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Issue:- 12 January  2012

Will this be 2012…¿

WELL, what has 2012 got in line for us all?  We have looked at a more national come international aspect than local, as locally it will be the same as nationally! So where do we start…? We have all heard the doom and gloom before; "A black hole could swallow up the Earth, leaving a gaping void." also "Aliens could invade, wiping out human civilization." even that "The planet’s magnetic poles could reverse." so it should come as no shock, it is 2000 all over again, but this time without the Millennium Bug! Last year a California preacher, Harold Camping, prophesised that Judgment Day would actually come on 21 October 2011, with the globe being "consumed by a fireball". The odd thing was about his doomsday prediction was that he had first said that the world end 5 months before that, originally stating it was going to be 21 May 2011. Alright, the whole idea proved mad in 2011, but this year could be the year! Others have for a long time suggested that 21 December 2012 will be the end of the world as we know it or there will be a catastrophe. Yep, the end of the world is nigh, if Mayan Calendar prophecy scholars and Hollywood’s film 2012 are to be believed. Also the Lynx deodorant advert that says "Last Edition". The plot gets deeper. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) on 11 January 2012, potentially cataclysmic events may already have begun!  Yep the scholars might be correct after all, as the world's 'Doomsday Clock' has been moved 60 seconds closer to midnight, to 11.55pm. This Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by BAS as a symbolic measure of how much the Earth is in peril. Thankfully, it doesn't really mean that 5 minutes from now we can expect Armageddon to begin, although this would accord with Harold Camping’s ideas quite closely. This move forward, after a steady move back, comes as the BAS records that the threat to our planet, from the likes of nuclear weapons and climate issues, has worsened. So will 2012 l bring the end of the world or at least the end of the world as we know it?  Only time will tell.

Whatever the Mayan calendar doomsayers may foresee, what do we think the economic outlook for the UK will be? In 2011 the gloomy economic data appeared almost daily and the prospects for the economy remain as poor for 2012. After one of the most volatile years for the global markets, 2012 will see many traders nervous and many are saying it is now too hard to predict the economic outlook for the UK. Sadly, the prediction of a return to recession may yet come true if our state debts are unaffordable, or cuts to the public sector are too deep. So this year a battle by Unions and the threat of strikes are on the cards, no matter what! On the upside, London 2012 will put the country in to the world's spotlight, so let’s hope we do not burn up...  But with major events occurring round the UK as the countdown to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games continues, there should be, if the optimistic economists are correct, a big growth in sales and tourism. Combine this with the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and Shakespeare and Dickens anniversaries, and 2012 might be a better year for the UK than we think. Even a few days into 2012, Chief Executive Officer Bolland of Marks & Spencer, said that he is "very positive" on the outlook for the summer. He added:- "We’re very much part of events, so we look forward to summer." But he did go on to say that it’s going to be a difficult year for customers, as was 2011. But unlike 2010 and 2011, many are pointing out that people are now more realistic and better prepared for problems.

Back in 2011 Citizens Advice warned people to be aware of payday loans after they became increasingly concerned at the way were being advertised. But Wonga has pushed it that one step to far and started targeting students! So watch out for moves by the Government to establishing a rate cap to limit the damage these loans can do on financially vulnerable sections of society in 2012!

Weather, believe it or not, it is not always predictable, so what has 2012 got in store? Many have stopped doing long term forecasts, but a few still do. MetCheck has an interesting page  that has a probabilities section in which they say:- "There are higher probabilities of certain weather types across the UK at certain periods of the year." Our advice is- get a Pinecone or some Seaweed! Yet with talk of Global Warming and the Doomsday Clock's move, it does make you tune in to the few who are saying that this year is set to be a very wet one, with only a low chance of very low temperatures affecting us, as they did in 2011. So might that be why we now hear of talks of a new energy price war starting; or is that just a reaction to the year of complaints about gas prices?  It might come as no shock that in the long term prediction stakes for Britain's weather, Tesco's Transport sections forecasts have been the closest so far!

