Incredibly, it’s been 21 years since Professional Builder first gazed longingly into its own crystal ball to see what was in store for our readers during the next twelve months. So what better time than to reflect on some of our more creative predictions and reveal which ones actually came to pass…..well, almost!
OLD SCHOOL TIES
Newly anointed King of the “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” Boris Johnson is dramatically stripped of his title when its revealed that a lookalike old Etonian “fag” performed all of the nasty bug eating tasks on his behalf.
No change there then!
OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS
After failed attempts to introduce a global styled 39th fixture in the Premiership, the Sultan of Dubai has decided to buy the English Premier League lock, stock and ball-boy. The main competition is to be reduced to just four elite teams and will be played on sand.
As it all quickly transpired following, the farcical decision to give the World Cup to Qatar, and the massive corruption scandal which subsequently engulfed FIFA, just about anything these days can be bought in football if you throw enough cash at it. More recently, of course, we had the attempted breakaway of the so-called ‘big six’ and more petro dollars pouring in from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.
HIGHWAY TO HELL
The London congestion charge is now so successful, says the Mayor, that the Government is now looking to extend its reach into every city, town and hamlet in the British isles.
Not quite there yet but it’s already been massively expanded to take in more of the Capital, as well as affecting motorists in many of our other major conurbations. It doesn’t stop there, of course, with the implementation of ever more ultra-low emissions zones and don’t even get us started on the exorbitant cost of parking a vehicle in the city.
Professional Builder exclusively reveals that the Government is to impose a sliding scale levy on the great British fry up, with a stinging 50p extra on the iconic fried slice, whilst even the humble bacon sarnie will set the average breakfaster back a further 40p in taxation (not to mention ketchup, of course)
Within months a so-called Health Tax had been introduced on alcopops, fizzy drinks and sugar laden condiments, whilst there are currently vociferous demands for similar excises to be enforced on products containing high concentrates of fat and salt, as well as supposedly carcinogenic processed meat items. A new plastic tax is also planned for later this year.
WAGGING THE TALE!
England’s participation in Euro 2020 is cut short with vicious hair pulling and name calling breaks out in the hospitality suites and spills out on to the pitch in a warm up game. It’s later reported that two tearful wags were found in the ladies sporting a series of injuries – including broken nails, swollen lips and heavily smudged lipstick.
Little did we know, that “Wagatha Christie” as it was waspishly dubbed would soon be front page news as wag legends Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy went toe to toe in the high court, spending thousands of pounds to establish…. Well, actually we are still none the wiser!
Blackpool’s latest visitor attraction; The “Journey to the Centre of the Earth Fracking Experience” is forced to close when half of the Pleasure Beach disappears into the Irish Sea on its inaugural run.
Following a 1.5 magnitude tremor being recorded in the town during November 2018 all fracking exploration throughout the UK was subsequently suspended for an indefinite period.
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 7am. Builders seen queuing around the block to gain entry to Interbuild – the nation’s biggest show for the construction industry. Promise of free saké and giant screens showing England’s World Cup group matches purely coincidental, claim organisers.
Within five years the century-old show would have inconceivably been reduced to rubble. Thankfully, our own Toolfair shows up and down the country more than adequately filled the void with builders keen to get their hands on the latest equipment. 2022 will see six shows rolled out at key locations throughout the UK for the first time.
Boston, Lincolnshire is swamped with builders when it’s named as the location for the launch of the British version of the Tea Party. “You would have thought they could have laid on some custard creams at least,” says one disgruntled chippy.
Our prediction of seeing Boston properly established on the political map was fully realised in dramatic style when in 2016 it become the most Eurosceptic town in Britain, voting more than 75 per cent for Brexit.
Serious doubts are raised about the wisdom of holding the Olympics in Japan during hurricane season when the 100 metres is won in a world record two seconds thanks to a moderate head wind.
In fact, apart from Covid, of course, weather conditions did actually play a massive part in the games, although it was extreme heat, with temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees – and 80 per cent humidity – which had competitors gasping for breath and more than 8,000 people hospitalised with heatstroke. Bring on Qatar!
The hundred year old tradition of playing a trick on gullible individuals is deemed unlawful after the newly formed Court of Human and Animal Rights comes down in favour of a group of turkeys who it is claimed were illegally coerced into voting for Christmas. Phrases such as “playing the goat” and accusations of soccer players imitating a “dying swan” are also deemed animalist!
The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill becomes a topic for heated debate among MPs as it’s revealed that decapod crustaceans, such as lobsters, have feelings too!
SEE FRACK OFF
THE DONALD TRUMPED
After losing the US election Donald Trump refuses to leave the White House after revealing that he purchased the freehold for the property from previous incumbent Richard Nixon in 1980. Camp David, The Pentagon and Air Force One are also thought to be within this personal business portfolio.
The Donald certainly did not go quietly into the night. In one of the most shameful incidents in the history of American democracy we saw disgruntled supporters storming the Washington seat of power and a plethora of legal challenges by his legal team as to the validity of the democratic showing in key states. Hair today, gone tomorrow!
Christmas is cancelled as Santa puts his Reindeer and sleigh up for sale. “By the time I had completed my working at heights risk assessment forms, appeased the animal welfare people and dispensed with the red robes for a hi vis vest I didn’t feel very festive at all”, says a Lapland-locked Santa.
The tentacles of red tape and state bureaucracy have taken on a life all of their own in the ensuing decade, extending to every nook and cranny of the construction industry, and is now being cited as the biggest obstacle to self-employment and small business growth. And don’t even go there with the woke stuff, where words like manhole and stopcock have been consigned to history.