The Year of the Sheep 2015
The Year of the Sheep runs from the 19th February 2015 to 7th February 2016.
Although a Sheep Year is often associated with peace and conservatism, this Year of the Sheep will be different. Unrest in the Middle East will continue, with the violence of Islamic terror groups spreading out of Iraq and Syria into other nations. It is highly possible western armed forces, including Britain and the USA, will be mobilised against the Islamic State before the Year of the Sheep begins. The mayhem and its results will continue well into 2015. Countries such as Libya, Lebanon and to a lesser extent Jordan, will face attack and revolt emanating from the forces of extremist Islam. Terror attacks and reprisals will find their way to the streets of Britain, America and other European nations. Public opinion will be further radicalised against immigration and militant Islam, with governments, including that of Britain, actually taking action against both. There will be civil unrest and racially orientated trouble in Britain’s major cities.
The forces of the Islamic State will be defeated amid great loss of life. The ramifications of this organisation’s rise to power and it beliefs will echo across the world.
In America, public opinion will start to go against Obama and his administration. At points he will seem weak and dithering, but at others strong and active. This is his last term in office.
n Russia, President Putin will continue to have strong public support, and the Ukraine crisis will wander on largely unresolved. The Crimea and other areas of the Ukraine will remain in the hands of pro-Russian forces. There will be new areas of conflict within Russia, but Putin will show strength and resolve. He will not back down to the demands of the USA or the European Union.
In Britain, David Cameron will continue to be criticised, but he will show resolve when it is needed, particularly when handling overseas conflicts and internal terrorist threats. However, most of his troubles will come from rebellions and criticism within his own party. A new potential leader will start to move and gather support in the shadows behind him. He will make further concessions to Conservative anti EU and anti immigration voices.
After the 2015 general election, UKIP will have several members of parliament, truly becoming an influential and potentially powerful force in British politics. The Conservative Party will not do as badly as some would like to think. The Liberal Party will almost disintegrate after severe losses and will be forced to fight for its very survival. It will wave goodbye to Mr Clegg. The Liberals will not be a serious fighting force in British politics for many years to come.
It is highly likely that during the Year of the Sheep, Ed Milliband will lose the leadership of the Labour Party. His successor will be unsuccessful in many ways. The party will continue to struggle to find an identity and meaningful policies. The opinions of the British public will be voiced more by UKIP than any other political organisation.
The British economy will continue to grow, but it will be a slow growth, and for many wages will remain static while the cost of living rises. Property prices will continue to ascend, and in some areas this will be extreme. In many places crime figures will fall, but in certain urban areas they will be on the rise again. More celebrities will come under the spotlight of child abuse investigations, but the police and other authorities will be on the receiving end of major criticisms about some of these cases.
The media will be full of stories centring on new drugs that will begin flooding the leisure narcotics market. More drugs will be criminalised. The tendency will be for the new narcotics to be laboratory created, rather than originating from natural products.
Further scandals will plague the National Health Service, and changes will be made as a result. The worst NHS crisis situations will revolve around finance rather than patient care. The so called ‘benefits culture’ of Britain will come under further attack from the government. This will be widely supported, but a lot of liberal opinion will continue to polarise against such cut backs. Some will suffer as a result of these cuts.
Australia seems poised for more extreme weather and natural disasters, and Vietnam and its neighbours will suffer on a lesser scale. There will be flooding in Britain, but not on a major scale. However, chaos will come from wind and storms.
A crisis in British agriculture will produce unexpected results and impact on people’s shopping habits. Once again, animal welfare issues will be raised. Food and energy prices will continue to rise.
Of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, only Famine will be late in getting out of the stable and joining his brothers: War, Death and Plague, but he will be making sporadic appearances in the Middle East, and as new conflicts rage in Africa, there too. Nigeria is in for further troubles from all of the Horsemen.
The landscape of the media will transform in several ways. The presence of traditional newspapers will stay solid while their online arms will continue to grow. Online broadcasters such as Netflix will begin to become true giants. As well as producing their own television shows, they will begin funding and producing films, as well as buying into existing television stations and film studios. It is also probable that music will become available on these sites, granting users ‘free’ music and musicians a whole new audience.
The next generation of games consoles will take the gaming experience into new dimensions. They will also have the connect ability and computing power of many home computers. In some way the games consoles will begin to interact with mobile phones.
New games will begin to challenge the old favourites such as Grand Theft Auto. Several aspects of them will cause questions to be raised in the media as to their effects on the minds of their users. This will of course only increase their popularity and subsequent sales figures.