IT is that time of year when Old Bill peers into his trusty crystal ball to bring you some of the headlines you may be reading in 2014.
February: In a dramatic move, MPs decide to break with 1,000 years of democratic history and vote to abolish the House of Commons.
The decision came at the end of a short, sparsely attended debate when MPs voted by 16 votes to 12 to suspend meetings indefinitely. One dejected MP explained: “There isn’t much point any more as all the important decisions are taken by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.”
An amendment to allow MPs to continue drawing their salaries and expenses was later passed by 650 votes to nil.
April: Following the closure of all coal-fired power stations on orders from Brussels, the Government announces that electricity will be cut from private homes between 5pm and midnight each evening in a bid to combat global warming.
A spokesman explained that green taxes had failed to cut consumption sufficiently so more drastic measures were needed, even though he admitted it would “probably” mean more elderly people will freeze to death.
“You say that as though it is a bad thing but dead people are the ideal citizens of a modern, green economy because they don’t consume anything,” he added.
June: After the disastrous roll-out of his healthcare reforms in the US, President Barack Obama announces he has agreed to buy the entire NHS and ship it to America.
A White House spokesman said there was little point in devising their own expensive and bureaucratic health structure from scratch when they could buy a ready-made system “off the peg”.
A spokesman for the BMA said doctors were relaxed about the sale provided they get a big pay rise and don’t have to work on evenings or weekends.
August: The Government announces it is setting up a central department for handling all public sector computer cock-ups.
A spokesman explained that in the past various departments – such as the NHS, the Passport Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions – had organised their own expensive computer catastrophes, but now they will all be brought together under one roof.
A new “super database” costing £900 billion is to be set up to connect all the smaller disasters to form one giant “mega cock-up”.
“It’s bound to save money in the long run,” the spokesman added.
October: The Church of England announces the appointment of the first ever Muslim Bishop in what is described as a major “step change” for diversity and inclusion.
Mohammed al-Jihad, who arrived in Britain from Syria last Tuesday, will be installed as the new Bishop of Bath and Wells in a special service conducted entirely in Arabic, as Mr al-Jihad doesn’t speak a word of English.
A CoE spokesman said the notion that senior clergymen should be practising Christians was just the sort of “stuck in the mud” thinking that is totally out of keeping with a modern, multicultural society.
December: In a blow to the Government’s welfare reforms a European court rules that having a subscription to Sky Movies is an inviolable human right.
Learned judges from Moldova and San Marino ruled in favour of an appeal by teenage mother-of-four Chelsea Douglas who argued that “vicious” Government benefit cuts had forced her to choose between Sky’s premier package and her iPhone 5 contract.
Ms Douglas, 19, pictured smiling with her children, Shiraz and Chardonnay and twins Bacardi and Breeza, said: “We sit around doing nothing all day so it’s only fair we have some entertainment.”