Making predictions is a mug’s game, so don’t worry – mine will be 100% wrong (again!)

IN his palatial City office in London’s Canary Wharf, my friend – chief economist of a major, global financial institution – sits behind a desk so gargantuan it could the solve the issue of Heathrow’s third runway.

Chewing the fat with him one day at the height of the 2008 banking meltdown, I asked this master of the universe when he thought the crisis would end.

Instead of answering, he just shrugged, then nodded towards an ornate plinth in the corner of his mini fiefdom, on which was mounted a soccer-sized crystal ball.

‘Take a dekko inside that,’ said my friend eventually. ‘You’ve a better chance of finding the answer in there than from me.’

I left, shaking my head and musing on the folly of making predictions.

This thought was rekindled last week, when I read an apologia from a financial whizkid, who wrote, ‘No-one expected this sudden, sharp drop in crude oil prices.’

His buzzword was ‘sudden’. Because, if the anointed experts had seen it coming, there would have been no shock.

STARDOM BECKONS: Cyberhackers will forced movie moguls to move to North Korea, so Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un will be an Oscar winner

STARDOM BECKONS: Cyberhackers will force movie moguls to move to North Korea, so Young Leader, Kim Jong Un, will be an Oscar winner for his role as Wonder Woman

In fact, looking back, the only person in my experience to make an accurate prediction was Madam Petrulengo, the palmist on Blackpool promenade, who forecast I’d get a ticket on my car parked outside on a double yellow line. She was right; I did.

So, generally, it’s been my firm prediction that the likely outcome to making predictions is the predictions will be totally wrong. And, so far, my record has been 100% accurate.

Nonetheless, since it’s that time of year, worst luck, when my arm is twisted into risking a spot of soothsaying, here goes…and heaven help us if I’m right.

Firstly, the nightmarish potboiler that’s a story of purblind Eurozone politicians will rumble on, with no consensus to ease the plight of the EU’s jobless, homeless and hopeless. Shovels will be issued to Euro commissioners, so they can did themselves into bigger holes.

Beyond-the-barmy, Right-wing parties – like France’s National Front, Hungary’s Jobbick and Greece’s Golden Dawn – will democratically vote to end democracy, while Brussels Europrats will take 2015 off and nobody will notice any difference.

Vladimir Putin will order Russians to bathe in oil, because – at $60 a barrel and sliding – it’ll be cheaper than water. The population of Moscow, barring oligarchs who can afford to import Evian by the tankerload, will assume a brackish, oleaginous glow, so they’ll be light-reflective. This will reduce the number of pedestrians struck down by drunk drivers at night, thus hailed as a health and safety success by the Kremlin.

END OF THE ROAD: With petrol-powered vehicles banned, rickshaws will be London's most popular form of transport

END OF THE ROAD: With petrol-powered vehicles facing a ban, rickshaw pullers will rush to become London’s most ‘eco’ form of transport

Americans will finally realise President Obama is actually a hologram, since he’s been as effective as one for the last half-dozen years. During 2015, he’ll gradually evaporate like the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland, with only a grin left behind.

Hillary Clinton will declare her intention to run as Democratic Party candidate for the White House and she’ll face Jeb Bush, brother of G Dubya and son of HW, who’ll fly the flag of the Republican cause.

US geneticists will then discover only members of presidential dynasties possess that unique strand of DNA – the two-faced, lie-through-the-teeth, back-stab helix – to be leaders, so there’ll be a nationwide hunt for descendants of Richard Nixon to stand in future hustings.

North Korean cyber-hackers will blackmail Hollywood’s movie moguls into relocating their studios to Pyongyang and the dashingly handsome Young Leader, Kim Jong Un, will be the next James Bond, Batman and Wonder Woman, a role for which he’ll award himself an Oscar.

A bloke called Nigel will decide who wins next May’s UK General Election.

No, not that Nigel – the UKIP Farage one – but Nigel Dodds, whom nobody outside Northern Ireland (and few inside it for that matter) has ever heard of.

But with an expected mish-mash outcome to the result, with neither of the major parties winning a majority, the minor cast members will be crucial players in deciding who rules. In short, reprising 2010, the tail will wag the dog.

Which is where Doddsy comes in. Tipped to replace Peter Robinson as leader of Ulster’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – the bunch invented by the late Reverend Ian Paisley, who brought the fire and brimstone of religion to bear on politics – Nige could even emerge as Deputy Prime Minister, depending on which way he throws the dice of his eight MPs.

After much cogitation, as a huge fan of Wallace & Gromit, he will come out in favour of Ed Miliband for Prime Minister, since the Labour leader is a doppelganger for Wallace and Wensleydale is also the DUP’s favourite cheese.

NOBEL LAUREATE & CIGAR MAGNET: Pope Francis will scoop the Peace Prize and the Vatican worldwide rights to selling Havana cigars

NOBEL LAUREATE & CIGAR MAGNET: Pope Francis will scoop the Peace Prize and the Vatican worldwide rights to selling Havana cigars

The Tories will sack David Cameron, merge with UKIP to become the Conservative, Unionist and UK Independence Party and elect London Mayor, Boris Johnson, as leader, who’ll make Nigel – the Farage one – Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Nick Clegg will quit as head honcho of the Liberal Democrats; their core voters will switch to the Greens, who’ll demand a ban on all forms of petrol-powered transport, resulting in an influx of Hong Kong rickshaw pullers, in anticipation they will eventually replace London’s Routemaster buses.

