Sunday, 21 September 2008

What'd I miss?

Turkey's great. 10% historical tourism, 15% kebabs, 75% lying by the pool reading. For hours. It's a beguiling lifestyle. So beguiling, in fact, that you can remain almost completely unaware of the unfolding horror of Total Financial Meltdown. By the time I'd picked up some BBC World news and "read" BA's free Daily Mail on the return flight, I was braced for using souvenir backgammon counters and shiny bits of glass to barter for a taxi to my home. Or, indeed, as a means of buying a new one. Imagine my surprise to find paper money an acceptable means of settling debts.

(The Mail was clearly chagrined that the collapse of western capitalism couldn't be laid at the door of swarthy TB-ridden immigrants, as long-expected, but was actually caused by respectable well-off types. So much so that when it ran it's interview with one of the "financial vultures" who had put house-prices so much at risk, it's tone veered radically between Puritan disgust and fawning obsequy: "They argue they simply have a knack of identifying the weak. And then feasting on them...Cawkwell runs his business from a desk at his £1million home in Kensington, West London. He and his wife Anne have two daughters.His successful trades fund a love of fine Burgundy wines...")

In other news, it seemed that there had been major upheavals in the Labour Party: why, when I left only two weeks ago, it seemed that Brown was losing the confidence of senior party members, and would have to prove himself in the September conference. Truly, a week is a long time in politics.

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