It's easier to make long-term predictions than it is to take stabs at what's just around the corner.

For instance, with some confidence, I can predict that the petrol-powered four-wheel vehicle will one day cease to transport humans on roads made from the by-product of the very process of turning oil into petrol. Thirty years from now, or 100, it will happen.

I can again quite confidently say that the United States will continue its decline as a global superpower. Presidents who are idiots or geniuses won't affect the ultimate outcome.

And the numbers of cows hoofing it about on green pastures in New Zealand will decline in the decades ahead. A certainty.

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Predicting what will happen over the next 12 months is, on the other hand, more of a fool's endeavour.

But feeling somewhat foolish at the close of 2017, I offer some modest predictions for 2018.

Most of us will tire of the Jacinda-effect. All the secret Santa stuff, the photos at celebrity events, the selfies with Clarke. But conversely we'll gain respect for some of the other Labour politicians and their allies in the Green Party and even New Zealand First; meaning the Government will keep its head above National, for next year at least.

Labour MP Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Will we tire of the Jacinda-effect in 2018?
Labour MP Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Will we tire of the Jacinda-effect in 2018?

Donald Trump and North Korean president, Kim Jong-un, will be gone by Christmas. One by an internal coup, the other by voluntary abdication, though who will meet which fate is uncertain. They'll both then join the world celebrity golf circuit.

The global economy will be a source of nervousness throughout 2018 as bubbles continue to gurgle and froth in the stomach of global capitalism, with no amount of antacid administered by governments doing anything to relieve the problem.

The world's politicians will spend the year hoping and praying there's no major financial crisis while they're in charge, which would reveal to the global citizenry that they're not really in charge. Winston Peters, of course, will be ready to say I told you so.

More and more people worldwide will realise that constant interaction with the online world through screens is stuffing up their real lives and relationships with real people. Our Facebook log-in time will fall dramatically, but will be concealed by Facebook to maintain advertising revenue.

Recent Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan. Here's hoping he's not heading for that great jam session in the sky in 2018.
Recent Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan. Here's hoping he's not heading for that great jam session in the sky in 2018.

A famed Baby Boomer generation musician will depart this earth for the great jam session in the sky. I'm hoping it won't be recent Nobel laureate Bob Dylan. Selfishly, I want one last trilogy of great original albums, starting with a new one released next year.

But whatever unfolds in 2018, I'm safe in saying that we're living in fascinating times, with conflicts and contradictions at the forefront of public life.

Hopefully, I'll continue to have the opportunity to reflect on events and offer my thoughts on issues that matter. It's been a privilege this year to be able to do so.

I'm ever hoping I can provide some insight or knowledge that's in some way useful to you, dear reader.

Wishing you a relaxing time over the holiday period.