| Society

Outside of business, it’s business as usual

Orwell Prize shortlister Lisa Ansell takes a commonsense view of financial crisis and ground-level resilience


I logged on to twitter today for the first time in a bit, and I saw that Baroness Warsi has been on the fiddle. Which amused me. A lot. Then there was a titbit about the Select Committee dealing with Murdoch, and his ‘aggressive’ approach of blackmail finally called what it is. Tony Blair is again misunderstood….

Then I look outside. The sun is shining, the man who has owned the shop on the corner for centuries is moaning about the kids who make a mess on their way to school. Not for the first time. I drop R at school, and the classrooms look pretty much the same as they did when I was five, the unpredictable squabbles of boys and girls eternal and unchanging.

Except the political and economic settlement we have had since the forties is in tatters, everything that upheld it is in crisis, and we have deliberately switched off everything that would allow us to defend ourselves from the coming financial crisis. Europe is in chaos and yet will dictate our future, and all normal operations appear to have been suspended.

Europe is in chaos and yet will dictate our future

The Times had us all geared up for Syria, because the West is now squeamish about dead children, while the Financial Times headed with the crumbling of that particular line outside UK political press reading earshot. We pass the time in turmoil till this has played out, the world very much continuing as normal but not. Powerless either way now, with no fight to be fought.

It feels like those who are in crisis have disconnected themselves from everything, to the point where their crises are merely entertainment beamed into our living rooms because they have left it too late to address them, and change happened outside them.  Outside the influence of those who are in crisis, the rest of Britain is in working order. Our institutions and communities are built around stronger principles and relationships than managing the message or bastardised free market fundamentalism, and most us are made of strong enough stuff to be what comes after quite successfully.

the rest of Britain is in working order

We now expect to be able to interact with a global economy, without intermediary and share information globally the same way. We are suffering the effects of very localised problems and they are likely to get worse, as will the manufactured crisis. A crisis which happened largely because of the ideas and culture of those in crisis.

It promises to be a glorious summer, the first really decent summer since 2006, I hope. Today I probably won’t blog about anything, sometimes a bit of time to take in and absorb the view is no bad thing. If you are averse to outside, Leveson is playing wall to wall misunderstood Blair, you could close the curtains and settle in to watch tragicomic history being obfuscated.

He apparently said that taking on the media resulted in protracted wars that distract from everything. I would say a media war is needed right about now.

Cue Al Pacino shootout scene a la Murdoch then….


More of Lisa Ansell's writing can be found at her blog here
Parliament image by vegadsl

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