Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mine and Thine

The re-emergence of trainspotters is to be applauded. I have noticed many hanging about on several stations, notably Carlisle and Preston. Perhaps it is a preferred North pastime - along with ferrets and pigeons. Stations are, I'm assured, one of the good places for bats.
Mrs. Lear has really taken to bats, and appropriately enough went to a bat conference on 31st October. This, I may say, had 119 delegate branches attending from all over Scotland, so I won't hear any scoffing, if you don't mind. I can't help but think of Jeremy Lloyd's Captain Beaky who had a friend, amongst others, who was known as Batty Bat ( "The bravest animals in the land Are Captain Beaky and his band.That's Timid Toad. Reckless Rat. Artful Owl and Batty Bat.March through the woodland Singing songs That tell how they have righted wrongs." Love it). We need stuff like that to cheer us up in these dark days.
I noted the other day that some august body had worked out that the banks were lending £215 billion a year less than the sum required to finance the economy. So it's no surprise it is still contracting. That £215 billion deficit will have to be eliminated before we return to stability and a stuttering growth. Mind you, if the Government had simply handed all the money they have given to the banks to the likes of us there would be no problem.As Keynes once remarked ( I think) the best way to restore an economy is to pay people to dig holes, fill them with bank notes, then get people to dig them up. In a sense, this is what Quantitative Easing is all about.
Although this time round the mistake was made to give the resulting money to the banks who promptly bought Government debt ( as they were pretty much forced to do by the stupid new rules which brought about this debacle in the first place.)
The Romanian's have what I would describe as a robust attitude to the present problems. They've never had a period of what I would call " You've never had it so good" so things are just a bit worse, rather than a LOT worse, and they were only a bit better so the difference is quite small.
They also have a different morality to things - if it's not nailed down, I can take it. And even if it is nailed down, maybe I can take it anyway.
When I was last there we drove along a road that a year ago had been a dirt track, but which now was tarmacked. As we got further from the main road, the surface was more and more broken up, until eventually there were only a few scattered complete patches.
On our way back we passed a horse drawn cart loaded with slabs of "reclaimed" tarmac. Clearly this valuable resource was being recycled, as everything is in Romania....

No comments: