Poor, dear Prince Charles. He thought there’d be oysters laid on when he got on the London Tube system yesterday, but then had to be shown how to use an Oyster loyalty card. After you’ve just squeezed a lemon on them, they don’t work that well. It was all a bit of a pr disaster really, especially when somebody asked him how he “felt” about abdication. I’d imagine he’s dead keen on the idea for Mummy, but not for him. Chuck might yet trump his great uncle, and abdicate before he’s crowned. Anyway, he declared himself “interested in the idea”, a remark he may live to regret.
One person clearly not interested at all in the Falkland Islanders is Argentine foreign minister Héctor Timerman, who rebuffed William Hague’s offer of a meeting about the ‘Malvinas’ in London on the grounds that representatives of the Island would be there. “The international community does not accept a third party in this dispute,” he said, illustrating right off the bat that he could be profoundly mad. The people who live on an island with disputed sovereignty are hardly third Parties….but it does go to show yet again how the ‘élite’ thinks….as per the Slogpost of last night, there’s a ménage a trois in play, and we’re just the Third Party. I don’t want to be a LibDem, not for all the sheep in Port Stanley.
You may wonder why it is that many Argentinians have funny names like Juan Hitler, Rodrigo de Jones and Mariano Ulyanov, and the answer is that, over the last century, the place has been a safe haven for all kinds of unsavoury people from regimes with, shall we say, a somewhat controlling nature. In turn, its own leaders like Juan Peron and General Galtieri often displayed a penchant for making people disappear. Lord knows where Héctor Timerman’s genes started out, but I’d wager it was closer to Düsseldorf than Buenos Aires. Not perhaps the safest high ground from which to preach about nationality, but there you are. Talking of odd names, veteran Slogger Hector Morph is about to attempt the world’s first sail-only voyage on a lawnmower from Durban in South Africa to Cape Town. It’s the sort of plucky thing we Brits do, so I wish Hecky bon voyage and good luck from all of us here at Slogger’s Roost.
The Financial Times remains a very pale shadow of the oracular organ it once was. Being a pink organ, it is perhaps not surprising that increasing numbers of people I respect think it is written largely by dicks. Its daily output of Business as Usual nonsense does I’m afraid add weight to this impression. The only truly grounded and original thinker in the place is Gillian Tett, and so of course she’s been shipped off to run the American operation. What a waste.
This leaves us with the likes of Philip Stephens, whose piece this morning about the euro is not so much a hostage to fortune as a prisoner of certainty. Referring to those who doubt the euro’s survival as ‘gloomsters’, Phil opens with this pearler of an observation…in which I’ve highlighted the bollocks for ease of incomprehension:
‘The euro crisis has receded, leaving behind quite a lot of egg on (mostly) Anglo-Saxon faces. For much of 2012 the air was thick with predictions of imminent catastrophe. Brits and Americans were in the vanguard of the gloomsters. In the event, reports of the demise of the single currency proved greatly exaggerated.
‘The most ardent europhile would struggle to argue that European governments have met all the big economic tests. The continent still boasts precious little growth, chronic unemployment and a pile of public debt. The banks are in far from rude health, and there are political battles aplenty ahead. That said, finance ministers no longer spend every waking hour checking the spreads on sovereign debt. Private funding is flowing back towards the periphery.’
Not once anywhere in the piece does Mr Stephens acknowledge that gross misconduct, illegal subordination of creditors, bribery, printing money, smoke, mirrors and pauperised citizens are the sole reasons why the euro has ‘survived’. The euro has only kept going by an extraordinary act of fiscal cannibalism: basically, through eating what created it. What it does when the cupboard’s bare remains an unknown – although not one that seems to bother the author.
As for the drivel in red, the crisis hasn’t receded, it’s simply been ignored; the parlous state of the currency is actually greatly underestimated; not a single European government has met any of the big economic tests; the public debt is a Himalayan peak not a pile; most eurozone banks are insolvent – especially in France, Greece and Spain; and any funding dribbling into ClubMed is from the ECB, the EFSF, the ESM, and doubtless many other slush funds beginning with e.
‘High quality global journalism requires investment’ the FT tells every blogger giving this paywalled junk a plug. It does indeed chummy, and I suggest you get to it. Bring back Tett, that’s what I say.
Meanwhile, back at the ether that purports to be David Cameron, Military chiefs are accusing the Prime Minister of reneging on a deal to increase spending, purely ‘to satisfy his chancellor’. Moving in his customarily mysterious way, Dave has been to Libya (again) and talked a lot about doing more to help the country, which is temporarily
dithering about with developing a functioning democracy after decades of dictatorship. There remains talk in some quarters of the PM having ‘business interests’ in Libya – and thus having something of a personal concern about who winds up running the place, now that Gadaffi lies in an unmarked grave somewhere. I couldn’t possibly comment on this, but anyone who can, the address as always is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And the point of all this is….the media are largely interested in royalty, celebrity, sovereignty, currency and the military. In demonstrating this, they almost always miss the point.
Onwards and upwards, then.