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1,000 and counting

1,000 and counting

Atlantis, Brexit, and May

by Brian Reading in London

Thu 8 Jun 2017

Brianreading 6500

This is OMFIF's 1,000th Commentary. By chance I write it. No better time could have been chosen – the first results of the British general election will be known when this appears. The opinion polls have been discordant, so for once they can’t all be wrong.

I have been thinking about the number 1,000 in history. Go back 1,000 years to 1017, when a Sunni rebellion in today's Tunisia was quashed by the ruling Shiites.

Go back 1,000 months to February 1934, and there were riots in Paris led by extreme right-wing parties.

Go back 1,000 weeks to September 1997, when Scotland voted to create its own parliament, while knife-wielding terrorists kill many in Algeria.

Go back 1,000 days and Russia invaded Crimea.

Go back 1,000 hours, when Prime Minister Theresa May called her surprise general election.

Go back 1,000 minutes and the polling booths opened.

Go back 1,000 seconds, and the first results were coming in.

Then looking to the future, go forward 1,000 years. Climate change will probably make the Sahara the richest agricultural land, while London will be like Atlantis.

In 1,000 months, India and China will eclipse the US, and Russia does not stand a chance. The 87-year-old King George may still be on the English throne.

In 1,000 weeks, September 2036, I will be 100 years old if I live that long. Generation X will be inheriting wealth from baby-boomers, provided they don’t die young given the blight of obesity, junk food and lack of exercise.

In 1,000 days, March 2020, it will be almost one year since Britain left the European Union. The damage to the remaining 27 member states from a hard exit by the UK will become apparent. Discontent in the euro area and between EU members will escalate with the next cyclical economic downturn.

Go on 1,000 hours to Saturday 27 July when, importantly, the third cricket test match between England and South Africa in London will be held.

Go on 1,000 minutes and – improbable, but not impossible – Jeremy Corbyn could be moving into the prime minister’s residence in No.10 Downing Street.

Go on 1,000 seconds… you will have long ago stopped reading this.

Brian Reading was an Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Edward Heath and is a Member of the OMFIF Advisory Board.

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