We live in a capitalist society and put our faith in hard work and markets to make us wealthier – and for most of us, for most of the time, it works. Every day we get up at the alarm, rush to the office or factory, depositing the kids at school on the way, we work hard and collapse before the tele on our return. By our efforts the world turns round and by and large it suits us well. The dynamic of the economy that governs is is human greed (think of the bankers), ambition and rapacity. These are not pleasant qualities and from time to time we dream of other types of society based on higher principles, say cooperation, but somehow they lack conviction. Oh well, set the alarm.
These thoughts are prompted by Boy George and his attempts to stop econonmic growth in Britain and, if he had his way. elsewhere in the world. I have a vision of George as a young boy. He was told to visit his granny. All he wanted was to do was to watch the footie on TV. Grannie was kind and let him watch on her tellie. Dismay. Her set was black and white. He demands an explanation. Henry and I decided at the start of our life together never to borrow – no mortgages, no loans. If you wanted something, you saved your money and when you had enough you bought it. It’s cheaper that way. Wise words and George remembered them. Imagine his dismay when after all that political manouvering he arrives at the Treasury to find the nation in debt (no surprise there George the nation has always been in debt!) Alas and alack. Let’s get rid of it as fast as we can, he cries to astonished servants of the state, before it contaminates everything. If that’s what you want Chancellor, he must have been advised, you must do things which will stop economic growth, citizens will fall off the roundabout, alarm clocks will no longer, be produced as jobs are lost, and there will be much wailing in the land, Fear not, says Boy George, thinking of his grannie, all will be well in the end. In the end Chancellor, it might have been said, we are all dead. And they left to plan their own redundancy.
George, George, it ill becomes me, a pale and timid social democrat, to offer you advice BUT be a man George, be a capitalist, be brave and recognise a pup when you see one. Away with this nonsense of the Big Society (in our house we call it Big Utopia). We wish to go on as usual. We are willing to work, have our foreign holidays as usual, celebrate in the pub. When some of us voted for you (not in our house, George) we thought you were a capitalist and now we find that you are a member of the Grannie Party and what is more a Lib Dem (no votes for that George even in the whole street). Please George be brave. I can tell from your language that you have now reached chapter 9 of your economics primer, read quickly, get to chapter 13. Managing an Economy Through a Depression. Interesting reading George. Go on, you can do it.