Friday, 5 August 2011

Good morning. Coffee?

Let's try to keep our voices down this morning. Poor John must have the hangover from hell today - he was up until the wee hours watching bitch-slap clips all evening. Either that, or his patients received zero attention from him last night... "Nurse... Nurse... NURSE!... nurse..."

All you lot over the pond have yet to wake up to the news that the world banking system seems to be going into meltdown, and our main ones (49 percent 'owned' by the British taxpayer) are blaming Greece and the British taxpayer for the huge losses announced today.

How will this affect the man in the street? Well, he will find himself in the gutter of the street before long, and the only way down from there is death by starvation. It's not as if there are any handy European borders that we can pop over as economic migrants from Britain, and it's not as if we - having rejected the euro as our prime currency - are immune to the icy winds that blow through the corridors of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. She has been proudly declaring that all currencies are the bread and butter with which she feeds her many, corpulent children, but it looks likely that the fat kids are going to be losing a bit of weight very soon, thanks to an enforced crash-diet. Soon, they will be eating us - if there is any meat left on our bones in a couple of months.

I never thought I would find myself somewhat reassured by the precarious, hand-to-mouth existence that I have been living for the last 30 odd years. If I had to depend on the banks to provide a big enough income from my life-savings to put food on the table or keep a roof over my head, I would be very worried right now.

Looking at it positively, all our High Streets might be forced to revert to the traditional mix of interesting and useful shops that they used to contain about 40 years ago before the big retail fashion chains forced rents and rates through the roof and small businesses down the drain.

They played with money which only existed on paper, whereas the old family businesses used real money, invested wisely and accrued by selling people things that they actually needed - not things they were told that they wanted. Even the Co-op sold out, and the closest thing we have to a co-operative now is the John Lewis partnership. No wonder that Waitrose employees are so happy at Christmas.

I personally know people who have made vast amounts of money from their successful businesses, simply by actually loving their business. The money was a welcome signal of their success, but it was never their prime motivation. They have been forced to set up barricades to prevent the money-men from moving in and taking the biggest slice of the cake, and have so far managed to hold them off - simply by not being too greedy.

Let's hope that this chaos leaves a vacuum to be filled by worthy businessmen/women, and not the talentless sharks that have been fleecing us since the 1950s. Let's also hope that they take over before the flames of burning Greece start licking the rest of Europe and the USA.


  1. It is hard to believe this is happening again. I have no doubt that the rich will come out of this richer (as they did last time around) and the rest of us will be scraping bottom. That is what we get for co-mingling our assets with theirs. Very scary times. Wish I could get my job back.

  2. May I suggest armed-robbery as a good job option for future graduates. It's probably the only career where success and failure are equally rewarded.

  3. I was in bed for midnight and drank 1 glass of red wine!
    dont class everyone with your own standards!

  4. I have to admit that all that money-economy-stuff that we hear about in the news scares me. I don't know if it's better to hang on to whatever money one has saved up or to blow it all now before it's not worth the ink it was printed with. At least that way I would have had some fun. (But bitch-slapping is a fun and cost free activity, too.) Decisions, decisions ...

  5. Well said Tom. I just find it all terrifying - probably would find it more terrifying if I really understood what was going on. I just wonder why, when RBS have made a huge loss thius half year (just heard it on the news) the man in charge is still getting something enormous as a bonus. Do I live in a different world to these people?
    As for John and his night time exploits - he made up for it in the day by spending it clearing out pig sh......!

  6. I have a wine glass like that, John. Holds 3 litres of red wine, no problem.

    I've been self employed for over twelve years, Tom and have never gone cap-in-hand to the bank EVER.

    However it's depressing to think that if I should need to now, in cash lean times, the greedy bastards that have been borrowing for decades to fund their rock star lifestyles have probably fucked it up for the rest of us...

  7. Another good post Tom - it is all quite scary especially when one is trying to live on the New Zealand National Superannuation.

  8. I've never found bitch-slapping a cost free activity, Iris.