Horse racing is not something I have ever been into, only taking a casual interest in reports on the big events. This is despite living in several places equipped with race courses which were within walking distance from home. This may be due to meanness of spirit in the reluctance to be parted from my money too easily.
One of my favourite Epsom Derby winners was “Airborne” in 1946, when the race returned to Epsom after the war. A horse widely regarded as inferior it started at 50 to 1 against, its backers being mainly present and former paratroopers who had served in the Airborne divisions betting only out of loyalty to the name.
It was to the delight of many of us that they took the bookies to the cleaners. That night
was an interesting town to be going out for a drink. Like the winner today, the horse was trained
and there was some local money on the nose. Ireland
The name of today’s winner is “Camelot”, drawn from Arthurian legend as the palace of the Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur, Lancelot and all the rest. It is an idealised legend of a court that has wealth, power and chivalry. The horse was trained by Aidan O’Brien of the Coolmore Stud in
. County Tipperary
So the Irish may have won the
(again) but their government has lost the money wars. In the vote on the issue of Fiscal Union
within the EU just over half the electorate voted with a majority of around 60
to 40 to accept what amounts to unconditional surrender to the European money
This means only 30% or so of the actual electorate; those who did not vote are assumed to have simply given up hope. It is not looking good however, because the Fiscal Union assumes that there will be a Euro and there are increasing doubts on this.
If the EU having established such a fiscal union finds itself without a common currency then quite how it might manage a political entity with twenty or more different currencies is a question that defeats me. There are grounds to suspect it will defeat the EU as well.
In the meantime the Scottish National Party, its previous ideas about currencies now in disarray is talking about continuing to retain the pound as a currency and will insist on being represented on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. Does anyone see a grim irony about this?
UK is not independent at the moment, if Scotland does break from Westminster
there is the prospect of a real muddle here between what might go on with Brussels and in money terms .
Quite what will emerge from this shambles cannot be predicted. London
The ghost of Sir William Paterson (see Wikipedia) hovers over most of this. One of the founders and then Director of the Bank of England until 1695 he took his Darien Project to
to raise the money for this venture
to found a new colony and caused one of the worst financial crashes in history
which led directly to the Act of Union. Edinburgh
There are other historical references. Back in
, amongst the
horses owned by the Coolmore Stud in the past was one named “Holy Roman
Emperor” which failed to be a runner and it is possible to see the EU as an
attempt to revive the old Holy Roman Empire.
Another was named “George Washington” which proved infertile when it came to reproducing at stud. No comment is necessary on this one as a comparison with the present state of the
But there may be an answer. Another of the horses was “Rip Van Winkle”. If you do not know the Washington Irving tale check it out in Wikipedia. He was a man who went to sleep for twenty years and missed the American Revolution.
It is a fable for our times, if we just go to sleep for twenty years and dream we were all in King Arthur’s Camelot.