At the End of the Day

The key to recovery is zig-zagging about.

Zig-zagging, it seems to me, is the new recovering. Yesterday in The Times, serial liar and fugitive from justice Alistair Campbell previewed his forthcoming TV documentary about alcohol abuse by saying that he used to be an alcoholic zig-zagging about getting Labour elected under false pretences….but now he’s a recovering alcoholic making documentaries under false pretences – documentaries that somehow omit to mention the words Tessa Jowell (and the 24/7 piss-artistry she ushered in) entirely.

Chemical Ali wrote movingly – in a bowel-movingly, vomit-inducing manner about how he’d been to A&E – oh yes he had – and seen the effects of alcohol abuse on the already overworked staff. But somehow again, he couldn’t bring himself to mention that a  braindead Labour ‘Culture’ Minister had caused a good 40% of it. In case you missed it Mr Campbell, that’s the increase in A&E alcohol-related injuries since Jessie Towels wrought her good works.

Alistair Campbell really is a bit of an old tosspot, is he not? He has just noticed that the real drink problem in the UK lies with the age group 45-75, and he wants to share that with all of us, while bleeding all over the Red Carpet about his distressingly difficult past spent inventing lies about Tory Ministers and Weapons of Mass Distraction. Except that the truth is, he told most of his lies about Saddam’s weaponry and David Mellor’s preferred shagging kit while he was stone-cold sober.

However, poor old Alistair is about five years behind the music – and not really paying attention. As his new fab documentary will quite rightly point out, by far the biggest and most vulnerable demographic when it comes to booze is mine – and those half a generation behind me. However, given the complete balls New Labour made of our country, its quality of life in general, and its aged care in particular, I’d be willing to bet 10,000-1 that the Campbellicose person will not be reaching  the obvious conclusions that we get pissed all the time (a) to forget the entire ghastly experience and (b) so as not to become a burden upon our already impoverished children. Well that’s my excuse, anyway.

The day before, Bank of England Governor and Mr Mole impressionist Mervyn King said that pretty soon the economy would be alright, it just needed to do a bit of zig-zagging in order to get itself ready for recovery. Soon, he opined, the UK economy would be a recovering economy; I was left wondering if this might be like a recovering alcoholic who (by his own admission) is very likely to fall back into depression bingeing at any moment.

Either way, I’m not entirely brought into the King fold by the idea of economies that zig-zag. I wasn’t born then, but my Dad used to talk about wartime convoys zig-zagging in order to avoid torpedoes. This may be a parallel that hadn’t occurred to Merv, but it certainly feels uncomfortably accurate to me. During his press conference, I found his references to the European Bunion across the Channel rather scant. Given that the EU is our biggest trading partner – and about to go into All Silent Stop – this had the makings of an unfortunate oversight.

But by the end of his media session, it was the lack of detailed plans about the foundations of recovery that left me asking for more. Depth charges worked very well against German U-Boats, but it was hard to see how we might charge out of the depths unto which thirty years of rubbish economics, City bankers, and Scottish one-eyed idiots have delivered  us.

This is the truly frustrating thing about Mervyn King: one always feels that he is just dying to say what he really thinks. But then he merely thinks what everyone is dying to say……and utters bollocks about zig-zagging.

Other things zig-zagging about are, of course, the German U-Boats themselves. But the most important fact to grasp about Das Berlinerboot is that it zags when all others zig. Thus everyone else in the World thinks we should stimulate EU economies and find the easiest way out of unwarranted debt, whereas Berlin thinks we should economise – and teach ClubMed a lesson by making debt repayment as difficult as possible.

I am the first to accept that solving our fiscal and economic problems is not a popularity contest, but I draw the line at taking Greece hostage. In particular, it seems to me that having renegade U-008 Schauble on the loose with a mission to sink the Greek Islands one by one isn’t that sensible. To send the right sort of message to other ezoners, U-001 Merkel should be dispatched to destroy the Paralympic maverick. Otherwise, it would surely be entirely reasonable to reach the conclusion that Wolfpack Schauble has the approval of the Fuhrerine.

And we really don’t want to believe that now, do we?