Like any grumbling old hippie dissatisfied with the status quo (but not, of course, Status Quo) I’ve often been tempted to blog off our great spiritual leader, Broon of the Glens. However just as his recent self-serving eulogy to the egregious Z-list ‘celebrity’ Jade Goody tipped me over the edge of reason, I happened upon a YouTube video which would render impotent any excoriation of the PM I might scribble.
The failure of almost all news media to report MEP Daniel Hannan’s surgical demolition of GB’s fiscal management in the European Parliament prompted the inevitable conspiracy theories amongst many who saw the clip, which is why I urge you to watch it yourself and wonder just how much longer he’s going to get away with it (Broon, not Hannan). So point your mouse this way:
However in the light of the even more recent’s G20 platitude-fest, I won’t entirely let slip an opportunity to proffer my six penn’orth for as yet I’ve heard little which suggests that we’ll rise out of this economic quagmire anytime soon. In particular and despite what was promised, the tax-payers’ bail-out of banks has failed to provide any significant benefit. Okay, mortgage rates have fallen big time. which is a Good Thing for many folks but au contraire for the millions of savers who are suffering accordingly, especially if they’re retired.
Perhaps Darling Brown – for in their arrogant self-denial they are one and the same – thought that lopping a bit off mortgages would have homebuyers dancing gleefully into World of Leather and thus buy the economy out of the toilet, which only reveals that they’ve ignored the power of fear. And to quote the title of my second favourite Barry Newman film (the B-list actor, not to be confused with the thinking man’s Jonathan Ross, Barry Norman), fear is the key to our malaise and if the bank’s won’t lend to business, and there’s no other fiscal stimulus to the average joe, then forget any recovery.
Although governments are traditionally adept at invoking fear to advance their interests – Saddam’s WMDs and MMR jabs, anyone? – Darling Brown & Co. seem unable to cope with its unintended consequences. So as well as admitting their culpability, they might do well to echo FDR’s inaugural address, i.e. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, rather than spouting tired excuses about it all being a global problem started elsewhere.
For example, no-one is going to go out and buy a new car only to have it re-possessed six months later when they’ve lost their jobs. So the car manufacturers go out of business, as will their many suppliers, one of which is hanging on by its fingernails in my hometown right now – and then there’ll be even more citizens who won’t be able to afford, well, very much at all. But that’s alright, as three years hence our woefully underpaid MPs (who haven’t apparently grasped the import of this vicious circle) can be driven to their second homes in Chinese-built limos. Welcome to Third World Britain.
Having made this point to my American friend Mr. T, (who actually is a venture capitalist), he noted a growing disenchantment with his own leader’s performance: “The autoworker’s are ready to hang Obama since he’s giving them the shaft and letting the bankers go free and run wild.” Which is of course true. He added that in anticipation of escalating public unrest, “(the US government has) ear-marked 20,000 soldiers for ‘domestic duty’ ”. Ooh-ee-ooh.
That might seem a tad far-fetched here in stiff upper-lipped Blighty, but we have a reasonably effective if over-stretched welfare system and they have… soup kitchens.
And to affirm just how gloomy I am about our prospects, I’m stockpiling tinned kippers and buying a shotgun… no, but seriously I’m sure we’ll muddle through as we always do. But I hope in the process we’ll see the end of a prime minister who, having bleated his no-more-boom-and-bust mantra for so many years rather astonishingly expected us to believe he alone could then sort out the ruinous legacy of his chancellorship.
But that’s enough fear’n’loathing: soon I’ll be scribbling something much more upbeat, especially if you cherish magazines, hate motorcyclists and enjoy North London pub culture. Unless of course, I don’t. Meantime, thanks for your e-mails, do please add any comments by clicking on the deceptively named ‘No comment’ link below, and even better, subscribe using the box on the right.
(c) Mark Williams 2009