For this week’s column, I thought I would do something completely different and take a very tongue-in-cheek look at what the headlines might be 20 years from now, on July 3, 2041.
“And here is the news…”
As the UK emerges slowly from lockdown 17 just in time for summer, the government warns us that we’re “not out of the woods yet”.
Social distancing will remain in place with the now standard 10-metre rule.
Aberdeenshire, which has been in Level 10, has had it the worst. Residents in Level 10, as we know, have been confined to their own bedrooms since April. With flushing bathrooms now banned due to environmental laws, gardens and allotments are seeing a bumper growth of crops…
Meanwhile a young couple were arrested after a police drone caught them holding hands and kissing while walking round Loch Muick.
Head of Police Scotland told the press: “It’s very disheartening to see some individuals still engaging in such behaviour. Let me make it clear, disease spreaders will be hunted down and will feel the full force of the law.”
In other Covid-related news, unemployment reached 49% and online mega retailer Amazon posted records profits of £1 trillion. The company also defended the £49.34p they paid last year in corporation tax.
There is dismay among drinkers as the government revises its safe limit for alcohol consumption. Three units is now the upper limit, equivalent to one pint of beer or one glass of wine – per week.
BBC bosses announce a major storyline for the EastEnders Christmas Day special. They intend to bring back Dirty Den as a hologram.
However, after a backlash of outrage on social media, the BBC immediately apologised for using the outdated term “Christmas”, which has been banned since 2032, due to it being offensive to non-believers. It has, of course, for the past nine years, been known as “Happy Holiday Day”.
A court case is still dragging on to change the name yet again to simply “Holiday Day”. Campaigners say “Happy Holiday” is offensive to those who don’t feel happy.
With only three airlines operating worldwide, ticket prices keep increasing. A recent check on flights from the UK to Spain found that the cheapest seat, which by law has to be booked six months in advance, was £1,000 return.
This, of course, does not include the £300 “dirty tourist tax” that the government slapped on fares 10 years ago.
Staying with airline news…
With hundreds of customers claiming that they still haven’t been refunded by Ryanair for cancelled flights from the first lockdown in 2020, Michael O’Leary, now the President of Ireland, but still a major shareholder in the airline, told them that if they didn’t like it, they were free to take their claims for compensation elsewhere.
He also confirmed that due to increased costs, the airline had no option but to raise the price of toilet access. A number one will increase to £5, while a number two rockets to £10.
On a positive note, he did confirm that toilet paper will remain free of charge. Four sheets max per person.
As with other charges, such as £1 for a sick bag and £25 for use of an oxygen mask, the toilet fees can be paid for by the chip in you index finger.
Harry and Megan, who in 2028 changed their last name to Smith for privacy reasons, and now living in Greenland, have launched an online campaign slamming the press. “We held an open day photo opportunity so they could snap our granddaughter on her first birthday, and nobody turned up. How dare they treat us this way. It’s just not acceptable,” Mr and Mrs Smith grumbled.
Quo are still rocking
Veteran rocker Francis Rossi, of Status Quo, 93, says he is not yet ready to hang up his guitar. The frontman claims: “If Mick and Keef of the Stones can still do it, so can we.”
Quo, he says, are positive about the chances of the new tour happening when lockdown 17 finally ends. Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, Francis added that the new tour is aptly called “Quovid”.
Time to go it alone
The Scottish government late last night released a statement warning Westminster that Indy Ref 9 must be granted and happen by 2045, for it’s the will of the Scottish people. Democracy they said, must be allowed to happen. Before adding, Indy Ref 9 is not a case of if but when.
