Bing Crosby* singing a song from the Great Depression seems a long way from where we are now in 2010, but to borrow a phrase, buddy can you spare £80 billion?
I know that at election time, we, the voters, are supposed to ask the difficult questions and receive the collective wisdom of our political masters, even if it bears little resemblance to the policies they then pursue once the ballots have been safely counted.
With a deficit of around £160 billion, you would imagine that the odd £80 billion would come in handy. By almost halving the deficit it would, in fact, help Chancellor Darling or Chancellor Osborne or even Chancellor Cable ( surely some mistake here) to achieve at a stroke what the present Government has said it wants to do over the next 4 years.
I have been away from the office for my daughter’s wedding and have been bemused by the news reaching me in the wilds of Norfolk.
Scientists at the National Academy of Perverse Political Information (NAPPI for short) have been bewildered by the eruption of a yellow cloud of hot air and rehashed policies which emerged from the Coronation Street studios in Manchester during last week.
Unable to make any sense of it at all, the scientists, many of whom have been working flat out until recently on stories about global warming, climate change and the fact that it is all our fault, were pulled off this important task to concentrate on the yellow/orange phenomenon which threatens the future viability of Cameron Airways and the continued existence of the already bankrupt Brown Tours.
It may be this continuing chill frosting up my antennae but I have been a little late and somewhat inaccurate with my April Fool detection this year..
The origin of All Fool’s Day goes back to the late 16th century and the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in France under the reign of Charles 1X. I am not entirely convinced that all the hoaxes and pranks associated with that day can be explained by the fact that people were slow to catch on to the fact that the start of the year had been moved from the end of March to January 1st, and continued to celebrate New Year in April, resulting in the rest of the population calling them April Fools.
Nonetheless the practice of making jokes at the expense of others on April 1st has a wide currency even today in countries as varied as India, Scotland and Italy.
It was, therefore, understandable that I should have been fooled into thinking that recent reports that Easter eggs at Eversheds had fallen fowl (sorry!) of the firm’s equality and diversity policy were part of some seasonal spoof.
In the run up to the General Election, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of policy initiatives aimed at various sections of the electorate. Not altogether surprising when you think that we are approaching the time when, once in each five year period, the people we elect to govern us have to consult us.
We will have to get used to any number of Gordons, Daves and Nicks telling us how they will make it better for us in the next 5 years if we will only mark our cross against their name or symbol. Some of you may also have seen or heard about the recent debate between Alastair, Vince and George and there will be more of those in the next few weeks as the battle hots up to a sterile debate about the economy, who was right about the response to the worst recession in living memory and who has the right (or indeed any) prescription for the country’s ills.
I very much doubt that Ben Elton would find the contents of last week’s meeting of the Commercial Litigation Forum to be suitable material for an episode of Blackadder!
My brief report on the subjects raised was in my post last week entitled “Litigating in the 21st Century“. Many of you will be familiar with the themes of the final series of Blackadder with Edmund and Baldrick in the trenches with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry’s Melchett and the wonderful “Darling” back at base. The frivolity and sheer fun is overshadowed throughout by the grim awareness of what is going to happen and a realisation that, for all their silliness, the men in the trenches are about to go over the top.
Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb were two bad mice. Beatrix Potter conceived the story of how they both created mayhem in the dolls’ house belonging to Lucinda and Jane, while the dolls were out in their pram. When the little girl who owns the dolls’ house discovers the mess, she gets a doll dressed up as a policeman while her more practical nanny sets a mouse trap. The two bad mice have to atone for their naughtiness.
Now we have a report in The Lawyer [Russian Retribution, 31 March, 2010] that two of Russia’s wealthiest men are to face one another in Court in 2011 after lawyers acting for Roman Abramovich failed to persuade Mr Justice Colman to strike out claims by Boris Berezovsky that Abramovich used coercive tactics against his former business partner which Berezovsky alleges caused him billions of pounds in losses.