• Paul Rutherford


With thanks to the driver who took me from Paddington to Holborn last Thursday afternoon: ...the world is falling apart. it's official. i read it in the FT this morning. always read the FT. only honest voice out there. money is money, isn' it, and those boys don't lie. the French are marching in the streets, the Brits are calling wildcat strikes, polar bears are losing their homes, people who extended their mortgages four times in the past five years are losing their homes, members of the House of Lords are on the take, £37bn of money I never knew I had has gone somewhere to assist someone not do something with money that never really existed in the first place, large companies have been paying very clever people to help them move their headquarters to islands that aren't large enough for a corner shop, never mind a supermarket. and Andrew Lloyd Weber is going to save Eurovision. do you think he'll get Putin to turn the gas back on too? my next door neighbour's from the Ukraine. he's very worried about his mum. i tell you, the world is falling apart. the problem is I don't think we know how fast and how far. our jobs are either being taken by cheap Italians coming here to do them because we all signed up to a Treaty that we didn't really understand, which lets people move anywhere and do anything - even allowing Poles to go back to Poland without finishing the plumbing job they were doing in my house. i have an over-running cistern now, and a puddle by the back door. they say they're going home because immigrants are taking their job! and if the jobs are not being filled here, they're being exported to China, which is a bad thing because although it is sat on a pile of money bigger than the Isle of Wight (literally. i saw a picture of it in the paper the other day) it's actually suffering because it's been too successful at adding to that pile, and so consumers in America can no longer afford to buy the things made by the people who are now doing our jobs. and they're not buying enough of them themselves because they're still living on paupers' wages, which is why the jobs got shipped out there in the first place. ironic, isn't it? all this was caused by a group of greedy bankers who lent too much money to people who couldn't afford t pay it back, so to cover themselves they parcelled the loans into different packages of collateralised debts, which made them much more attractive for other bankers to buy so that they in turn could repackage them into even more fragmented loans, so that if you had borrowed £100, you'd now owe 10,000 people 1p each. which is great, so long as they don't all turn up at once at your house to take your telly away. for this they were paid enormous bonuses, but then had to borrow more money from the government, who seem to have more saved than the world has ever generated, but that's called quantative easing, which i think is City-speak for printing. but that's OK because someone who's incredibly clever - and who also thought up the idea of collateralised debt in the first place - has come up with it, so we trust them because people learn from their mistakes. don't they? someone told me it was David Bowie, but i think they were having a laugh. but don't worry. because financial services only represents 8% of our GDP (according to a bloke I dropped off at Canary Wharf the other day), whereas making things accounts for 12%, so what's all the fuss about? Although if it's true, it doesn't explain why all the loans are being made to the banks and not directly to the manufacturers, but there are very clever people who have made that decision too, so I can sleep easy at night. i'm a bit worried about my pension, but my wife's brother is an IFA and he's done alright for himself, so I think we're in good hands. mind you, we haven't heard from him for a few months, so perhaps I should pop round for a word. of course, the way out of all of this is to build another runway at an airport to the West of London, at the same time as all the money is being spent on roads and rail to the East of London on a project that no-one can cost, control or account for. but that's OK too, because we'll all benefit from it. i had the head of one of the committees in the back there the other day. can't remember what he did, but he was very enthusiastic. good tipper, too. apparently we need another runway is because if we don't then even bigger planes using even more fuel will be able to fly that extra bit further and land in the Netherlands or Germany, which would be bad for the economy. or BAA. whichever is bigger. of course, that's all going to be stopped by some celebrities who have bought some land, and are selling it off in plots the size of postage stamps to as many people as possible (without making a profit). i was thinking about buying one; you know - be a little part of history. but i don't think they'll get planning permission.

Here we are. What number did you want guv'nor?

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