I’m a firm believer in instinct – and mine tells me 2012 is a year likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
I have a sense of foreboding every time the next 12 months is mentioned – and it is nothing to do with all the ‘end is nigh’ Mayan calendar claptrap.
You don’t need the wild-eyed witterings of ancient shamans to realise the coming year offers up plenty of potential for catastrophe.
The more I hear David Cameron rhapsodising about the optimism he believes should be generated by the Olympic Games and the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the more I hear a man shouting anxiously in the dark.
He knows as well as we do that six simple words are going to keep him twisting and sweating in the deep reaches of the night for weeks to come.
They are (in no particular order) Iran, Eurozone, industrial unrest, unemployment and recession.
And just when we thought things couldn’t get much worse, along comes news of a possible threat posed by a super-volcano which lies beneath a lake near Bonn in Germany and is said to erupt every 12,000 years.
The last time it belched forth was almost 13,000 years ago and a few small earth tremors in the region are thought to be a sign that nature is once again becoming fretful.
But we need not concern ourselves about the vagaries of nature – there’s nothing we can do about them after all.
The problems with the euro are also beyond our control, even though its collapse will have a calamitous effect on our economy.
However, the coalition could do something about unemployment, strikes and a possible recession – but is convinced its austerity policy is the best way to steer us out of the financial morass in which we find ourselves.
So this just leaves Iran.
This bellicose and turbulent land poses the gravest threat to world peace for generations.
I cannot see any way in which Israel will not make a pre-emptive strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities within the next 12 months – and then anything could happen.