Predictions for 2024: Wolves to the EU borders, Martin Selmayr to the Vatican, Roman romances

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Verhofstadt’s gnashers
European Parliamentary leader Guy Verhofstadt will have his teeth fixed so that next time he is in Washington the politicians don’t spend the whole time wondering why Europe has not yet invented dentistry.

Ursula’s canines
Ursula von der Leyen wants the EU executive to legalise hunting wolves. Apparently, this is in response to wolves killing a favourite pony of hers.

In 2024, the newly endangered wolf packs will look for protection. The German anti-immigration AfD party, powerful along the eastern national border, knows an opportunity when they see one.

Posts facing east will adopt an unexpected and indeed terrifying new system of migrant security. Those won’t be Alsatian dogs with which the guards are working.

Surprise pontiff
The Pope dies. The College of Cardinals votes to make Martin Selmayr, once “the Monster of Berlaymont,” the new Pope, noting that failure to be a priest has never been a bar to election.

Selmayr after years as a top eurocrat is slippery, intelligent, effective, sees a Europe without frontiers, is anti-democratic, delivers best when he is negotiating in a murky back room, and has the arrogance of a Renaissance aristocrat.

Perfect to get the Church back where it needs to be.

Roman romances
Giorgia Meloni, prime minister of Italy, is now free since she dumped Andrea Giambruno, her long-term boyfriend, after he was caught on tape trying to persuade a colleague to do threesomes with what he called his “working group”. Meloni gets back in the dating game, only to find that big numbers of Roman intellectuals are after the same thing.

She finally settles down with a nice Irishman who thinks foreplay is, “Brace yourself, Bridget.”

Tories’ Argentine option

In the United Kingdom, the Conservatives will be wiped out by Labour in a general election, not because Labour have something new to say but because the British are fed up and bored with the inept Tory government.

However, on viewing the national accounts, the new Labour government will find it can make life no better for Britons than the old Conservative government did.

What remains of the Tory party in the House of Commons will rebuild itself with a shadow cabinet made up of MPs of Asian, West Indian and African origins, since they are the only Tory politicians who still have some grasp of Conservatism.

The move will do no good. Most Conservative voters will emigrate to Argentina to live under libertarian free-marketeer President Javier Milei. No Tory government will ever return to Westminster.

Dads’ army
Ukrainian defence minister Rustem Umerov told German media this week that men aged between 25 and 60 who are fit for military service should be encouraged to report to Armed Forces’ recruitment outlets. About 650,000 Ukrainian men of military age have already left the country.

Look forward to the Ukrainian government trying to entice back 50-something men for the army. The United States defence allowance will be asked to include medical mechanisms for hip replacements, insulin for type 2 diabetes injections, and portable recline-chairs for afternoon naps to get these chaps ready to face the Russians.

Legal aid to Ireland
Ireland drops the charming bit in 2024 and shows its government can be truly nasty.

They will get rolling with a new Hate Speech Law, which criminalises hate without defining what hate is. Police will have the power to examine computers to search for evidence of “hate”.

Stand by for at least one brave Irish journal,, to defy the law. As their editor, John McGuirk, put it, “Laws which seek to shut you up should always, everywhere and on every occasion, be disobeyed.”

What we will hear from McGuirk in 2024 is a plea for help with legal fees.