1993: remember, you read it here first (6): Independent on Sunday writers look ahead to a turbulent year in which they foresee scandal, revelation and controversy in Britain and around the world: Musical chairs to divert divided House

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The Government's claim to have turned the political corner will look pretty lame in the first few months of the year. The coal dispute will rumble on, unemployment will break through the three million barrier (maybe as early as February), the Government will try to close at least one high-profile London hospital and privatise British Rail.

Then, and remember it is still only spring, council-tax bills will drop through the letter-box.

The Maastricht Bill will almost certainly get through, Labour anxious not to be seen wrecking it and Tory Euro-sceptics wary of backing any opposition amendment on the Social Chapter.

There are two Budgets in 1993 and Norman Lamont will present the first of them. The Treasury promises surprises but Tory sceptics are curious about what's left after the 1992 Autumn Statement. Motoring taxes will go up, and more 'green' taxation (but probably not a full-blown carbon tax) is likely.

That Budget will probably be Mr Lamont's last, but he is unlikely to get the promotion he wants to the Foreign Secretary's job - even if Douglas Hurd vacates his position during the year. Instead, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office or the Leadership of the House of Commons loom. Kenneth Clarke, the most prominent centre-left candidate, is the best bet for new Chancellor in an early-summer reshuffle.

Labour will do well in the county council elections in May, and Mr Major will again be given a hard time over Europe at the Conservative Party conference.

But it will not be an easy year for Labour's John Smith, either. Tough decisions will have to be taken on breaking the links with the unions, but in the end Labour will take a cautious approach, and on electoral reform will shy away from backing full-blown proportional representation for the House of Commons.

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