Sunday, 17 March 2013

How And How Not To Be Busy

Yesterday, Saturday, we found ourselves close to one of the BBC’s leading political reporters.  Out of deference to Lord Leveson, his best friend Hugh Grant and other followers it would be wise to not to mention the occasion or identity. 

In any case I do not want him turning up with a camera crew at my place to deride my view expressed in 1951 that Clement Davies and the then Liberal Party might be the better electoral option.  That one went very badly wrong.

The occasion was one where jealousy, deceit, politics, oppression, religion, torture, violence against women, murder, treachery and violent deaths were being enjoyed by all.  It must have been a relaxation and relief for him as a break from life in the Westminster Village and possibly truer to real life these days.

After returning and remembering there were rugby internationals, the TV was switched on to more thud and blunder.  Wales were winning and in a way that reminded me of the long, over thirty year period, when England failed to win in Cardiff.

There were times when they might have won.  One I recall was that when two points up and in the dying seconds of the game one of the England centre’s wandered offside directly in front of the posts.  He gave away a penalty and the game. 

Later we put on the just acquired Van Cliburn CD of the only performance he ever gave in England, on the afternoon of Sunday 7th June 1959.  A celebrity occasion, but somehow I had got my hands on tickets and was there.  He was certainly good.

1959 was a year when I made it to Cardiff Arms Park for the Wales v England game.  The weather was filthy wet and it was a grim struggle hugging the touchlines and won by Wales late by a converted try, the only score.  But the memory made me think of costs.

As I was not playing because of injury then, a treat was called for.  So I bought a ticket on a special Pullman train from London Paddington to Cardiff and back with lunch and dinner on the train and a ticket for the match included.  It cost five guineas.  The ticket for the Cliburn concert was just under a pound.

When you think of the likely cost of trying to do the same today it comes as a shock to realised how devalued the currency has become if you look at real equivalents.  Also, because of other things whilst many prices have “fallen” in real times there are a lot where the real costs have been edging up.

The wonder is that so few of us realise the distortions and impact the changing values and structures of the financial system have had on the economy and society.  Has it all really been such “good news”?

One thing does seem to have happened and for all the advances we have less leisure and are a lot busier.  With a hat tip to one of The Young Ones who sent the link, this item is a half humorous, half serious, half provoking and half stimulating item:

Yes, I know you can’t have four halves, but you have to allow for inflation.

1 comment:

  1. "Has it all really been such “good news”?"

    No, although we have to remember that there has been some good news. I think the problem lies with seeing so many negative trends.