Londoner's Diary: The Ins and Outs for 2024

Clockwise from left: Michelle Mone, Barry Keoghan, Kemi Badenoch, Maggie Smith, Ed Sheeran, Donald Trump, Quentin Crisp, Amelia Dimoldenberg, and Elf Bars (Dave Benett; Amazon Content Services; PA; Loewe / Juergen Teller; AP; Getty)
Clockwise from left: Michelle Mone, Barry Keoghan, Kemi Badenoch, Maggie Smith, Ed Sheeran, Donald Trump, Quentin Crisp, Amelia Dimoldenberg, and Elf Bars (Dave Benett; Amazon Content Services; PA; Loewe / Juergen Teller; AP; Getty)

This year is unlikely to be one of rest and relaxation. But what will be the lie of the land at the end of it? We have engaged our predictive powers to consider the Ins and Outs of 2024, in politics, fashion, cuisine, tech, etc.


Electoral foul play

It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump will be In or Out -- we'll have to wait until November to find out. But with elections happening in America, Britain and across the world in 2024, our most certified In of the year is electoral foul play. From lies and smears to gerrymandering and fraud, politicians will play dirtier than ever, and Trump will be leading from the front.

Drinking like the Italians

Remember the rule: Cynar before eating and Fernet Branca for after. Fancy aperitifs and digestifs are making a comeback.


The British have always been historically good at producing eccentrics, storytellers par excellence like Quentin Crisp, pictured, and Sir Peter Ustinov. But the well seems to be a little dry right now. Jumper-enthusiast Gyles Brandreth can spin some good yarns about Prince Philip, but where are those figures who have lived extraordinary lives and can package them up in highly quotable witticisms?

Traditional baby names

It used to be the prerogative of celebrities to name their child something odd like Apple or River, but now everyone’s at it. There’s so many Wildes and Arlos kicking around nowadays that it’s actually become quite transgressive to pick a traditional baby name – ergo, it’s in. Props to Pixie Lott, who had a son named Albert this year, and Princess Eugenie, who called her child Ernest. Ahead of the curve.

Gen-Z politicians

Say what you want about the state of the nation, but we’re doing better than our friends across the pond at keeping politics fresh. Young bucks like Nadia Whittome, 27, and Keir Mather, 26, are leading Labour’s youth drive. Gerontocracy? Never heard of her.

Cruising in Antarctica

A fad you can't afford, but the rich have to distinguish themselves from the rest of us somehow.

Kemi Badenoch

When it comes to the serious business of the future of the country, there’s one “in” that will really matters in 2024, and that’s who gets in as the next leader of the Conservative Party. Previous hopers like Penny Mordaunt, who ran twice, seem to have dropped the ball now. Home Secretary James Cleverly seemed plausible but a recent hot-mic of him joking about spiking drinks suggests he is too gaffe-prone for the top job. As the party moves in a more Right-wing direction, the good money is on the ambitious Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

Octogenarian models

Older ladies are reigning supreme in the world of high fashion. Dame Maggie Smith, 89, recently modelled for Loewe, while 79-year-old Diana Ross is the new face of Saint Laurent. Actress Charlotte Rampling gave her best smoulder for a Massimo Dutti campaign. It’s all an antidote to the hyper-plumped, buccal fat-removed celebs of today.

Weird Labour people

Judging by the polls, it’s a good time to be a Labour politician, adviser, supporter or favoured journalist. We predict that many such people, after lingering in the obscurity of opposition for 14 years, will make prominent opening splashes into the paddling pool of British political discourse in the coming year.

Anas Sarwar

On that note, arise Anas Sarwar, leader of the Scottish Labour Party. With the Scottish National Party having a force-12 wobble since the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, this will likely be a good year for the 40-year-old dentist-turned-politician. His opposite number, Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf, doesn’t yet seem to have found his feet and the general election is fast approaching.

Men wearing shorts

Awful. Shorts are for schoolboys and athletes, but nevertheless grown men insist on wearing them whatever the weather.