In the Middle East, the Saudis will wreck the Iranian economy by driving down the price of oil to a bucket of camel dung a barrel and do a back-channel deal with Israel to buy the Matzoball Bomb – a doomsday weapon with a difference, since all infected by its fallout turn Jewish.

It will first be tested on the headbanging jihadi rabble of IS/ISIL/ISIS, thorns by any other name in the side of humanity, who will – en masse – discard their AK47s to become rabbinical students.

Pope Francis will be awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his role in patching up the 45-year US-Cuba tiff; the Vatican will be given the worldwide concession to peddle Havana cigars.

Finally, the space probe, Cassini, will discover huge gold and diamond deposits on Saturn; FIFA will announce the 2026 World Cup will be held there.

So those are my forecasts for next year. But they’ll be wrong all counts, because, from long experience, I learnt there’s  no future in making predictions.

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Only China can crack down on Kim Wrong ‘Un’s megalomaniac nuclear sabre-rattling

So now we know, as if anyone was in any doubt…the main threat to planetary peace isn’t pseudo communist, money-mad China or pseudo democratic, muscle-flexing, nationalist Russia.

No, it’s an ugly, fat, spoilt brat, with the world’s worst haircut and a face that could curdle cream, who’s inherited a festering cyst of a Cloud Cuckoo Land no-one, apparently, can rein in.

It calls itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea or DPRK), but there’s not a democratic dog there – if there was,  they’d eat it. And the word ‘People’s’ is an utter misnomer; just vacuous, meaningless window-dressing that convinces no-one – except the impoverished, repressed, brain-washed drones condemned to starve there.

Said ugly, fat, spoilt brat is Kim Jung-un (or Wrong-Un maybe a more appropriate handle) and, like his father and grandfather who tyrannised the country before him, thinks he’s a tin-pot demigod who can play with his nuclear toys and grab the civilised world’s attention.

What’s more, he’s right, just as he’s proving now, as the US uses every diplomatic and military manoeuvre it can to prevent a Third World War breaking out, which could make the previous two catastrophes look like mere cake-walks.

South Korea, whom the Kim dynasty has been at war with since 1951 – no, there has never been a peace treaty between the two Koreas, only a long, cold, nervous truce – could certainly be obliterated, along with the 28,000 US troops stationed there.

China, Japan and most of the Far East could be dragged into it and, since nobody knows for sure how lethal the little, pudgy psychopath’s nuclear arsenal is, his reach could extend to the America Pacific base at Guam and the US state of Hawaii.

KIM WRONG UN: All it takes is an ugly, pudgy fat kid with nuclear toys to hold the world to ransom

A RIGHT WRONG UN: All it takes is an ugly, pudgy fat kid with nuclear toys to hold the world to ransom

Precisely what inspired this latest bout of puerile sabre-rattling by the DPRK is as clear as mud. The received wisdom is the 30-year-old, Swiss-educated and self-styled Supreme Leader simply wants a phone call from Barack Obama to make the American President grovel. And he has about as much chance of receiving one as he does from my late, lamented goldfish, Bitzi.

What Wrong-Un desperately does need, however, is a psychiatric assessment and locking up in a padded cell, bereft of all human contact.

Meanwhile, the contact he prefers – and gets – is from likeminded bullyboy lunatics, with a slavering lust to wield nuclear weaponry and create regional mayhem.

One of Kim’s best buddies, for instance, is the Islamic Republic of Iran and another paradise for crackpots, with – like the DPRK – a penchant for suppressing and murdering its own citizens, not to say a pipedream of slaughtering inhabitants of nations further afield.

Cuba is another and its Soviet-backed nuclear stand-off with the USA way back in 1962 was the last time the world really stood on the cliff edge of an apocalypse. For the record it only ended only when another ugly, fat bullyboy – Nikita Krushchev – had the rush of good sense to back down.

Maybe this time the DPRK’s brinksmanship will be brought to a withering halt, but only one powerbroker can do it: China.

Since the senseless Korean War ended in 1952, the Chinese have been the Kim dynasty’s guardians, mainly because, like the defunct Soviet empire, they needed satellite states – just look at the world map and you’ll see them aplenty – to act as buffers between them and the Westernised democracies.

But even China, now under new ownership, is wearied of the Kims, especially the latest turd in a stupid suit, whom the state media has dubbed ‘Little Fatty’.

A sign of Beijing’s displeasure is the drafting of a dozen army regiments to its border with North Korea, not to be on stand-by to prop up the po-faced megalomaniac, but to stop a predicted tsunami of refugees seeking asylum if the nutter presses his nuclear button.

As I write the only certainty is nothing is certain, just that it takes only one jumped-up pipsqueak, with the power to boss a nation of 24.5 million – 9.5 million of whom are military cadres – to hold the world to ransom.

So note well, you purblind, mushy-brained Left-liberal bien pensants who defend Iran’s demand to bear nuclear arms: your preachy words are paving the way to another North Korea.