19 April 2011
An absolutely glorious summer’s day which fortunately coincided with the geriatric golf day at Worlington. The usual arrangements, Barry took me and fetched me but as he had another job he was rather later than usual and I was able to sit outside in the sunshine smoking a very nice Monte Cristo provided by my good friend John Gray
Regular readers will recall me drawing a parallel between the political and economic state of prerevolution Russia, almost exactly 100 years ago and the problems which face the EU today.(See 4 April entry) My friend of 40 years or so, Dr James Snowdon Barnett, dry wit. Intellectul, bon viveur, poet extraordinaire and lawyer, penned an amusing response to this entry. He has given me permission to reproduce it below. To make it more intelligible to the reader I should mention that MC is a good friend and James’ and does downloads for him. When I say Jamie is a poet, he is of international renown. His Magnus Opus, on which he had been working for the last 25 years is called, The Village of Perception, for which we all eagerly await publication./The astute reader will also observe that Jamie and I have diverse political views but we’re never allowed such to get in the way of an enduring friendship. So this is what Jamie wrote:
My Dear Mark
1.Â Â Â Â So this is wot a blog is!
2.Â Â Â Â It’s a stream of consciousness (nothing wrong with that path, perfected (if there ever is such) by Joyce).
Yours, however, reminds me of the similar reflected in verse by the American Poets of last Century such as Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell’s Notebooks.
3.Â Â Â Â MC “downloads” (it sounds like something better performed in a WC) for me but he is (again) in L.A. and so I asked Nina to do so and her note says:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “I couldn’t seem to print just the day (4th April)”
So Nina has printed the whole of April (to date) 1st to 9th, and Nina adds:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “He sounds a lovely man”.
Now, I can’t go that far, any “loveliness” you have brushed off from your lovely wife Alice (who will be beatified in due course as St Clavering). I realize now that Alice’s attentions to blind sheep (et al) in that field was merely a preparation for her present workings in this “other field”.
4.Â Â Â Â Considering you blog, it reminds me of when Laurie Hoffman read the manuscript of my first novel “The Murders in Muzard Road” of which he pondered whether anyone would be interested in that which he called my “mature reflections”.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
That was 1986 and now with information overtaking and crushing knowledge, perhaps there is an audience knowing little or nothing of things (Gerard Manley Hopkins favourite word) which seem trite to our generation.
5.Â Â Â Â You asked me to comment on your entry of 4th April (my wife of 40 years + birthday).;
With respect, I think you may have side-stepped Tolstoy’s “message”.
All that has happened is that Master/Servant has been replaced by lender/borrower. If a Borrower can’t pay then down the plug BUT if a lender is “in difficulties” he puts in the plug and engages in “quantative easing” (which just means they print more money). This happened in The Collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank in the 1880’s (as to which see my Now is as it pitches and again ) when Dumbell’s Bank collapsed just before the First World War in Douglas, Isle of Man.
Nothing is learnt, because Capitalism exists (as Del Boy does) by one person in the market making a “profit” out of the loss of another.
What we reap now in 2011 is the harvest sown by the sees of Mrs Thatcher’s (as she then was) guru Sir Keith Joseph in the 1980’s.
Quite simply, it is a newly appointed minister needing “to do something”. Look at “Tricky Dicky” Crosman in the 60’s deciding to built 500,000 residential units (most (I am told) now demolished !!
It is this “quick fix” which “unsticks” future generations.
6.Â Â Â Â However, I needs must end with this sad tale.
Beth Emanuel (who types my longer MS’s) has sent me the proofs of the first part of Village of Perception:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “the Village”
BUT (don’t tell Alice) I am “a-feared” of reading it unless it does not live up to my expectations.
Some kind of “reverse writer’s block”.
Dr Snowdon Barnett
PS: Once there is cheap printing of “blogs” then Anna Karenina will become a very short book, indeed.
Although I normally assiduously avoid any political comment or controversy on this blog, to give it the widest possible appeal, I have to take issue with my good friend Dr Barnett and blame the current situation not, on the Iron Lady (Mrs Thatcher – as she was then) but on the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) this country has seen this century, who left us in the worst debt we have ever had, after having squandered billions of pounds from various sources-North Sea oil, selling our gold at $265 per ounce (?) -It is now over $1500 an ounce and rising; ripping off the pension funds to the tune of Â£5 billion a year; concealing vast sums of investment into PPF contracts which means we are saddled with paying for the next 20 or 30 years and so on and so on. But then as I say dear Jamie and I have different opposing political views.
The other thing that has puzzled me for some time is the comment that Jamie makes about one person making a profit at a loss to another. It has always been my understanding that for every force there is an equal and opposite counterforce. So it should be in terms of investment. If the banks have lost billions then following Jamie’s theory somebody has made those billions, so the money is not really lost, at all, it is merely indifferent hands (or rather pockets!). Alternatively, is wealth a mirage?. What if all the houses in this country were overnight to be worth 50% of what previously it was said they were worth provided the cost of everything else was also 50% of what it had been previously (although in theory, of course, with so much imported this would not be possible, then is anything really lost?