Although it may sound like a breakfast cereal, Credit Crunch is actually Journalese for The Huge Big Massive Recession that Britain (Best Country in The World tm) is plunging into quicker than you can say 'Don't put a Wind Turbine in my Back Yard, I want a Nuclear Power Plant Instead'. While Gordon Brown, the Labour Leader, and David Cameron, his Opposing Conservative Leader, are busy giving interviews about the brilliant Olympic success (and it is a great series of achievements) of the Scottish, Afro Caribbean and Scouse athletes who represent Britain, the Housing Market, which as far as anyone can tell is the only industry left in the UK, (apart from the Financial Services Sector, which does not count as in industry anyway because no-one actually makes anything) is crashing through the floor, apparently determined not to stop until it reaches Australia, a country that Britain(as we quickly tire of hearing) roundly thrashes in the medals table at Beijing.
We are treated to a series of interviews which show our politicians in their worst light. Worst that is, if, in respect of a very, very long list of infinitely negative personal, moral and ethical attributes, the laws of Physics allow an absolute worst. Interviews that would verge on the enigmatic, if the interviewees were not so repulsive. The problem with these interviews, is that our politicians, in common with the androids that inhabit JobCentre PlusOne, are responsible for nothing, not even success. In the case of the Olympics, this results in our odious Prime Minister, smugly basking in the success of the team, and sportingly refraining from specifically saying that if the Other Lot were in charge we'd have absolutely no sailing medals at all. He does manages to imply it by repeating the line "this is not a day for politics, it is about Team GB", but magnamity prevails and he absolutely refuses to be obviously seen claiming the success as a Party success.
Among the press, the sportsmen and women, and commentators, there is broad agreement that the Investment In Sport referred to by the various politicians comes from the millions and millions of pounds generated by the National Lottery(created in 1994) and pumped into British Sport is beginning to deliver results. Indeed, the consensus goes, the previous laissez faire attitude of Governments to sport, an attitude now in practice in Canada, delivers nothing, as the poor showing of the Canadians, where The Right Miserable Steven Harper has cut sports funding, demonstrates. Left to the 'market' your country's Sport collapses but if you invest in facilities and training then, even in the aggressive, cut-throat, multi-billion dollar industry that is global Sports, you will succeed.
British politicians return from Beijing to the official start of what has been called "the worst recession in 60 years" or the Credit Crunch. True to form, no-one calls it a recession, it is instead 'a global downturn', a 'market correction', a 'set of difficult circumstances', and indeed a 'Credit Crunch'. Apparently, like the Olympics, no-one is responsible - even the Opposition call this a Global Crisis and speak only of how their policies would have just mitigated the circumstances that ordinary people will soon be finding themselves in - while the Labour Government speak gravely about 'helping Britons through these difficult times' as if their last fourteen years of Government have had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that soon there will be millions of ordinary people on the dole, loosing their houses, cancelling vacations, taking below inflation pay-rises and struggling to pay for necessities such as heat, water and light. I wonder, vaguelly, battered by all the bad news, whether an investment (such as the MILLIONS that have been poured into sport) might, in the past, or even now, have been in order. After all, it worked for sport, but the question is answered by the Labour Chancellor who tells us that it is up to the markets to put their own house in order. Effectively, the message is, it is the responsibility of Governments to do nothing.
Over at Large Villas, something snaps. My radio station of choice while rebuilding the property has previously been BBC Radio Four, a station that used to be close in tone and content to CBC's Radio One, but the Olympics, then the Credit Crunch, are the final straws. Where there used to be interesting afternoon plays, and penetrating interviews with feisty politicians, there are now interesting afternoon plays, ceaseless documentaries about Global Warming, Money Box(a financial affairs programme which has recently be entirely about how bad the forthcoming recession is going to be), Women's Hour (mostly about date rape and cervical cancer) and a periodic interviews with our current crop of politicians, people who are as far from feisty as it is possible to get. While Britain used to boast fine orators from all sides of the political spectrum, Churchill, Powell, Tebbit, Heseltine, Hatton, Heffer, Castle, Wilson and that Welsh guy Bevan, there now exists a drab collection of Sociology graduates, asexual clones who seem to speak without opening their mouths at all. I imagine Churchill's famous wartime "We will fight them on the beaches" speech (which if you have not read it, you should because it is brilliant. It can be read here:http://www.presentationhelper.co.uk/winston_churchill_speech_fight_them_on_beaches.htm) in the mouths of one of our modern politicians. Depressingly, in the hands of Blair, Brown or any of the new breed, the modern version of the speech would be more like:
"You now, it really is too much. As Stakeholders in British beaches, and indeed in Britain, per se, the British public, including the Welsh, I have to say by the way that our beaches are the best in the world, and no-one wants to see them messed up any more than I do, or do not, but, we, as a Government, are going to set some pretty stiff targets for the Nazis of where they can and where they simply cannot go, and - if I may finish, no you asked the question, so let me finish please - if, and I say again, if: if the Nazis fail to meet those targets, which we are going to call Beach Accretiation Lesser Landfall Strategy, or BALLS, If they fail to meet those targets, we'll think about installing speed bumps on those beaches, in consultation, of course with the local, and non-local interest groups, including the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (obviously we cannot have speed bumps where cormorants are nesting). I think that strategy, taken as whole, will send a pretty clear message to the rampaging Nazi hordes that this whole Global Domination thing simply will not do."
The language, syntax, tone, message(s), are all just horrible and amount to absolutely nothing being said at all. Which is why I have switched to Radio LIncolnshire. AFter all, if you are going to listen to nothing, you may as well do it comprehensively. Lincolnshire is the county directly south of Hull. It includes the flattest parts of this island, and is mainly rural. Nothing has happened in Lincolnshire, practically ever, and there are no signs that anything is about to happen there. It's cricket team plays in the minor leagues, it has one football team, Lincoln City, who play in soccer's minor leagues and the only exciting thing ever to happen there - the adoption of Lincoln Green by Robin Hood as his gang's colours, happened so long ago that it does not cause a stir. Radio Lincoln provides a soothing mix of mid-Eighties AOR, programmes about Lincolnshire geneaology, and very frequent traffic reports on the one road passing through the county. It is a pleasant reminder that so many of the crises, emergencies and other calamities that are reported on a daily basis in the serious media, are in fact, hyped up by the media who seem to want us to live in continual state of alert, vicariously following every story and requiring us, through phone in shows, to have opinions, and get outraged, and shout that 'something must be done' about all these important 'issues'. The feeling that I get from Radio Lincoln is that it will all go away, and they are probably right.