AI-based scams

Unfortunately many more of us are likely to be duped by sophisticated scams that use new artificial intelligence technology. Stay vigilant, folks.

“Broken Britain”

Everything is expensive and nothing works properly, so prepare for the return of this long-dormant phrase. The last time we heard about “Broken Britain” was in the late 2000s, after the global financial crisis, and before that in the 1970s.

Morgan McSweeney

Labour’s director of campaigns had an astronomic rise to the top of politics. If Labour win the election this year, McSweeney will be widely credited as a political mastermind. Then he might well take his skills around the world as a political consultant and make a fortune advising centre-left parties on how to win.


Films over 90 minutes

Long films, we pray, will be out this year. From interminable biopics like Maestro and Napoleon, to Oppenheimer, which swept the Golden Globes on Sunday evening, and Martin Scorsese's even longer Killers of the Flower Moon, these are films we might have watched if we hadn’t Googled the runtime. As everybody knows, 90 minutes is the perfect length for a feature film.


As the share value of 'feeling shame' plummets, prepare to be increasingly subjected to the phone calls, playlists and TikTok feeds of your fellow passengers on Transport for London. Headphones are out the door, as is basic decorum.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is not long for this world. One of the great lies told in our time is that this vegan alternative to cow juice is healthy. It’s actually full of added oil and has little nutritional value — that’s why it makes your flat white taste so good. People are starting to catch on, heralding the great cow’s milk renaissance.

Elf Bars

Sugary, candy-coloured Elfbars had mass appeal in 2023, but while they were fun for a summer or two, it’s now a little tragic to be spotted with a disposable vape. The veneer of stylish sophistication on a budget that most are trying to channel in 2024 is severely tarnished by the spectacle of a blue raspberry-flavoured plastic stick. Get in the bin.

Nepo Tories

Tory back-slapping has had a good run but 2024 is the year that it comes to an end, thanks to the spectacular public defenestration of Conservative peer Baroness Mone, who benefited from Covid-era PPE contracts then lied to the press about it for years. Her fall from grace is a stark lesson to others who want to exploit their Tory connections in government (while they last).

Sending voice notes

There is something irksome about receiving a mundane 46 second voice note because the sender clearly couldn't be bothered to type out a message. If you're going to tell an excellent anecdote, by all means record a voice note. But rearranging a drink because you're no longer free next Tuesday? A text will do, thanks.

Mean interviews

The “awkward interview” format pioneered by Amelia Dimoldenberg will not survive the year. Dimoldenberg is already diversifying with advert work and egotistic celebs are sick of being picked on.


Ordering a pint of black was once the connoisseur's choice, but Guinness has become far too popular in this fair city of late and, consequently, much more expensive. When the Guinness microculture brewery opens soon in King’s Cross – unmooring the drink from its Irish roots and turning into another tourist fad like M&M World – the reign of this once-great pint will be over.

The novels of Richard Osman

Three books into the Thursday Murder Club series, surely the reading public are tiring of quizman-cum-novelist Richard Osman’s twee tales of murder and mystery?

Canada Goose

These premium puffers are so desired by London’s criminal fraternity that, if you wear one around town these days, there’s a good chance you will have it taken off you by force. It’s not worth the risk to life and limb. Ditto airpods.

Ed Sheeran

How many more hits can megastars like Ed Sheeran trot out? Not many, apparently. His latest album, Autumn Variations, was variously described by critics as ‘dull as a grey sky’, ‘plodding’, and ‘a pumpkin spiced snoozer’. There comes a time when all music behemoths must hang up their socks. For Ed, that might be this year.

Discussing Saltburn

...Is out, thank God, and we are keen to remind every person in London of this fact. If one more person writes an opinion piece about the Brideshead knock-off/Ripley homage, or tries to strike up a conversation about it at a party, we shall expire. There is no class analysis to be made, no great take to be expounded. It is just quite a silly film by a posh person about other posh people. And the bath scene.