Cassandra – gifted, with the power to see the future, but punished with the curse of prophesying in vain.
How long should the "transition" take, for Britain to leave the European Union? On 22nd Feb 2018 the Guardian reported  that a leaked document from senior Tories suggested:
“The UK believes the period’s duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin the future relationship....“The UK agrees this points to a period of around two years, but wishes to discuss with the EU the assessment that supports its proposed end date.” Commenting further: 'During the transition period, the UK will effectively remain a member of the single market and customs union under the jurisdiction of the European court of justice, but without any say in EU rules.’ I said much the same in a letter to the Guardian and to my local Tory MP  on 15th October 2017; commenting that the negotiation might take far longer than 2 years, and that during transition we should carry on with full fees and full privileges, but no new commitments (see references below)
In May 2017, The Observer reported  that Sir David Nicholson backed the LibDem's suggestion of a penny more tax to pay for the NHS. Bravo, Sir David; bravo the LibDems. But I suggested exactly that idea 4 years previously, in a blog and a letter to the LibDem Party. "What we need is a goal that is universally popular, such as the National Health Service. Who would not dip into their purse for our beloved NHS? I therefore suggest we all pay this as an additional, specifically earmarked tax, and think of it as paying for the NHS, which we all clearly want." . (Lots of others have advocated less austerity, but not this focussed tax-rise.)
According to Al Jazera of 31 March 2017  (and the Daily Mail of 22 Feb. 2018): "The United States has said that it is no longer focused on ousting President Bashar al-Assad as it seeks a new strategy to end Syria's civil war. " But, back in 2012, I pointed out  that the United States and its allies should acknowledge that al-Assad was still the de jure and de facto leader of Syria, and that, though unpopular in the West and with many enemies at home, he might nevertheless be the democratically appropriate leader, because the most popular single candidate among his own people.
It is very frustrating, being so far ahead of the field that one's message is not heard, or heeded. Yours sincerely, Ian West