No doubt many of you will argue that I am wrong, and perhaps you would have a point – I am willing to listen to your take on things. But nonetheless, the individual seems to have been lost in a storm – a financial storm that there does not appear to be a clear way out of.
In my opinion, we have all just become a balance sheet. People, as individuals, their talents, gifts and qualities seem to be overlooked and superseded by balance sheets, namely, how much money or debt do you have against your name. You only need to turn the tv on, watch the news, go on the Internet, stand outside Canary Wharf Underground Station, and it’s surrounds you, this overwhelming doom, gloom and negative news. If its not Europe, it’s profit warnings from companies, and if not this, budget cuts and unemployment rates. Those who are out of work are worried about when they will be employed again, and were next months rent or mortgage payments will come from, and those in work, are worried about losing their job and the negative impacts that will ensue.
Some people are like Greece, credit worthiness gone. Whilst others are in a stronger position like China, yet are contingent on others to be able to continue to profit and make money.
Yes we have had X-Factor, so you might argue that the individual hasn’t been lost, completely, but how insignificant is it, compared to everything else that is reported on the news? We all seem obsessed with arbitrary figures, that if you meet or exceed it, your considered sound and worthy, and those below it confined to the scrap heap.
Against this background, let’s assess David Cameron’s decide to veto a Treaty change. Did he do right or wrong? I am sure you all have your own opinion. Mine is, his hands were tied, he had no choice, and at least he had the will to stand up and say ‘no, I have to look after my people’s interests’. In such times, we cannot afford to be continually embroiled with the Euro crisis that is rapidly unfolding. Those that are signed up to the Euro currency, should be the ones to save it. We have to ensure that we have the autonomy to protect our own sources of GDP revenue. As pointed out by Craig last week, in a note on my blog on Bankers, the financial sector accounts for more than 30% of the UK’s GDP. That can’t be gambled away. So perhaps we haven’t lost sight of the individual, perhaps the stance taken there was to show that we, the people that the Government represents do care.
Nevertheless, people are being forgotten about, and especially those that need the most help. At one time, it was forever “Education! Education! Education!” The future seemed bright, invest in the future. Now the future seems to have been lost, its all about cuts, and ‘how far can we go, what are the maximum rates of cuts we can make that would be socially acceptable?’. There is talk of we are all sharing the pain, but who really is feeling pain? How do you quantify it? Is it say, the loss of buying another luxury car or holiday? Or it it, doing without food, turning the heating down being cold, making do an mend? Those that fall into the latter group are the ones that we should be focusing on. Yes, we all have a duty to share the burden, but let’s face it there are those who can afford to more than others. The individuals that need most, are often overlooked and pooled into a more generalised group e.g. 2.62 million unemployed, whilst those in the upper echelons of society are being wined, dined and entertained, and being reported by the ‘Hello’ and ‘Ok’ magazines as having been here, there and everywhere?
What I am really driving at is which balance sheet should we be looking at? Yes we need to look at the deficit, for indeed it is an important balance sheet, but at the same time, we have to look at the other balance sheet, the one full of people that need help and who can cut no more. Let’s share the burden, and share it more evenly, and lets see an increase in philanthropy. Together, yes we can get through it, but those that can give more should. Even if you don’t get financial gain from it in the future, it will be good for the soul.