Miles Kington: A peek ahead at the main news events for 2008

England lose their first friendly football match against Wales. Coach Capello says it is too early to think about converting the team to Catholicism
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The Independent Online

Old Miles's Almanack! ... For The Year AD 2008 ...

Starting a Magic Mystic Look Through Old Miles's Crystal Ball into the Main Events of Ye Next Twelve Monthes!

Sponsored by Northern Rock Bank, but only until May 2008, when something very nasty is due to happen to it; sponsored thereafter by British Airport Authority until the Terminal 5 Disaster of November 2008.

JANUARY 2008

* Kosovo's bid for independence is unexpectedly opposed by Football Association. "If we can't beat Croatia at football," says FA, "what chance have we with Kosovo? Keep them out!"

* Torrential rain in Britain. Flooding returns to the Midlands. Also to the North. And East, South and West. "We were fully prepared for this," say emergency services, "though admittedly not quite so wet. Or on this scale. Or even this year..."

Gordon Brown steers clear of flood crisis.

* Brilliant new TV show tops the ratings: I'm a Famous Fictional Character Get Me Out of Here! in which well-known actors playing figures such as Mr Darcy, Lady Chatterley, Sebastian Flyte, etc, are put together in the Cotswold jungle and voted off one by one.

* Nigella Lawson says rhubarb looks like being very big next Christmas. Half East Anglia torn up and replanted with rhubarb.

* Madeleine McCann is said to be spotted in Mozambique, possibly in the company of Lord Lucan.

FEBRUARY 2008

* Sensational publication of The Catholic Delusion by Richard Dawkins, in which he proves that just because more people in Britain are following Catholic rites than Anglican ones, doesn't mean we are a Catholic country yet.

* Gordon Brown refuses to join move to pardon the four knights for the murder of Thomas a Beckett.

* Stephen Fry, as Mr Pickwick, is thrown off I'm A Famous Fictional Character.

* Huge scandal in France. President Sarkozy is strongly suspected of having an affair with his estranged wife Cecilia.

* Under their new coach, Fabio Capello, England narrowly lose their first friendly football match, against Wales. Capello says it is too early to think about emergency action, such as getting the team to become Catholic.

MARCH 2008

* The American owners of Manchester United Football Club take everyone by surprise by announcing that they have gone into the literary field and purchased the Man Booker Prize, to be known hereafter as the Man Utd Booker Prize.

* Dramatic developments in Africa. After months of ill health, Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe dies. But he has so tightly arranged the procedure of his succession that he turns out to have succeeded himself! In his first, posthumous, pre-recorded speech to the people of his country, he makes clear that he will carry on ruling the country from beyond the grave. He blames his lack of immortality on British colonialist agents working against him.

Gordon Brown says he has no plans to meet the late Robert Mugabe, not even at his funeral.

APRIL 2008

* Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader, reveals he has been approached by Fidel Castro with a view to taking over running Cuba when Castro pegs out.

* Alex Salmond, the Scottish leader, reveals he has been approached with a proposal to join in an invasion of Iran when the time is ripe, but that the paperwork at the new Scottish Parliament is in such a mess that it is not clear where the proposal has come from, and he might well be mixing it up with the SNP's own plans to invade England.

* After public outcry, Stephen Fry, as Mr Pickwick, is thrown back on to I'm a Famous Fictional Character.

* Discovery of new soccer superbug, which only attacks and infects foreign footballers playing for British teams.

Four more months of 2008 tomorrow, exclusively forecast in the 'Independent'!

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