Friday 18 December 2020

Predictions for 2021

I usually predict what people will write or argue about in the coming year – much the same as the previous year. But 2021 is different. Let’s be positive.

In case people can’t recognise you in a mask, introduce yourself – even to people you know. It’s harder to see emotions, so now's the time to revive the language of rhetorical gesture (pictured).

Women will inherit titles formerly passed down the male line.
(We’d get more sensible people in the House of Lords.)

As more people cycle to work, workplaces will  provide showers and clothes cupboards.

Firms will adopt a numbering system for job applicants, to disguise gender and “foreign” names.

Demolition is too polluting, so we'll reuse and retrofit buildings instead of destroying them.

Child benefit will be paid to all mothers, for all children.

We'll grow tea in the Scottish Highlands.

We'll build new houses with offices, and equip home workers with proper office furniture.

Better connectivity to allow more people to work from home. (Penny Mordaunt)

The centre for Cities suggests moving public sector staff into offices in disused shops. FE colleges, swimming pools, sports halls, libraries, yoga studios, care homes nurseries and health centres should return to the heart of towns. (Janice Turner, Times 2020-12-06. And all those workers will need supermarkets, sandwich shops, cafés, hair salons, shoe repairers...)

More ideas:

Repurpose airports, cinemas, department stores, and city centre towers emptied by home working and post-Brexit flight.

Think of things to do for the two hours a day you are not commuting.

Force owners of investment flats to rent them out.

Build lower office/flat towers as the “four in a lift” rule makes tall towers less workable.

If the property market crashes, will an investment flat be such a good investment?

As Covid continutes, courtship rituals will return – including the “country walks” people used to include in their small ads along with “fine dining” as code for “am middle class”.

Post-Brexit, we'll need recipes for seakale, pigeon's eggs, American crayfish and Japanese knotweed.

We'll eat patriotic British food: all supermarkets will carry Bedfordshire clangers and Bakewell tarts.

British farmers will revive monastic farming and raise rabbits, doves and fish (eel, tench, bream, perch, roach) in ponds.

Zoom will become more user-friendly and we'll be able to sing in harmony.

In 2021, 2022, 2023 etc Tory politicans will announce that they are going to “reverse Beeching”.

People will announce on Twitter that they are “taking a Twitter break” or are “back from their Twitter break”.

A firm with a new plus-size range will announce "The big woman is back!"

Someone will write an article about the menopause claiming that women need no longer "suffer in silence".

A celebrity with a book to sell will announce "Craft is back!"

Broadsheets and magazines seem to have given up on “Can a woman eat alone in a restaurant without being seated next to the toilet?”

The Voynich manuscript will be decoded.

“Millennials are miserable because tech” is an article they write every month and how can one be so obtuse? We are living through one of the most economically unequal periods in human history; with the ravages of global warming a constant reminder of capital's contempt for us all. It just feels so lazy. Yes tech contributes to anxiety but guess what does more: debt, medical bills, rigged elections. It would be like saying that people in the sixties were anxious because of TV.

Why are all these young adults who can't afford to live alone, stay healthy, or have babies so miserable?... Must be tech! (@father_kipz)

Past years here.

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