oh, well, whatever . . .

le rêve de l’horloger

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The bomb exploded, as we always knew it would. The pieces scattered everywhere, from Throgmorton Street to Canary Wharf, or maybe from Wall Street to Cannery Row. And Gordon seems surprisingly chuffed, because it can be made to look like someone else’s fault. Now he can bustle smugly around Old Blighty or Gay Paris playing the part of the only real clocksmith on the block. We all know that Dave and Nick couldn’t change a plug. Pass the man his eyeglass and bring him the springs and cogs. This is no time for a novice. 

Surprisingly deft neo-liberal leger de main from the Kirkaldy Clutz, you might think. A real touch of vintage Blairism, turning a crisis into an opportunity, making the past disappear up the sleeve of mere misfortune. Hey, look guys, it doesn’t matter now who lit the fuse, what matters now is who can put the thing back together again, right? Not all of Dave’s horses or all of Nick’s men, that’s for sure. So Gordon now takes centre stage in a restoration fairy tale written by New Labour PR men. It may look to you like he gave away the family cow for a handful of unregulated globalised magic beans – although, no, in fact it was stolen from him by rustlers, demons, Icelandic trolls, house devils from the Mid-West, short trading sprites, nasty hobgoblins of every stripe – but let’s not talk about that in any case. Let’s talk now about how the doughty Gordon will defeat the giant in heaven and bring us back wealth beyond our wildest dreams. Only Gordon can repair this mess and bring order back to the world. This is his destiny, the mantle only he can wear, to be the man who mends the broken clock of prosperity. It would be churlish to deny him his chance of a redemption narrative. (It flashed into my mind just now that Gordon belongs in a Conrad novel. Tony on the other hand is a lot more P. G. Wodehouse, I think.)

So this is Gordon’s Churchill moment. The Credit Crunch to him is what the Falklands War was to Thatcher. But in the real world ordinary people just look bewildered and afraid. It would be a mistake now for Gordon if he tried to tell us things aren’t as bad as they seem. It helps now if ordinary people imagine a vast catastrophe. Time for our dark robot to tell them what’s happened is exactly that. Time to tell them it will take no less than a miracle now to ever make things work again. And time to tell them their luck’s in, a saviour walks among them. St Gordon of the Bail Out, no less.  

I couldn’t sleep last night.  I dreamt I was in Fort William. I was riding The Jacobite to Mallaig. I was with Alice McTavish and we were nibbling on celery sticks, dipping them into houmous and gaucamole, chatting quietly about W. G. Gillies, the Glasgow Boys and Adam Smith, and watching the wild places slipping by.  Somewhere between Glenfinnan and Mallaig the train was derailed by bandits, a gang of hermit crabs. One by one they took everyone on the train captive and carried us all back to their giant shell where we were made to work until the end of time making shortbread for export to China.

It’s just as Gordon says, we are living in extraordinary times.


Written by yammering

October 13, 2008 at 10:48 pm

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