While the new improved decisive Super Brown may have saved us plunging through a crack in the ice, it does look like we are going to be, at the very least, be slowly lowered into an uncomfortable recession. What with Steve Davis playing snooker on BBC2 again, it can’t be long before the mullet makes a revival. The jobs are already going.
Germans are rediscovering Marx. Americans are rediscovering Keynes. Britons are rediscovering Tony Benn. He was on the radio tonight arguing for a program of council house building. It’s possibly the least annoying thing I’ve heard him say this century.
Schadenfreude is over-rated. When Lehmans fell, a comment was made here that while few shed tears for bankers, it had to be remembered than other workers at the bank were losing their jobs. It’s a point that can be made about the wider economy as the recession kicks in. Facebook groups celebrating pictures of sad bankers are all well and good, but let’s not forget that the people who are really going to suffer in the next few months are working families who may lose their jobs, and potentially their homes.
Jonathan Freedland says today “The financial tsunami has given us this if nothing else – a chance to start again” and he cites Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria’s admission that he craved the chance to experience the kind of event “one reads about in books. Well, this is it”.
I suspect neither Freedland or Zakaria will either be forced to “start again”, or “experience” the full force of the recession. Serene they will float above the melee, as though this was an intellectual game. Which, for them, it is.