First published at http://www.pluto-online.com/?m=200903&paged=4
These extraordinary times. Her voice echoes out from the TV screen. A news reporter is gravely explaining the next victim in an ever-lengthening line of businesses- banks- queuing for Government hand outs.
AIG has reported the biggest loss in American corporate history. So, the biggest financial loss in world history.
Capitalism, the world, as we know it, will never be the same again. We have been flung, bleary-eyed and naked into the future. We have been crawling, and now we need to run.
Will Gordon Brown come into his own? He met Barack Obama this week, “the world’s biggest celebrity” the BBC reports.
You can’t help but worry that the U.S will work unilaterally. But I have every faith in Obama. And the right tone of Britishness cannot be underestimated as a tool for negotiation; style and grace.
Of Brown then, I am not so sure. He was the champion, one of the main protagonists, in creating a system that has ultimately failed.
The Sun and the Daily Mirror lead with the Jade Goody story. Not that it isn’t happening. But minute by minute coverage is sick in many ways.
There is so much other news. Important, meaningful, even scary news.
Barack Obama’s stimulus package is the biggest thing that is going to be attempted to fix all of this. Who else is offering answers? This is what needs to be happening, but we need more, we need it here.
HSBC have actually made a profit and yet they have still ‘lost’ 70 per cent on last year. Just how much money were these people gambling with?
The fate of the car industry is gloomy. People are being priced out of their cars, although this could be the making of our public transport system.
The 16-25 rail-card is a steal. But low prices need to be seen on all public transport. People need to be able to get to the places that are important to them cheaply, safely and comfortably. People will walk, our workforce will become active.
And jobs need to be created, ones that we haven’t even thought of yet. If the culture of motoring is going to survive, arguably whether it even should, we need to make cars environmentally friendly, cheap, and these improved car companies need to be employing people.
We need innovation in industry, construction and education. We need to create jobs to make the things that we need, we need people doing what they need to be doing. A report stated that many children’s medicines are now ineffective. Why wait for someone else to change this when we have the bodies, the people willing and able to work?
Communities are shattered. People are empty.
But hark, all is not lost, there are little gems of brilliance glinting on the horizon.
The Vicar of Preston is one of those treasures.
Progressive and engaging, he stood confident and glowing. He explained the basics, or rather, the packed schedule that comes with his job.
He is on 43 committees, meets with the council and leaders of other faiths, and ultimately engages people in the community. He is fighting against the tide, and still getting things done.
He works a 101 hour week.
Vince Cable, of Liberal Democrat fame is talking economic sense. Well, he’s on the news sometimes. The Liberal Democrats certainly aren’t speaking loud enough. And the opposition lies silent.
The Treasury Select Committee is debating failure, whilst backbenchers speak out on everything from education to alcohol tax in Scotland.
These people are making things happen, and others should follow suit. Or crow what they are already doing.
We have the world on our shoulders, and we all need to share some of the weight.