Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sunday Morning Rant (While Listening to the Blues)

It is Sunday morning in the middle of May, early, it's raining and its a bit chilly. How terribly British that is. Normally I would have the radio on now to go with my cup of tea but I really don't want to turn it on because it means listening to the news. Usually this doesn't bother me, but I've had enough of it this week. So here I am, huddled in front of the computer early Sunday morning with a nasty wind picking up outside and listening to a Murphy's Saloon Blues Podcast, which is putting me in a better frame of mind.

The reason the radio is no good this morning is because it is not only the news that is banging on about MPs fiddling their expenses, it seems to be finding it's way into almost any live programme and everybody has got something to say about it. I'm going say my bit on the subject, and I should point out at the offset that if I were to fiddle my expenses it would be called benefit fraud.

So you can tell, whatever I say is coming from a position somewhere near the bottom of the pile, there has been no place in our lives for luxuries like holidays and cars for a few years now, our personal financial downturn, recession and credit crunch predates the current world wide problem, if any one had bothered to look down and ask I could have told them what was coming.

If I am to believe what I keep hearing, everybody is now short of money, feeling the pinch loosing their jobs and their homes and can no longer afford to run their cars. Everybody? I don't believe that, what everybody has done is jump on the bandwagon. Who in Britain has ever been willing to say exactly how much money they have coming in? Times are bad are they? Well I see a lot of comfortable two car families around here and this is by no means way a well heeled area. Sure, shops have closed down, not surprisingly they are the shops that never appeared to do much business anyway, anybody still missing Woolworth for its range of goods or is it just nostalgia for Pick'n'Mix?

As a nation I don't think we've ever been that willing to disclose our income and we all know that an 'Englishman's home is his castle' and some still surrounded by moats apparently, apologies to the rest of the UK, but you know what I am getting at. I feel awkward writing about this, I'm no expert, obviously, and I am coming from an obviously biased position, ie. it can't really get much worse for us, we hit the bottom a few years ago, we've become accustomed to living hand to mouth. It hasn't done us any harm, in fact it has made us stronger. A good old fashioned socialist upbringing probably helped as well, life was a lot harder and more impoverished when I was a kid!

So a bunch of well educated middle class social climbers who've got themselves elected into the ruling class are fiddling their expenses, big surprise, what do you expect, they've been doing it for years, power corrupts, I thought we all new that. I note that this little round of indiscretions dates back to some rule tweaking in the eighties, remind me, who was in power then, oh yes, no surprises there then.

The sun has started to shine, that's a surprise.

How is it we know all the grisly details of MP's expense claims? Why, the press and the media of course, who else but the two bodies so well known for never having putting together a spurious expenses claim in their collective lives! Ok, I know they are not all bad, there are good members of parliament and there are good journalists and wouldn't it be nice if they could get together and put a bit of balance back into government and the reporting of it. Too much to hope for I guess, too many vested interests and too many axes to grind I suppose but it is certain that some other crisis or atrocity will occur sometime over the next couple of weeks and all this will take a back seat, remember swine flu?

That's it, got that off my chest, now I can get on with banging on about the weather, slugs and the appalling provision for adults with autism, all far more important subjects than a few journalists feathering their nests by reporting on a few politicians feathering there nests....ah, Muddy Waters...

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