The media in 2012 will see many changes, with many more newspapers going online only like us.  

...continued...  Also more changes are likely as a consequence of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and "the chilling power of the tabloids" might be weakened for ever.  One thing is for certain, the cuts to the BBC will be one of the most important media stories.

On the entertainment side, thankfully if you are Formula 1 Fans, the BBC will continue to show half of 2012 races live free, but the remaining races will just have highlights on it. Many have questioned why Sky's has launched a new channel for its Formula 1 coverage; some faithful fans perceive it to be too costly. Many fans might move to other sports or just watching the highlights of races on the BBC and the free live races. One thing is on the cards for sport, we will see massive amounts of Olympic Games and Paralympic Games news. In football, we think that Liverpool is going to make a few very surprising moves in mid 2012 and Everton will be getting stronger!  Euro 2012 is also going to be good for the UK, with sales of beer, televisions to rise. Sorry, but with just 16 teams in this tournament, without a weak link in sight, England won't win Euro 2012.

 For the film industry, 2012 will witness the return of many old film titles. Yep Hollywood is on a roll, with many sequels to past hit films. One of the many sequels to hit our screens will be a predicted smash-hit, the latest instalment of Ghost Rider called Spirit of Vengeance. It will be released in February 2012 and is hoped to be one of this year’s high riding films. Sorry, no pun intended, honestly. That brings us on to Marvel's the Avengers. No, not the BBC version but a blending of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and other heroes coming together to form Marvel's first super group, The Avengers! That will fly on to the big screen around May 2012. The Amazing Spider-Man, in July,- The Dark Knight Rises in July, G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation also in July... Then we have Men in Black III, again another follow on. For kids in June, Madagascar 3 - Europe's Most Wanted and Ice Age: Continental Drift in July... Total Recall in August, ok that is a remake, but still... So we can say 2012 will be the year of the sequels with the Big Screen. But it is not all sequels that are billed , as a few surprises are in store like Battleship, due out in May and fans of the book Shiver, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, by Maggie Stievater, will be pleased to note that it is due to be released at the end of the year.  For us in Liverpool area, the film due out in May called Dark Shadows might be well worth watching, as it is set around the year 1752, as Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. James Bond's Skyfall is also out in October or November 2012, so what a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Bond big screen adaptation. So Bond Fans can expect to be standing in line for hours upon to get tickets to see it on the week of release, this year; that is if the hype is to be believed... Plus keep an eye out, in April, the makers of Star Wreck are to release the long awaited science-fiction comedy film Iron Sky. It will course quite a fuss... But fans of Ghostbusters might be surprised as well....

With budgets being strained, both sexes will be mixing and matching old with a bit of new, many clothing outlets are predicting. The "Fashionable Scruffy Look", (once known as ShabbyChic?) is set to take to the streets for Summer 2012! Plus... bootylicious fans take note... Some of whom who may want a bum like Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star, who last year was reported to have had the scan to show critics that she has not had silicone implants in her cheeks "for a dare." 2011 had seen many asking about 'butt enhancement'. There may be no need for such drastic action however for fashion industry gurus are predicting the return of the Bustle on casual skirts for 2012. Also Flares will be heading back in for men! Well as some females were saying in 2011; they need a rocket...!

In Japan, a lack of appetite for relationships is threatening to see its birth rate plummet in the next few years and over 2012 researchers are predicting that stress and lack of available cash for young people could see the same happen here!

President Obama will be seeking a 2nd term in office in 2012. So who will be the Republican challenger? That has yet been decided, but could have a massive impact on the world as we know it... In the UK we also have a political fighters going head to head… A fantastic political war to look forward to... The two most unconventional political mavericks you could ever imagine are now due to clash, like Titans, in the London Mayoral Election... This will be a genuinely fascinating contest that could go any direction! Be warned as these words will be cropping up "Liverpool still wants a Mayor like London." Yep, we predict this will be repeatedly told in 2012!

Thanks to all of you who have suggested things to keep an eye on… The only thing that is 100% predictable is we will all be in for a very strange year!

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