Thursday, 15 September 2011

'twas ever thus

I walked into the devil's cauldron on Tuesday evening. A birthday celebration for the Muffin Dad was held at a restaurant in the middle of Canary Wharf, so there was no getting away from the Bankers. I tried to scuttle through from the tube station to the restaurant, but losing my nerve as I got close, I checked on the satnav on my mobile phone to see whether I was heading in the right direction. It told me I needed to turn 180 degrees. As I was late already, this was annoying. So I turned around, then turned right, followed the path, turned left, followed the path until I was told to turn left and a little way further on turn left again. Yes twenty minutes after I'd checked the satnav I was indeed back where I started...with a little message coming up saying "Your destination is not located at this point". In fact it was just a little further on. If only I'd had the courage of my own convictions in the first place. A lovely evening spent consuming haggis, whiskey, venison and steak, wine and whiskey was had by all. Even if Wednesday was a little hazy.

The Vickers Report has been published, and so the future reform of the banking sector has been set. After lots of bleating from men in the finest cashmere suits, the reforms won't actually come into effect until 2018. Now even with my basic grade 'A' at 'O' Level I can work out that is a full decade after the great crash. Wow. That's impressive. Even after all the pain and misery the financial sector has caused, the politicians still can't help but suck up to them, whilst the vast majority of the electorate see massive falls in living standards and complete job insecurity. That I regard as breath taking arrogance on the part of the axis of evil. I don't really know whether the changes now proposed would have stopped the nonsense that was going on, because it seems that it was hyper levels of arrogance and stupidity that got us in the mess in the first place...the selling-on of worthless pieces of paper at inflated prices, based on opinions from the Credit Ratings agencies, who have got away Scott free whilst they continue to turn the screws. It seems little has been done, is being done or will be done to stop this happening again. And that impacts on the futures of all our children.

On a very positive note for me, the Palestinians are in the process of applying for statehood at the UN. I have long been a fervent supporter of their cause, and believe that a Palestinian State is reward for all the injustices they have suffered over the last century. The Europeans are divided on the issue, whilst the Americans are scrabbling around trying to prevent this very historic event - not surprisingly really. The US has never been even-handed in their dealings in the middle-east, and it has always felt to me that this policy has created enormous instability in the region. Worse still, it has fed the anger and misguided ideology of organisations such as Al Qaeda. And we all understand the consequences of that. I have signed the petition at Avaaz supporting Palestinian statehood, and I would urge you to as well.

Should I mention the kids? No. They're doing fine. Back at school, getting to grips with their 'A' level work, and peace and harmony reigns supreme. Marvelous. I'm putting notches in the bannister to see how long this lasts.