Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Wednesday 17 February 2010


Would you be shocked to hear that an IMF bailout could be on the cards for the UK?

Gosh, I thought, I've really missed something. I know about Greece and everything, but this is the first I've heard of IMF aid for the UK.

So who raised the alarm? Top economists? World leaders? Or, er, just David Cameron,"who's been amongst those saying that another IMF bailout can't be ruled out."

I'm used to the infotainment treatment (Economageddon! Bailoutocalypse!) applied to the news in the US, but the news here in the UK is normally a drier, more factual affair. In what way could this be called news? It was about an event that happened in 1976 and trotted out some wild speculation from the leader of the oppositon about a hypothetical event that "can't be ruled out" sometime in the future (unless the Conservatives are elected one presumes).

But just because I've decided that this item is empty and devoid of relevant fact doesn't mean that it doesn't mean anything. What's the subtext struggling to get out? After desultory Googling careful research, I assume it's not unrelated to today's item from Hudson Institute economist and Irwin Stelzer. Perhaps Cameron wants to use his suggestion about calling in the IMF to rubbish Labour but doesn't want to call attention to the fact that Stelzer has been critical of the Tories' own economic plan? Or maybe the Tories already have enough crazies on their plate?

I tried figuring out what Rupert Murdoch might have to do with it all and my head began to hurt.

What I found particularly distasteful was the exploitation of an interview with an intellectually sharp but frail-looking Dennis Healey who I'm guessing wasn't told he'd be used as a living metaphor for the fragile state of the Labour Party. We heard that the former chancellor was on his way to Downing Street because "the current chancellor was giving him lunch," which I took to mean that Alistair Darling would be tucking a napkin into Healey's collar and spoonfeeding him some puree of something. I'm pretty sure that most powerful people are invited to Number 11 for lunch, probably included in some important meeting or other, photo op and all, but being given your lunch sounds like either your mum or your carer is heating up some tinned spaghetti.

I have stopped reading the Sunday papers for similar reasons. They're full of fake scientific studies and scaremongering and infuriating crapA friend in New York told me he was recently watching the local news (Snowpocalypse! Blizzardtastophe!) and there was a teaser for an upcoming breaking news item about a school shooting. It turned out to be in Germany. Not that German shooting fatalities aren't newsworthy, but this was a local news programme, possibly watched by local people who have their kids in local schools. School shooting in Germany = god that's sad and tragic; school shooting in your neighbourhood = fuck panic tears craziness I hope my kid wasn't shot. 

Sigh. Ridiculous, manipulative, alarmist, disrespectful, irresponsible, lazy rubbish.

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