And who do I have to thank for this unexpected end of year prosperity? Why non-other than the good old BBC and friends. And I am not necessarily talking about the fact that I dumped my TV licence this year, even though that saved me a tasty £150.
No, the reason for my buoyant financial situation is all down to some canny reverse psychology. That and a series of calls to my bookmaker, Frederick. Allow me to explain.
According to the mainstream media, 2016 has been the year of the underdog, the rise of the insurgent, the year when the dreaded ‘populists’ have upset the establishment applecart. Brexit, Trump, Renzi, it’s been a horrific year for the elites, forced to observe the grubby little people undo all their cunning plans.
In an atmosphere where the mainstream media insisted that Brexit and Trump could never happen, those noble fellows, the good old British bookmaker, set their odds accordingly. One or two people – myself included – rubbed our avaricious little hands together.
It’s not very often that that bunch of ne’er-do-well, sheepskin-wearing spivs who call themselves bookies get it wrong. And even when they do there are certain ‘measures’ that can be taken to ‘tip’ the balance back in their favour:
Gee-gees – red hot favourites - have been known to develop mysterious coughs the night before a big race; Liverpool FC goalkeepers have been known to develop butter finger syndrome during big matches. Cricketers have been known to… you catch the drift.
The bookies always ensure the odds are stacked in their favour. Always. The ubiquitous mock Tudor mansions which litter the suburbs of Surrey replete with top-of-the-range XJS Jags are testament enough, if testament were needed.
But occasionally they get it wrong. Brexit and Trump were two such occasions in 2016. Fingers crossed that 2017 will bring a few more political upsets. Damn it, I have a Caribbean cruise resting on Marine Le Pen. Allez Marine!
With the BBC and the mainstream media in total denial about the chances of Leave winning the EU referendum pickings were rich indeed. Without the form book to guide them, the bookies were all at sea, floundering. The last ‘race’ in this particular scenario had taken place as long ago as 1972!
As a seasoned gambler my ears immediately pricked up. I smelt an opportunity.
And all the time the dear old BBC and the Liberal media were talking as if the Referendum was over before it had even started. I licked my lips. The bookies would naturally fall into line with this bombardment of propaganda. Remain duly became heavy favourites to win the 23rd June vote. Oh happy days!
For if you cared to look beyond BBC propaganda there were some very interesting signals out there: Poll after poll suggested that it was not Remain, but rather Leave, who had in fact a very substantial lead. Scanning various Internet sites (so-called ‘fake-news’ according to the BBC) revealed that the Leave campaign were indeed headed for a clear victory.
Long since having declared for Remain, the BBC stuck to its guns: It was all over – Remain were on course for a crushing victory. Manna from Heaven!
Armed with my ‘fake news’ I duly called my friendly bookie who was more than happy to take a fairly substantial bet on the UK voting to leave the EU:
“Are you quite sure old chap?” asked Freddie, while probably feeding his koi-carp in the expansive grounds of his Surrey pile.
“Quite sure,” quoth I. The deal was struck…
And when it came to the US Presidential elections, I thought all my Christmases had come at once.
4/1!!!! I could hardly believe my eyes. The bookmakers were offering 4/1 for Donald Trump to win the election!!
Having seen for myself the massive crowds and their enthusiasm for the Republican candidate throughout the billionaire’s campaigns and noted the huge support on social media, I could not believe my eyes.
A two horse race and one of the runners was being offered at 4/1/ Too good to be true. When was I going to wake up?
It was Brexit all over again. In a show of naked anticipation I rubbed my hands together every time the BBC, Sky or Channel 4 told their viewers that Hilary Clinton was going to win the election in a land-slide. I was positively jumping out of my chair when Time magazine published their infamous ‘Madam President’ front-cover the week before the actual election...
And when, a few days out from the election, that odious rag The Huffington Post declared that Clinton had a 98% chance of winning the election I was literally dancing on my ceiling.
For every indicator I had seen in the ‘fake news’ suggested that Trump would win with something to spare. I just hoped and prayed that the BBC woud not show footage of the enormous crowds at Trump rallies; I was on tenterhooks should they show for just a second the millions of Trump flags clogging up suburban America. I was bricking it. I need not have worried.
“A thousand on Trump to win the US election.”
Having been stung once before, Freddie was not quite as dismissive this time, but like the rest of his industry had swallowed the official ‘narrative’ hook, line and sinker: “Happy to oblige old chap – you still owe me for that EU bet…”
Thus on the night of November the 9th I settled down to watch the results of the US election. It was a queer feeling, knowing that for once the bookies had got it wrong. As news came in of Trump’s stunning victory I felt like ringing the BBC to thank them personally and very profusely for skewering the ‘narrative’ so much in my favour.
Thanks to so-called ‘fake news’ and ‘fake’ websites I am considerably richer at the end of 2016 than I had been at the start of the year.
And it has been all so very, very, easy, like taking fish flakes from a Koi carp enthusiast: all I had to do was the exact opposite of what the BBC predicted. How easy is that?
And the moral of the story? If you wish to end up on the winning side always swim against the tide of good sense. It adds up, believe me it really does.
Chin-chin! Happy punting in 2017.