Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A lonely furrow

Ploughing the sands. That's a saying I liked until I realised that perhaps I was ploughing the sands with my ideas on social well-being but now it turns out I'm simply ploughing a lonely furrow. And it's only lonely becasue my celebrity endorsers have no idea they're endorsing me.

Ploughing the sands, should anyone care, relates to the pointless pursuance of a particular task, such as writing a blog for no-one or resurrecting long lost economic ideals or remembering the Ogrons. I'm a bit of a fan of cultivating sand in my spare time. Just because you're in a minority doesn't mean you're wrong!

The Guardian has come to my rescue. Two A list celebrities have come out and agreed with me, assuming their complete ignorance of my existence is no bar to agreement. First up - Armando Iannucci   http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/oct/23/armando-iannucci-interview-coalition-cuts who, it turns out, voted Lib Dem in 2003 and came along for the ride until the C word. Secondly, Iain/Ian Banks has waded in with his usual heart-on-his-sleeve sincerity in the letters page http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/23/city-boys-drool-over-cuts.

Both of these articles encourage me that I'm not the only one still inclined to believe that cuts are not the answer to the crisis, or at least not the only answer. When Nick Clegg railed against the FSA for condemning the spending review as unfair he made the valid point that you can't judge fairness by targets and statistics. What he needs to rediscover is that you can't measure success quite so easily either. A return to the days when a triple A credit rating was all the government of the day aspired would be a failure and, however difficult, Clegg must remember it is a politicians job to remain steady under the persuasive muscle of expensive lobbyists and deliver a life and opportunity for all members of a society before, rather than after, all other considerations.

We none of us choose the societies we are born into but those of us lucky enough to grow up in a free and fair society should never forget the sacrifice of others in ensuring our basic freedoms. Before we sneer too loudly at the stupidity of the Tea Party in America, we should remember the cheering backbenchers last Wednesday as Osborne announced the demise of a way of life for 500,000 innocent vicims of an economic theory. And now, if you'll excuse me, the sand is looking a bit dry.

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