2006 Valedictory

Thursday, December 21, 2006 | | 0 comments »

a small venture beyond markets...

Over a decade ago this scribe was the sorry civil servant handling hundreds of replies to lobbyists peppering Her Majesty's Treasury with demands that the UK's overseas aid budget be increased. He saw all manner of arguments, laid out in exhaustive and voluminous detail - including a particularly sincere one from a prisoner in Long Lartin advocating human culling. Some circumstances are indeed self-explanatory.

But the best and most effective letter by far ran two lines:
"Dear Chancellor,

You know the arguments in favour of increased aid and greater debt relief - do the right thing.

In a year like 2006 which witnessed
cash-for-honours allegations; abandonment of bribery investigations because selling fighter jets to the Saudis is for our own good and more important than the rule of law; blank refusal to negotiate; sponsorship of holocaust denial circuses; religious and cultural demonization; dogma; inflexibility; non-respect of sub-judice; speeches of authority made by the knowingly ignorant; assignment of skill rather than luck to most outcomes; arguments that the Royal Family is worth it to UK plc economically; wilful omission of facts; the hard sell; double-standards; skin-saving (or other) white collar fraud/theft; getting away with it because it is possible; and not-my-problem syndrome
it would have been an equally striking request as well as an admirably distilled philosophy. A small, naive wish of this writer is that its spirit is applied more often in 2007.

Season's Greetings, Best Wishes and see you in 2007 (end-year celebrations permitting).

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