Monday, January 03, 2011

Foretelling the future: 2011 predictions and speculations

With Christmas and New Year at the way it’s time to read the retrospectives on 2010 and the crystal ball gazing for 2011.

I have not yet listened to Radio Four’s Correspondents Look Ahead programme but Paul Mason of Newsnight makes an interesting prediction on the BBC website. He suggests that in 2011 the Coalition will fall “because everytime it tries to do something serious a bit falls off the machine”. (Interestingly Tony Benn and Dennis Healey made a similar preduction yesterday on Radio Four's Broadcasting House.) Paul Mason foresees a Liberal Democrat pull out leading to “a Second Coalition to be formed between the Conservatives, an inner core of Orange Book Libdem leaders and various Unionists, with a slim majority.” We will see if that happens and what it means for the public and third sections.

The London School of Economics blog on British Politics and Policy has a look ahead at some of the big issues that could dominate 2011. The list is far-ranging although it is a list of questions rather than predictions. While it features the Coalition and austerity, it does not mention the impact of the changes in schools and the NHS which are potentially profound and, the case of the slow painful death of Primary Care Trusts, possibly toxic.

One area which I will be watching and trying to understand is open source government, armchair auditors and some of the technology which may make this something significant. I am sure that there will be some headlines as more public bodies have to publish the detail of their financial transactions. There may even be some good to come out of these exercises.

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