Wednesday 17 October 2012

Who's On First?

With Obama and Romney doing their Abbott and Costello (see Wikipedia and Youtube) tribute act, and not very well, the Polish Football Authorities failing to close the stadium roof during torrential rain causing a crucial match with England to be postponed, the British Government refusing to extradite a wanted man to the USA, and yet more fiddling with the price indexes and benefits to rob the pensioners the newsrooms are busy.

Add to that figures suggesting that there are now more employed in the UK than ever before, thousands of job vacancies in home caring going begging despite other figures of high unemployment amongst the young and many other matters rich with confusion, there were other things to think about.

One was renewing the home insurance.  Once it was so simple, a cheerful helpful chap would knock on the front door, be greeted by the lady of the house holding her purse, a few bob would change hands, books marked up to date and all would be well.

Now I am looking at more documentation than it took to move an armoured division, they are filled with options and complexities that need a Ph.D in something obscure, like linguistics, to decipher and the sum involved for the annual fee would have bought me a decent terraced house in a prosperous town sixty years ago.

Luckily, the insurance company I deal with is relatively user friendly, it can be negotiated with by telephone and one is not committed to the horrors of doing business on the internet.  There anything can happen and does.

I kid you not, as Costello might have said.  Going through the papers I came across the rent book for 1946.  For a terrace house in a respectable location, two beds, bathroom, hot and cold running water, electricity and gas, close to trams and buses and work, it was just less than £1 a week, or £49 a year. 

Using the web to search for a 2012 equivalent, same sort of terrace house, it is £6000 a year and far less than London prices.  Were I to look there, I would find that to buy such a house in a central location today would cost as much as taking over a major company in 1946. 

The world has gone mad and our rulers madder than any Abbott and Costello extreme verbal slapstick.  Our retired generals, instead of simply doing good and running their home localities as well as occasionally writing to “The Times” are now hired hands for arms companies wanting the government to buy bigger but not necessarily better weaponry.

The police forces and their representative bodies having become politicised have now become political in turn and are beginning to want a say in who may or may not be in the government depending on whether they tick the right responsiveness boxes.  They are in company with the Trade Unions who want to go back to the good old days of who runs the Labour Party and why.

The big story is the cat fight, for real, between the cat, called Freya, belonging to George Osborne, our Chancellor of The Exchequer and the one, called Larry, belonging to David Cameron our Prime Minister.  Freya is named after the Nordic goddess whose golden apples sustained the Gods, no Freya, no Gods. 

But Osborne, as we know is a fan of Richard Wagner and The Ring Cycle, so is he hoping for some sort of intervention from the ancient gods of The North to bring the economy around or for them to find more fracking fields, preferably in Labour or Liberal Democrat held constituencies?.

However, Larry, more ominously, is the name of one of The Three Stooges (see Wikipedia and Youtube) the wonderful comedy trio o the mid 20th Century.  He is a rather scatter brained, impulsive and unreliable character who you would not put in charge of anything.  But who are Curly and Mo?  Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch?

It is time for my coffee break, but not Starbucks.


  1. "The world has gone mad and our rulers madder than any Abbott and Costello extreme verbal slapstick."

    It has and it will get worse unless we do something about complexity. Dishonesty too, but complexity often hides dishonesty.

  2. "just less than £1 a week, or £49 a year"

    No doubt.

    Did you check what a working man's wage was in 1946?

    It's not prices going up, it's paper money going down.