There used to be an expression: “An Englishman’s word is his bond.” Sadly that is no longer the case and day by day I become more ashamed of what I see in “Blighty”
Americans believe that money has become the idol of their country and I have always told them that they are wrong. There are business’s in the U.K. that could rob America of its eyeballs and then come back for the eyelashes.
There has always been a culture of “ducking and diving” among the common people and often an enquiry of the origin of something being sold in a pub would be met with a reply of; “It fell off the back of a lorry!”
What has happened over the last decade or so is that the culture of “spivery” (my word and I am keeping it) has now elevated itself to all aspects of British culture.
No longer is an Englishman’s word his bond, more likely it’s a con! Worse it’s almost a guaranty of failure as shortcuts are taken and the government of the country look on like a senile doting father.
There is no longer a culture of “falling on the sword” more a culture of tough, get on with it.
The British public look on shaking their heads as promises are broken, people are cheated and failure has become endemic!
Let’s look back over just the four weeks in the life of the United Kingdom.
The Nat West bank (and its Northern Irish subsidiary) has suffered a massive computer failure leaving people without access to their own money. Account holders were left financially paralyzed as bills and mortgages went unpaid and the treatment of a terminal patient abroad was threatened as the account that paid the bills for treatment was held by Nat West.
If angry consumers debated moving their Nat West bank accounts in protest they were in for a shock as it was revealed that Barclays had been fixing the Libor rate (the interbank lending rate.) This meant that just about every loan taken out by a consumer was fixed with an unnatural interest rate.
Several water companies have just withdrawn their hosepipe bans after parts of Britain suffered their worst flooding since records began, but of course nobody questions these same companies that have endemic inefficiencies in the transport of water supplies to the consumer. It has become a standing joke that if the sun comes out for two days, a hosepipe ban follows.
Even this week, Chelsea and England Captain John Terry was taken to court and found not guilty for supposedly racially abusing another player!
During the trial, evidence was given that the supposedly abused player had been taunting Terry with some abuse that was unproved and fairly personal. It also transpired that Terry’s accuser hadn’t even heard this supposed abuse and it appears neither had anyone else.
While awaiting his trial, Terry was stripped of his England captaincy (an honour) causing the resignation of the then England manager within spitting distance of a major competition.
Many would have turned their back on the England team and it was to John Terry’s credit that he refused to do so despite being found guilty without a trial.
The point is: what the hell were the Crown Prosecution Service doing even considering taking this case to trial? It was bound to fail!
Two players verbally abuse each other on a football field with the accuser appearing to be the antagonist and nobody actually hearing the offensive words?
If I had been head of the C.P.S. I wouldn’t have touched this case with a ten foot barge pole! It was bound to fail and rather than let it, I would have declined.
In the last 24 hours we learn that G4S a company supposed to provide security staff for the Olympics cannot meet its contractual obligations. As a result British Troops just back from a stint in Afghanistan and badly in need of leave will have to be drafted in to cover this shortfall. Just today we learn that extra police will also have to be used.
When was this announcement made? Roughly 24 hours after the Home Secretary assured parliament that security was in good order for the event.
The M4 flyover has been closed for over a week. So what? This is the road that will bring the Olympic athletes from Heathrow airport to the Olympic stadium and their lodgings.
They have now opened the road, after stating yesterday that they couldn’t even guaranty that the road would be open when the athletes arrived three days from now.
One wonders whether troops were drafted overnight to reopen the road or whether shortcuts (forgive the unfortunate pun) were taken to pass it fit.
One thing is certain! If the road collapses killing a couple of potential gold medalists, nobody will pay, or take the blame or even resign!
As I write this, news is coming in that the gamble taken by London future traders for J.P. Morgan Chase was misreported. The losses were not 2 billion….. They were actually 4.4 billion!
And of course if you want to use your mobile phone to tell someone about this posting or even show it to them, I welcome it. Shame is that if you are on the O2 network in the U.K. you cant! O2 decided what’s good enough for Nat West was good enough for them! Mobile phone users found themselves without voice and internet service for more than a day as the company suffered a failure of its computer systems.
I wonder how many people found themselves in a life threatening situation and were unable to call the police, or the fire brigade or an ambulance.
Let’s face it! If you were an O2 customer you couldn’t call in the army or the C.P.S. to report that John Terry might be racially abusing you (whether you heard it or not.)
I suppose this is what you get when you have a country governed by spivs, for the spivs lead by a man who can’t even go to the pub and come home with the same number of children that he left with.
How ironic it is that the London Olympic closing ceremony is set to close with a rendition of Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side of life.” As I have said before….You couldn’t make it up if you tried.