Sly Stallone admits, much to the dismay of his fans, that Rocky 16 may be his last…
Saving our planet
As the public keep complaining about supermarkets still using single-use plastic, the body that represents them issues a statement. “On the subject of making all plastic recyclable, we are moving as fast as we can. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously…”
Monarch doing well
The Queen, now in her 116 year, dismisses stories about her forthcoming abdication. “They are rumours, nothing more. The Queen enjoys good health and will remain on the throne,” the palace said in a statement released late last night, (cue much gnashing of teeth from a certain prince, aged 92)
Big Brother is listening
Concerns grow over privacy and freedom of speech after MI6 swoop on a pensioner’s home and arrest a couple after Amazon’s Alexa reports back on a conversation they had in their bedroom.
A spokeswoman for the security services said: “It wasn’t that they were chatting about wanting to eat meat, which as we all know is of course now banned in the UK and has been for five years, but they specifically referred to a product called black pudding. This is clearly a racist remark and they have been charged under the discrimination act of 2026. This kind of racist language will not be tolerated in modern Britain.”
The couple are being held in high security Belmarsh prison having been denied bail. They are due to appear in court next Monday.
Well, I did you warn you in a column I wrote in 2020…
Wait continues for Dons
Aberdeen fail in their attempt to end their 51-year drought to win the Scottish Cup, going out to Inverurie Locos in the first round. Dons legend Wille Miller takes the opportunity to launch his new autobiography, Back in the Day.
Brexit rumbles on
As Britain celebrates 21 years outside the EU, a lone protester is defiant. Standing outside Westminster, Steve Bray, who has been there every day since 2018, draped in an EU flag, is heard shouting through his megaphone every 30 seconds: “Stop Brexit!”
Local news still going strong
A recent survey of readers shows that many are impressed with the new way to read their morning paper. “It’s great,” said Bob, “I love this new Google/P&J implanted screen on the back of my right hand. So handy, it means I never mislay my paper.”
However, not everyone is impressed. “No for me,” said Massie, “too fiddly. You can’t beat good old-fashioned print.
Meanwhile, veteran columnist George R Mitchell asks for a pay rise. Three seconds later, the artificial intelligence agent at P&J Central pings him a message which reads: “Computer says no.”
Rainforest clinging on
Brazil’s government tries to calm fears over the recent spate of fires and continued deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. “There’s still almost 5% of the original forest left,” they claimed. “Nothing to worry about.”
Soaring taxes continue
Puff, the organisation that represents the tobacco industry, stands firm claiming that: “There is no proof that smoking causes cancer.”
Meanwhile, due to the latest tax on tobacco, the average price of a packet of 20 fags hits £50.
Staying with budget news, the chancellor announced an increase in income tax to 63%. As she stood at the dispatch box, a defiant chancellor told the Commons: “Covid has to be paid for you know!”
Last elephant dies
India sadly announces that the last wild elephant was found dead last night. The tusks are being traded on the internet for a cool $1 million, each.
Putin denies cosmetic work
The Russian president denies speculation he’s had Botox as he appears above Lenin’s tomb to speak to the masses. “Botox is western propaganda. The reason I don’t smile is not due to so-called Botox. I am KGB. We don’t smile.”
Lukashenko holds firm in Belarus
Meanwhile in neighbouring Belarus, 86-year-old Alexander Lukashenko celebrates yet another stunning presidential win.
The Soviet hardman, who has been in powers for 47 years, claimed that he won 103% of the vote, while the opposition lagged behind gaining only minus 6% of the vote in the reclusive republic.
Champagne all the way
As global warming continues unabated, Tartan Fizz, the maker of the country’s biggest-selling champagne, wins gold at the International Wine Challenge.
Hamish Wilson, the CEO of TF said: “This is a triumph for Tartan Fizz, with our 2040 vintage being made 100% from grapes grown at our tropical valley near Braemar.”
Charlie breaks world record
And finally, my friend Charles Fisher in Canada, who I first met aged 102, has just become the world’s oldest living human at 126.
Happy birthday Charlie!
What will the future hold?
OK, it’s all tongue in cheek, but could any of the above be making the headlines in 2041? Who knows?
On a more series note, what will our world look like in 20 years? To be honest, I’m not filled with joy.
Next week – Who will rule the world in 20 years?