Where the world is headed gets more obvious every day in more and more ways. Two examples from yesterday, for example, were landing gear that didn’t land, and Government success by numbers. Very different stories, but very similar endings.
For some reason, I found the interesting (but uninterested) Spitfire snippet from yesterday’s Daily Telegraph oddly magnetic: ‘a Spitfire crashed on a runway when its landing gear collapsed on landing’. When a noun meets an imperfect verb, what you get is a crash. It’s yer unforeseen circumstances, innit? Well actually no, it isn’t: the Spit must be at least 65 years old, so it would’ve made eminent sense to check the landing gear before getting up in the air and then – obviously – needing to land again. Research shows, landing gear that folds just as one starts the landing manoeuvre is not fit for purpose. An entirely foreseeable consequence of being too much of a dingbat to check the mothering landing gear is that, sooner rather than later, the bloody plane will crash land as a result of being deficient in the gear, landing, for the use of. It’s about as unforeseen as pregnancy following rampant bareback sex between a sperm-rich bloke and an ovulating girlie.
Shift this scenery onto a macro stage, and one gets a sense of the sheer multiplicity of obvious consequences that are being ignored. The fact that Osborne had not the faintest glimmer of an idea about how to stimulate one part of the economy while massacring another. The painfully, blindingly obvious fact that Clubmed fiscal austerity would have disastrous economic and social effects….and fail utterly to work. The fact that the US deficit is out of control, and why raising ceilings will never be a substitute for underpinning. The fact that if the West hasn’t even got the money to buy ten billion solar garden lights any more, China is going to have a hard landing – and (almost certainly) nobody’s checked the landing gear.
Where it gets really mystifying however, is when those charged with sorting stuff out favour quantity of explosion over quality of analysis. Tim Geithner’s bazooka was firing blanks, but everyone seemed impressed by the idea of leveraging zero into $2.5 trillion. Giving Greece a whopping €120bn made people feel great for a while, but we’re now at $620bn and counting – when a simple debt write-off plus cancellation of some Franco-German munitions orders would’ve at least solved the fiscal problem. And while Camerlot’s savings of £18bn thus far look impressive to the markets, the reality bummer here is that the UK admin spends and deficit are still going up, and the banks have cost us twenty times that (to no economic effect whatever) over the same period. But once again, £437bn is a big number. Big is good. Big means cheap bonds. Cheap bonds cut the cost of drowning, but I’m unclear as to why the cost element is that important to the guy whose lungs are filling up with stuff that isn’t oxygen.
Anyway, yesterday the “coalition” we don’t really have in Britain moved the game on a few yards. It changed the medium of explosive action from fantasy money to fabulous measures. ‘Cameron and Clegg set out 180 measures to take Coalition to 2015′ wrote the press, with a minimalist level of interrogation about why 180 measures might do any good, or indeed what they were. It’s possible the markets will be impressed, and lenders stimulated, by gay marriages in church, and some of us will enjoy trying to establish what the correlation between those elements, if any, might be going forward. I’m just tickled by the idea of one measure every four days being the answer.
The MSM, to be fair, did highlight a few other measures beyond the Church celebrating bum action. They included rapid movement, supporting reviews, seeking cross-party planning agreements, accelerating rates, expanding the good, ensuring fair collection, delivering less evasion, introducing more, and – my particular favourite – registering the sheer amount of lobbying money that’s busy corrupting the entire political process. If the pimp is paying the girls to distract the dick-obsessives, you can bet the farm that an audit of what they get paid will bring that sort of nonsense to an immediate halt. The immortal George Carlin would’ve had a ball with this stuff.
But listen, don’t knock it: it is a measure of our government that 180 measures will take place. Together, they will measure up the country for its suit of sackcloth, and eventually everyone will finally understand the measurement table. That is, there are 180 measures to an election, two elections in a circle, and one circle in a Monty Pythonic Flight. The only problem being, it still isn’t time for something completely different to emerge from it all.