Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sandals and suits

Oink. Oink

A funny old week. Wall Street took a catastrophic dive that could have put an end to capitalism as we know it, and the European Union has begun struggling to stop the mighty Euro itself following Greece down the plughole. And at parish-pump level,the United Kingdom is tottering on the edge of financial disaster too.

Readers in the United Kingdom will know that Her Majesty's Government is not currently all that it might be. Indeed, following last Thursday's General Election, some might say that we now have the best kind of Government of all – none at all.

Constitutionally that is not strictly true. We still have the previous Prime Minister in post (Gordon Brown), and all his Ministers, including those who have failed to retain their Parliamrntary seats, and nobody else is yet offering to form a replacement government. It could stay like this for ages, were everyone not so terrified of what the 'money markets' will do to our rudderless country when trading starts again after the weekend. As I write this, the sun is already coming up like thunder out of China and it can't be many hours now till the stock exchanges start trading in the Far East. Something is going to have to be cobbled together PDQ, not for the sake of the voters of course but for the financial sector – and for the politicians.

They have been horse-trading all day and whatever they come up with is unlikely to represent what most voters of any party thought that they were voting for. It will be the product of men is suits in smoke-free rooms (no woman involved, I gather), demanding and conceding what they think their party-members outside in the real world might be persuaded to stomach.

The word at the moment has it that the likely outcome will be an extraordinary alliance between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Oil and water – or are they? Out in the country, it is easy to characterise the Tories (Conservatives) as 'suits' and the Lib-Dems as 'sandals', Both stereotypes are self-explanatory, two irreconcilable cultures. In the smoke-free rooms, however, the distinction may be far harder to see.

Banish the though of the closing scene of Animal Farm.

And what about disabled children and adults, their families, and the cash to pay those who work for them? I doubt that this will have been a matter of consideration! Rest assured, however, that their fate hangs upon what comes out of all this talk – and  then on whether it works!

Animal Farm

The 1954 British animation by Holas and Batchelor
And yes, Halas was a Magyar

The famous conclusion in George Orwell's book, is faithfully represented in the film:
  • 'The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.'

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