Madame Worsthorne, Jimmy Carter and a dead Tory

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The Independent Online
I have spent most of the holiday period poring over the sayings of the late Dr Nostradamus in an effort to foresee what will happen in 1995, and as far as I can make out they are a load of gibberish, so instead I have turned for help to Madame Wor sthorne, the well-known society clairvoyant. She has very kindly come up with what seem to me to be a totally feasible set of predictions for the New Year.

January. Ex-President Jimmy Carter flies into Chechnya in search of the elusive Nobel peace prize. Fierce fighting continues in Chechnya. Michael Howard announces that as so many prisoners are escaping from British prisons, he is changing his policy of locking people up and has a new policy of returning prisoners to the community. He says that he will resign as and when his policies are proved to be wrong.

February. Jimmy Carter announces that there will soon be peace in Chechnya, and continues talking on the phone to the Nobel peace prize committee in Oslo. Fighting continues. The Irish peace process is declared to be part of the national English heritageand is given listed status. Very high build-ups of traffic on information superhighway.

March. After more Tory MPs defect from the fold, the Major Government is down to a majority of one. Major urges the remaining Tory MPs to lead a healthy life and run no risk of dying. The privatised rail system closes down all except the main InterCity routes and reintroduces First, Second and Third Class rail travel.

April. Jimmy Carter narrowly escapes death in Chechnya and moves to Moscow, where he is welcomed as a strong politician and the only possible man who could stand up to Boris Yeltsin. World debate ensues on big question: how can the world trust any nationthat takes seriously a man with a name like Newt Gingrich?

May. The entire Serious Fraud Office is arrested and put on trial on charges of wasting public money. The BBC announces that it is going to economise on its Dickens dramatisations by adapting the unfinished Edwin Drood in one part. In Moscow, Boris Yelt

s in is toppled in a bloodless coup and replaced by Jimmy Carter.

June. Scandal at Westminster, when it emerges that the Tory MP for Central Wessex, Sir Charles Kasper, died in January but that his death had been kept secret for fear of losing the by-election. He had been kept voting since his death by means of a wax effigy which was wheeled in and out of the chamber.

August. Split jury verdict in OJ Simpson trial; half think he is guilty and should be released for fear of black rioting, half think he is innocent and should be retried for TV purposes. President Clinton of America resigns as the Republican majorities now make America ungovernable.

September. Mike Tyson is released on condition he resumes a normal life: ie gets back into a boxing ring and tries to kill people. President Carter of Russia gives people of Chechnya an ultimatum: Surrender or I come and talk to you. A young computer expert manages to hack his way inside the salary of the chairman of BT and remove £500,000 of it. The crime is not noticed for several months, as this leaves him more than enough to live on. Major pile-up on information highway: many left brain-damaged.

October. A high-level think tank of scientists proves that Michael Howard's policies are wrong. He does not resign.

November. The now privatised rail system closes down all lines except those between London and other Premier League cities, thus providing a "better service". The chairman of the Greetings Card Complaints Board, Sir Kenneth Radiant, is given a pay rise of £250,000, although he has been dead for four years. Ex-President Clinton of America offers to mediate in Chechnya against President Carter of Russia. President Gore of America is assassinated by a pro-life lobbyist as he takes office.

December. In a new mini-Budget, Kenneth Clarke announces that he intends to bet £2bn of taxpayers money on the national lottery. In a bloodless coup, John Major is ousted as Prime Minister of Britain and replaced by a waxen image of John Major. Nobody n

o tices the deception. University Challenge, the TV programme, is upgraded to the status of a new university and Jeremy Paxman is made vice-chancellor. There is an overload of information on the information superhighway; many dead. Jimmy Carter announcest hat he intends to run again for president in the next US elections. It will be the first time anyone has reigned as Russian president in order to do so.