The desk I sit at is grey in parts and brown wood effect in others. The parts that are brown are where I rest my hands most frequently – around the keyboard and mouse – because once upon a time, before I came to sit here, someone decided – in an ill fated attempt at modernisation – to paint this desk grey. So, each day I must sit, write what I must write, then carefully peel the flakes of grey paint from my palms, as the brown mass continues to spread. I can’t do much about it; I could remove everything from the desk and strip it back to the original brown, but it seems like a painful waste of my time to only return something to the old; I could re-paint it grey, but I could never match the colour exactly and it will likely peel off again in the near future. My dilemma – trivial as it may be – highlights the plight of Alistair Darling and the future of this small island.
The Chancellor is doomed. He cannot regress to the old, nor can he hope to patch up the new. His hands are sullied like mine, but unlike me, he cannot simply wash away the dirt and leave the problem to deteriorate. No! He must fix everything—we demand it so! Luck is all Darling has now. After all, politicians only get right the things they’ve been doing for years about half of the time, so to rectify a problem that has never happened in their entire lifetime is a real longshot. I can’t see it happening. Brown’s borrow and spend tactic seems to have failed – like pouring liquid money into a drain – and now we (you and me!) will be lumped with the payback of this mad, Vegas-style, high stakes betting.
More concerning to me though, is how this dreadful and expensive future existence will be managed, because, although there may be changes to the economy – tax hikes, tax cuts, tax the rich, tax booze and fags, don’t tax the poor etc – if these spread bets are to be successful, then they must be accompanied by a change of attitude in those that control them.
If The Apprentice is to be taken as “not just a game show: a business school.” as The Sunday Times described it, then we’re truly fucked. When every other TV programme is recession orientated: ‘Make cheap meals’, ‘Buy cheap clothes’, ‘Grow your own home’ etc, The Apprentice relentlessly bulldozes through the zeitgeist, dishing out all the hate filled, cut throat, survival-of-the-biggest-bastard mentality that got us into this financial sink hole in the first place.
The contestants are smug, self centred, morons, creating pointless shit to sell to people who don’t need or want their shit, who are then appraised on their shit, by a shit, then invited to stay if they can be more of a conniving, back-stabbing shit than the shit sat next to them.
Yet apparently these people are the cream of the UK’s entrepreneurial business minds. These are the people that will be in positions of power; the decision makers of our future. They are probably not evil people, but they are moulded that way by a potent capitalist system that, no matter how much it adapts, will always reward the most narcissistic. You can see the success of the system all around; we suffer tax increases, while elite bankers pick up bonuses, we bail out the banks, while MPs claim second home expenses. Those at the top will always exploit those below, as that is the nature of how they got to be at the top.
So, the political Apprentice is hotting up, with David Cameron taking the lead by cleverly hyping yesterday’s ill fated budget as the ‘Day of Reckoning’ – which has passed with little change for you or I – but has garnered some much needed points for the Conservative team (I’m sure Alan Sugar would approve). I will continue to watch both the televised and real life versions of the show unfold, whilst picking the paint from my hands and watching the deterioration (of the desk?).