13 May: An entrepreneur called Vivienne Rook goes on a tirade over the current state of politics in the world on that night's episode of Question Time, at one point inciting mass uproar when saying that she "[doesn't] give a fuck" after being asked for her opinions on the Israel-Palestine crisis.
14 May: News headlines broadcast over the radio that morning include the following: researchers announcing that they will begin a five-year study into inequality within the UK as they believe it may be a threat to democracy itself, Theresa May's Brexit negotiator is to travel to Brussels for talks on a document that outlines future relations between the UK and the EU, and most front-page headlines are tributes to Doris Day following her death the previous day.
November 4: After the results of that year's presidential election have been called, Donald Trump is elected to a second term as President of the United States, with Mike Pence remaining as his Vice President. The defeated Democrats are in uproar, blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular for what they believe to be manipulating the election, in the same style as what happened in 2016. In the immediate aftermath of the result, investigations begin taking place in Florida over allegations of a voting scandal, and France announce that they refuse to recognise the validity of the result. Reactions are also highly controversial, with some believing the result to be a well-executed scheme by Russia in something right out of The Phantom Menace, so that they can eventually increase their global dominance.
China finishes construction of an artificial island which they name "Hong Sha Dao", or "Island of the Red Sands". The island is revealed to have been built in disputed territory, causing controversy within the rest of the international community. As if that wasn't bad enough, the island's main function is effectively a military base, allegedly containing an arsenal of undisclosed weaponry. When the UN begins lobbying for an international inspection squad to check the island down, Xi Jinping decries it as an act of aggression.
In the UK, a general election is announced for 5 May. Vivienne Rook, still reeling in fame from her Question Time tirade two years earlier, announces that she will be standing for election as an independent MP.
After accepting his proposal the previous year, Ralph and Daniel have a wedding to the extraordinary celebration of the attending family.
Around this time, Queen Elizabeth II dies, and is immediately succeeded by Charles, who is proclaimed as King Charles III.
Rook is defeated in the election by a Labour candidate. She concedes the result by saying "I'll be back. You watch me! I'll be back!"
In Ukraine, an army loyal to Russia overthrows the government. With a lot of blame going in their direction as a result, an angered Russia leaves the G8 summit in an act of protest. Back in Ukraine, a lot of unrest starts erupting in Kiev, so the Ukrainian army calls in the newly-renamed Soviet Army to crush any dissent and maintain stability. In other words, Ukraine has effectively become a puppet of Russia, who look as though they're reverting back to being known as the Soviet Union. Ukraine itself has turned into a military dictatorship, and things like democracy, freedom and civil liberty have all been removed in the process. This looks bad enough, but things there look as though they'll be getting much worse in the future...
The Hong Sha Dao situation begins heating up. Trump withdraws America's ambassador to China, while the EU refuses to recognise the island's status as a Chinese outpost. China, in response, immediately kicks out a weapons inspector from the island.
A large protest takes place in Dover over the mass entry of Ukrainian refugees (all of whom have been forced to flee their country due to it going all totalitarian and falling to a Russia-gone-The Empire), which are starting to reach record levels.
In London, prices of common consumer goods have gone extortionate - for example, £12 for one coffee. As well as that, some of its boroughs are starting to be fenced off, with Kensington for example only allowing entry for people who have been 'means tested'. Many people living in London have decided to move out for greener pastures as a result.
Because of all the Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country for places where they can be free and not viciously oppressed by an increasingly tyrannical and kleptocratic regime, a rapidly increasing number of refugee camps are starting to appear in many parts of the UK.
Vivienne Rook, true to her word from her previous election failure, forms a new political party called 'The Four Star Party' - supposedly in reference to her Question Time episode. Her eventual goal is to hijack the parliamentary system by fielding enough MPs at the next election for her to be the one holding the balance of power between government and opposition.
November 2: The Hong Sha Dao situation has erupted into a full blown crisis. International attempts at organising emergency discussions are in full swing, while China and North Korea are on the point of entering into a military alliance. Later that day, the crisis completely boils over, and, following an ultimatum, the United States launches a nuclear weapon from a Trident submarine at the island. This is the first time a nuclear weapon has been used in combat since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Though it wasn't the worst place to drop a nuke, when news breaks of the USA nuking the island, it still causes mass panic throughout Britain and most of the rest of the world. Despite this, Trump seems to earn massive approval ratings afterwards.
Likely due to the Trump administration's high approval ratings following the nuking of Hong Sha Dao, sitting Vice President Mike Pence is directly elected as Trump's successor in that year's presidential election, becoming the first sitting VP to be elected directly after their superior since George H. W. Bush in 1988. However, as Daniel would later point out, Trump effectively holds so much power over the rest of the administration by this point, that he's still really the one calling all the shots. In other words, Trump has effectively become dictator for life.
In an interview on an Indian television channel about the aftermath of "Hong Sha Hell", Edith both admits that she exposed herself to a fatal amount of radiation poisoning in order to capture drone footage of the aftermath and also goes on a rant about how society has started to seriously heat up, pointing at the rise of all kinds of fundamentalism in particular.
The United States has started to completely ignore and defy the United Nations, causing the UN to start cracking in the same way the old League of Nations did in the build-up to World War II.
Some Western countries, including the United Kingdom, have started imposing economic sanctions on the United States in response to their nuking of Hong Sha Dao. However, as an interview on a Newsnight episode points out, all this is doing is making America swing so far to the right, that unprecedented fundamentalism and hate of all kinds are starting to brew up over there.
Daniel points out that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have both declared themselves dictators for life. Donald Trump is also mentioned to be this as well, because Mike Pence is described as a "just a puppet". All three are also implied to be building totalitarian personality cults far, far harsher than those of what the fascist dictators of the 20th century had.
By this point, the bird population across Britain has fallen by half, while the insect population is close to being totally wiped out. Countless species of both have been driven to extinction, rendering much of the UK's ecosystems unrecognisable.
The UK's economic sanctions against the US has caused many US firms to quit the UK, resulting in countless numbers of employees losing their jobs. Celeste is one of those people, and is forced to sell the family home because of it.
A phenomenon called 'towntime' has started to sweep the UK. It's basically a return to the old fashioned 9-5 'bog standard office' way of working, except a lot of it is done in sweatshop conditions.
At an opening ceremony for a 'drone park' (basically a storage facility for where drones will fly out to different places in order to deliver things to them) in Manchester, an MP walks too close to one of the drones and is decapitated (yes, blood squirting everywhere) on live television. Viv later announces in an interview that she will be standing for election in his constituency.
The world's accelerating climate has caused the North Pole to completely melt into the sea.
In the by-election debate, Viv demonstrates a device called 'The Blink' (it disables all electronic devices such as phones and tablets and watches for as long as it is active), which eventually causes her to win the election.