journalists will write articles about the amazing changes the world has seen in the last 10 years, and how dim and unreconstructed we were a decade ago. They will also predict a “revival” of some garment that was fashionable three years ago. They will talk about the 90s as if they were a remote geological era (“back in 96”).
A writer will whinge that the Brits don’t take advantage of all the free food available in forests (berries, mushrooms). Another writer will complain that the Brits are now stripping woods and forests of rare mushrooms and selling them to restaurants.
A celebrity chef will “revolutionise hospital food”.
A charity will turn donated clothes into trendy designer clobber.
Research will reveal that X% of children arrive at school hungry because they’ve had no breakfast.
Stats will show that parents talk to their children/each other for a depressingly small number of minutes a week.
A huge organisation will commission a bespoke computer system which doesn’t work and gets scrapped after billions of pounds have been spent.
A new social media technology will arise. Immediately, scam artists will offer to show you how to make fortunes from it – for a price, while broadsheet pundits will cry woe, woe and prophesy that it will destroy society.
A public figure will make an outrageously racist remark and then exclaim innocently “But that wasn’t racist!”. Other racists will complain bitterly about being called “bigots”. Yet more racists will say it’s the intention that counts, and complain that people are just too easily "offended", whatever that means!
Someone or some thing will be a bad role model for young girls.
Girls will outdo boys at GCSE. The press will report it as if it was a BAD thing. Men will earn more than women.
Teachers will claim that they can't get boys to read. Others will claim it's because the poor lads are forced to read dull chick lit like Pride and Prejudice.
We’ll be promised a “new ladylike look for autumn”.
Someone will ask “Weren’t we supposed to have gender equality by now?” When progress doesn't happen as fast as expected, someone will say “Guys! It’s 2014!”
People will get upset about something utterly trivial, like Comic Sans.
Someone will try to start a trend for a sarcasm font.
Someone else will push for more expressive punctuation!”?
Everyone else will go on using emoticons. ;-)
There will be a new exercise craze.
There will be a new superfood.
There will be a new diet fad.
Experts will tell us that diets don’t work and we should just eat less and exercise more. We will ignore them.
Several people will threaten to shoot anyone who confuses "your" and "you're" (or asks "Can I get a latte?").
The French will ban some baby names.
Discovery will make a programme about the leaning tower of Pisa.
Archaeologists will find that Neanderthals, not Homo sapiens, invented (dugout canoes, philosophy, cooking, art, jewellery, poetry, writing etc etc etc). Americans will use "Homo sapien" as a singular.
Scientists will find that animals have some attribute previously thought to be unique to humans.
Writers will claim that all kinds of things are the one “that makes us human”.
The following arguments will be had:
Halloween is a ghastly American import – no actually it’s Scottish.
Flanders poppies – newsreaders start wearing them too early - grief inflation – diktat – jingoistic - originally anti-war? All BBC staff forced to wear them!
Flu jabs are useless – out of date – mismanaged – essential.
“They” will do something awful to the countryside.
Young people will need to be taught how to behave in the world of work. The middle classes will wail that children speak jafakin/write in text speak/copy the Tellytubbies/watch too much telly/don’t watch telly any more/watch telly and text at the same time. They will completely forget last year’s panic about something that is now an unnoticed part of life.
Volume builders will design houses with windows even smaller than last year’s. They'll add pitched roofs and a red stripe so the houses are “in keeping” with their surroundings, despite being surrounded by Gothic villas, warehouses, 60s blocks, 30s blocks, half-timbered bungalows...
Teenagers will invent their own language incomprehensible to anybody over 20. Adults will predict dire consequences, and several people will say "Language has got to evolve".
A school will ban an extreme hairstyle.
There will be a new plan for Battersea Power Station.
As the year ends, people will moan about Christmas starting too early and getting too consumerist while simultaneously whining about the recession, the decline of manufacturing and the decay of the high street.
Predictions for 2013. 2012, 2011.