Throughout my life one of the fixed, immutable, features was the Woolworths in town. It provided my socks, other items and helped to rot my teeth by the sweets on offer.
One large city centre one had a cafeteria of choice with well cooked, serve yourself meals I could afford. It was there, the always shop for many things.
A few years ago it was all gone. The story is a complicated financial one that is related to the many other changes in retailing, money and other things. There are many other features of the past that are gone, but for some reason, Woollies going was a surprise.
This is the story in broad terms. What it did tell me that nothing is forever, or sacred or what else you might call it. But although this will seem strange I have this image as the EU as the Woollies of the international polity. Once desired and admired, then thought to be the future, it started to stutter and crumble.
Its markets no longer began to function or compete properly, the financing began to fail and the accounts no longer added up. People found more and more to complain about and the management went from short term stop gaps to shorter ones. Then we no longer wanted it or needed it.
Are any of our major gambling firms taking bets yet on the year of the EU collapse? Or don't they want to run a book on a certainty?