Into The Shell
Jeff Randall, the Daily Telegraph's business columnist, has today published a typically honest and forthright column on the UK's pensions crisis, entitled 'How pensions treasure has slipped from our grasp'.
Unlike many others, Randall has the guts to the spread the blame for the crisis in five equal measures; between Labour administrations; Conservative administrations; avaricious pension scheme operators; fund managers; and the regulators.
Yet such honesty only brings home the really shocking truth about the crisis; it was entirely avoidable. That is its great shame; an explosive mixture of the destructive ideologies of both left and right, greed and wilful failure to follow the most basic rules of prudent investment has resulted in the futures of many British people looking very bleak indeed.
As for myself, I am reconciled to working until I die. My own pension arrangements are unsatisfactory, I have neither the drive nor aptitude to run a business and it is highly unlikely that anyone's going to be offering me a good pensionable job anytime soon, with an increasing pool of young graduate labour (in itself a consequence of both Labour and Conservative maladministration) and a labour market rigged in favour of the foreigner over the native. The limits of my talents seem to extend only to banging out crapulous and repetitive weblog entries; and by their blogs shall ye know them.
Yet, without wishing to sound in need of urgent psychiatric treatment, virtually everything one writes is motivated by something best described as amorphous love of the nation. I can vividly recall hearing Peter Hitchens describe himself as a 'British patriot', on an edition of 'Question Time' broadcast from Cardiff in 2003, and thinking that it seemed glaringly immodest, not the sort of phrase one should use to describe oneself.
However with all British political movements now geared to hanging on to the fictional 'centre ground', but in reality offering only different shades of big-state-big-business neoconservatism, one can't help but wonder why any of their leaders have gone into British public life.
They all possess very vivid authoritarian streaks. They are all 'internationalist', which seems to mean little other than greater interest in alleviating suffering abroad than at home. They are more interested in abetting absolute any policy which advances the chimera of 'globalisation' rather than in ensuring the United Kingdom can stand on its own feet by growing the food it eats and producing whatever it consumes through manufacturing; while the Armed Forces, funded by us for the defence of the realm, are deployed to ensure that other societies are fractured along cultural and ethnic lines in order to try and make them more like us, when they have not subjected to themselves to the same stresses and influences which got us to where we are now.
It hasn't worked. It was never going to work.
We owed Iraq nothing prior to 2003. Thanks to our abetting in the country's destuction, we do now.
Where do we fit into all this? Down there, on the bottom, in our place. And I can't think of a time in recent British history when the interests of the governing seem to diverge so markedly from the interests of the governed.
Forget them all. The Britain they have made is just like them, ugly and vicious; and they can keep it. If that means one must reside in the Britain of one's mind, so be it. Let the mandarins play for now - our day will come.