Beware the Ides of September

The Ides of September, the full moon on 13th, is shaping up to be as bad as the Ides of March was for Julius Caesar.

At home the phone hacking scandal is going to burst back to life with arrests and prosecutions aplenty. It won’t be long before the fearful and the resentful start to squeal. This scandal has a long way to run and David Cameron remains vulnerable. Will September be the beginning of the end of his premiership? It could well be.

And cohort Osborne? His Autumn statement is not going to be good news. Already Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, is saying openly that the growth forecast of 1.7% for this year will be missed, but by how much? We could all be in for a very rude, but perhaps not unexpected, shock.

World financial markets are in turmoil, stock markets in freefall. Will September see more Eurozone countries default? The signs are not good. When an Italian Prime Minister is seen to be still working in August, you know something’s amiss. Jose Barroso is already back from the beach warning that finance ministers are going to have to act quickly to modify the so-called ‘stability mechanism’ – or else.

In September the Palestinians are going to ask the UN to recognise the state of Palestine.  Predictably the US will veto the proposal and potentially light the blue touch paper to mass protests throughout the Middle East, and scupper any hope of there ever being another ‘peace process’- if that opportunity hasn’t already passed. America’s influence in the Middle East, already in tatters, is going to be further damaged by this decision.  Uncle Sam’s isolation in terms of world opinion will be complete and Israel’s control over Congress plain for all to see – though that could be a positive – in a negative sort of way.

More worryingly, rumours have been doing the rounds that Israel has plans to attack Iran in September. This might sound far-fetched, but Israel, and Netanyahu in particular, are feeling very vulnerable. Sandwiched between warring Syria and the Arab ‘awakening’, friendless and with discontent mounting at home, Bibi might just decide to do something to take the world’s attention away from his colonial intentions and force his US sponsors into a deadly embrace – the consequences of which are difficult to imagine.

In Egypt, the crucible of the Arab Spring, Mubarak faces trial, but will the promised September elections take place? The signs are not promising. The military are reluctant to let go of their grip on power. Are they using the Mubarak trail as a sop to distract people’s attention away from the lack of reform and ‘postponed’ elections? They may well be in for a rude shock if they are. There could yet be violence and bloodshed of Syrian proportions in Egypt this Autumn.

So in the words of the September song…

“Oh, it’s a long long while from May to December

But the days grow short when you reach September

When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame

And you ain’t got time for waiting game”

The waiting is going to be over very, very soon. Enjoy August and prepare yourself for September.






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