Life is too serious to be taken too seriously

Interviewed on BBCNews this afternoon in relation to the clinical killing of an Iraqi-born British father and his wife, a grandmother and a French cyclist, the British Ambassador in France attempted to reassure his British audience by saying that the French authorities “are treating this as a very serious murder”.

It’s good to see something being taken seriously. David Cameron seemingly doesn’t take serious graft, serious abuse of Ministerial objectivity, serious tax avoidance, and serious connections to grubby druggy hangouts at all seriously when it comes to promoting Jeremy Hunt to his new job as Secretary for Health. It’s been difficult for some time now to take Mr Cameron seriously, but this latest response to blackmail may land him in more serious trouble.

Equally hard is the task of taking anyone seriously who says they will do “whatever it takes”, and Mario Draghi is the latest face to appear in those particular stocks. The term bailout has been replaced by ECCL, or Enhanced Conditions Credit Line – basically funds to help these countries 100% deficient in funds . The ECCL will come with “full macroeconomic conditionality,” says Draghi, but as yet there are no signs whatever of anyone else suffering the same leeches cure as Greece. Alongside and somehow over and within these ECCLs will run OMTs, or Outright Monetary Transactions. Ourageously Moronic Tinkering would fit just as well, methinks. But IMF super-heroine Chrissie Lagarde says  “We strongly welcome the ECB’s new framework, the OMT, for intervention in the sovereign bond markets of countries in a rescue programme”. It makes these Clubmeds sound like Amy Winehouse in rehab, and probably offers roughly the same chance of success.

As heavyweight Greek commentrice Eleni Tsigante points out, there is something very seriously silly about a Troika asking for 13 hour days and 6 day weeks. This is, she writes to tell me,  ‘Chinese Special Economic Zones stuff’. I think if anything that’s slightly Sinoist, but Eleni rightly goes on to describe it as ‘Siemens’ revenge’. Many Greeks have suffered from Siemens’ stains over the years, but it doesn’t do to wash such soiled bed linen in public, allegedly.

Buying the same submarine twice is about as silly as it gets…..unless of course you get bribed twice as well. But more seriously bonkers still is paying for your house and then being force to pay rent for being there. Greece’ property owners will become “tenants” in their own homes and pay “rent” in form of property taxes, should the latest Troika/Samaras government plans on property taxation come to pass. Soon all Greek citizens will be fitted with breathometers, and taxed on the number of times per day they inhale. As every increasingly insane tax revenue idea is floated, there will be more and more sharp intakes of breath. Brussels is thus hoping for a bumper breathometer inflow.

Maybe some of you saw that movie The Truman Show. The more I hear and read about the Greek austerity farce, the more I find myself wondering if the whole thing is a gigantic spoof being run by say, ABC, called The Bondholder Soap. I keep looking for signs that the sky is wobbling in the background, or the same actor has two parts. If this is true, then ratings are obviously flagging, and so the more unlikely plots are being brought into play.

And finally, as the news-anchors say, Barack Obama is all set this evening to tell the Democratic Convention and the American people that he needs four more years in the White House to “finish the job”. I have male chums with long-suffering wives who say the same sort of thing about DIY projects they started with enthusiasm one Saturday morning four years ago: jobs which still appear to consist of a hole in the wall where once there was a vaguely annoying wall.

The Black Dude had been trying to punch a hole in Wall Street since 2009, but to date I can’t even see the hole. So I’m left wondering what this ‘job’ is that he wants to finish. If you tune in later, I can guarantee you won’t find out. And that is a very serious problem indeed.