Some kind souls were sweet enough to compliment me on the Remembrance poem in last month’s column. For those that thought I had written it I thought I had made it clear that it wasn’t a product of my penmanship. If I had one ounce of the talent of its author I wouldn’t have been writing for free in the Obscurer for the last 8 years. I can only hope.
This month I am sitting down to write this as the first over of the Ashes is about to be bowled. As always we have hope in our hearts for a successful tour. We shall see.
The Chancellor’s budget was delivered today. Any reason for renewed hope in the economy? Sum hope perhaps? Well not that much-the forecast appears quite bleak- growth forecast cut to 1.5%, productivity down, living standards and business investment down. Based on all of that I might get my shrink to clear his calendar for the next few weeks.
Having said that, when I look about I often wonder ‘what downturn?’ when I see large amounts of money still being spent on material goods. It would seem that for many the pressure is not that great, and there is no need to begrudge people that have done well. It’s not necessarily on the backs of others as some seem to suggest. Good luck to them I say.
But what about those that are less fortunate? The squeezed middle and those on the very margins. What hope are we giving them? We have to do more to close the gap-and that doesn’t mean dragging others down.
With an average of 300,000 new homes to be built annually (in ten years!) has it occurred to put them up north where there is room, in this Northern Powerhouse they go on about, rather than down here where we soon won’t be able to get an anorexic fag paper between properties. They will be cheaper up there as well. Not as far as Scotland of course, there are limits on where we can expect people to live.
If all else fails I suppose a Royal wedding could be provided next year to cheer us all up.
Christmas is perhaps the greatest time of new hope. The hope of new beginnings, and a gift more valuable than a bottle of egg nog. Eternal hope. So I will conclude by wishing you the merriest of merry little Christmases and remind you that, as with Scrooge himself, its spirit, its message, its hope should be kept all the year.
God bless us, every one.