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Almanac 2017


Trump’s inaugural speech, promising a ‘tough’ new American foreign policy stance, hints at recognising Taiwan.  The Chinese government expresses outrage and threatens retaliatory moves in the South Pacific.  Trump tweets that China is ‘all mouth and no guts’.


Trump, in his State of the Union address, says America now rules the world by acclaim and ‘fears no nation’.  China and Russia protest US belligerence and mobilise armed forces.  Melania Trump says she will decorate the White House in ‘heavy metal’ style, including a silver exterior, and hold rock concerts every weekend in the Oval Office. She has also declared all interior doors are to copy Trump Tower and be covered with gold leaf and diamonds.


Britain triggers ‘Article 50’ signalling its departure from the European Union.  Scotland announces plans to secede from the United Kingdom, whether Westminster approves or not.  Wales threatens to follow suit.  Lord Farage, head of the English branch of the US Republican Party, says “good riddance to both of them”.  Russia deploys large forces on its borders with the Baltic States.  “For purely defensive reasons”, says Putin.


Italy’s new government applies to leave the euro-zone, with the intention of returning to the lira.  The new exchange rate will be 10 million lira to the dollar.  “We’re returning to our beloved traditions,” says Prime Minister Sophia Loren.  The Queen and Prince Philip catch heavy colds and cancel all appointments until further notice.


Prime Minister May visits Washington with a view to asking Trump to accept England as the 51st state of the union.  Several senior Republicans on Capitol Hill dismiss the request as ‘the Brits trying to take back their former colonies by stealth’.  One senator said, “We got rid of those limeys 250 years ago”.  Several Labour MPs defect to form a new English Peoples Freedom Party, dedicated to abolishing the monarchy.  Corbyn says he is prepared to lead it.


The pound sterling collapses on the foreign exchange market and inflation rises to 17 per cent.  May, trying to calm markets, calls Britain ‘a solid ship in a stormy sea’ and tells MPs, “Remember the Armada and Trafalgar.  The pound was down then, but not our navy.”  The Queen and Prince Philip cancel all engagements for the balance of the year, deferring to Prince Charles.  The Trooping the Colour ceremony is abandoned for the first time since World War II as anti-royal protesters take to the Mall in their thousands.  Troops are called in to guard Buckingham Palace, but the popular Changing the Guard ceremony is abolished.


Iranian forces simultaneously invade Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, the Ayatollah promising a ‘cleansing Shia Caliphate’.  Israel calls on the US and Britain to provide military assistance in the event of an attack by Arab forces.  The UN convenes in emergency session and calls upon Iran to cease and desist.  The Iran delegate walks out, laughing.  Trump refuses to return from his summer vacation in Las Vegas.  “I’m on a winning streak out here like you wouldn’t believe,” he tells the press corps.


Russian forces are engaged in several skirmishes along the borders with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  Britain sends an offshore patrol boat as a show of support, but it breaks down.  The White House refuses to intervene.  Trump says, in a tweet from his suite in the new Las Vegas Trump Tower, formerly known as the Wynn Tower, that “if those commies want to have a fight, let ‘em get on with it”.  He adds, “By the way, I’m up $250,000 here.”         


Vice President Mike Pence, responding to criticism about White House inaction, says “Don was on top of things all along”.  Melania says, “Who else could run the country and win a million dollars at the same time.  I told you my man’s a business genius.”  Mexico files a protest with the UN when it discovers American surveyors on its territory along the border.   Trump denies the US is preparing to build a fence, but adds, “we have to be ready to, just in case”.


Prime Minister May says the Brexit talks are going ‘as well as might be expected’ given the EU’s hard-line negotiating stance.  Lord Farage tells supporters that the government is stalling for time “as I predicted all along”.   He adds:  “my suspicion is that both sides are secretly negotiating to keep us in”.  Adolf Bormann, the new German chancellor, says, “Nonsense.  Germany has no territorial ambitions.”  Russia makes deeper military incursions into the Baltic States.  Trump says he always new the Balkans would be a flashpoint, “ever since that guy Tito left”.


The White House suffers serious damage in a fire, believed to have started by fireworks being set off in the Oval Office to celebrate Thanksgiving.  No human casualties have been reported but at least two dozen turkeys are thought to have perished.  The Audubon Society called for an investigation into the cruel treatment of the birds.  Trump returns to the White House, asking “Anything going on while I’ve been away?” 


The Queen, in her annual Christmas Day speech, announces her abdication, citing ill-health.  Prince Charles prepares to reign as Nigel I. Protesters pack the mall leading to Buckingham Palace, waving placards.  Some read, “Harry for King or No King”.  His brother William, next in line to the throne, laughs off the demonstrations as ‘a few bored people letting off steam’.  Iranian and Israeli forces, having launched short range missiles at each other, deny that any were armed with nuclear warheads.  Russian forces engage with defensive formations deep inside the Baltic States.  May, in a Christmas message, says Brexit talks are ‘proceeding at a steady pace’, declining to offer more detail.  

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