What Was Happening In The World While I Was Feeling Happy And Content
"Gretna have made it into Europe for the first time in their lives, but what we have done in the last five weeks is the equivalent of Gretna taking on Real Madrid in the Bernabeu and beating them on penalties, that’s what we’ve done" -
Alas, Gretna are now no more, a 21st century paradigm of how spending more than you earn will always result in your ruin. Pride cometh before a fall, and public displays of schadenfreude are always unpleasant.
It is interesting to note that Oliver Kamm has much, much to say about Douglas Murray - a perfectly nice young man, I'm sure, but one whose writings and media appearances have given this writer the impression that he is deranged - being banned by the London School of Economics.
Oliver is an advocate of the doctrine of 'Counterknowledge', described as drawing attention 'to every kind of bogus theory, whether it emanates from maverick scientists, Christian evangelists, media nutritionists, Muslim scholars or “alternative” historians.' It seems to have escaped his notice that the chairman of the body which he accuses of suppressing Douglas Murray's freedom of speech is a now discredited plutocrat (for what word better describes Suds?), quite openly and heavily involved in the sort of activities comment upon which is classed by the self-appointed critics of 'Counterknowledge' as falling within their scope. Does pointing this out qualify as 'Counter-Counterknowledge'?
A roll of tinfoil to Wapping, if you please!
Given the massive scope of British banking's failure, it is being suggested that the auditors be sweated under the lights. This would be a good and wholesome thing. I quote from memory, so my apologies if I am incorrect - but Willie Nelson once remarked of his troubles with tax evasion that 'I'm just a guitar player. If the government didn't collect money from me that it should have, someone wasn't mindin' the store'. Precisely the same accusation may be capable of being levelled at the auditors of every troubled bank. Their professional duties were to investigate their clients' affairs. The very fact that we are where we are means that they failed.
Oh, they might have followed Paragraph 14 (2) Subsection xviii of the How Not To Notice That Your Client Has Lost 28 Billion Quid (Scotland) Regulations 2003 to the letter. That's not the point. The real problem is that British business has wielded such heavy influence in the making of public policy for so long that the duties imposed upon auditors have never been strong enough. Auditors should be able to perform their work in companies whose directors know that they are being examined by independent individuals who possess a power of arrest. Instead, the directors know that they're being probed by people whose wages they pay and who will offer them corporate hospitality in the hope of getting their money. This is not right.
The systematic failure of the auditing process has led to another of life's interesting inversions. For several centuries, it has been a polite legal fiction that limited liability companies enjoy most of the same rights as fleshy, breathing individual human beings. Having to undergo an audit is the price you know you will have to pay for starting one. Yet audit failure has meant that scrutiny of limited liability companies may have been diminishing while scrutiny of fleshy, breathing individual human beings has been increasing through the use of CCTV. The world is upside down. This is a natural imbalance in affairs that just can't go on. If it can't go on, it won't.
Yet true colours come out in a crisis. When one of his wilder backbenchers goes off on one and reports Fred Goodwin to the Fraud Squad, The Tartanissimo spastically calls for a parliamentary enquiry instead. Let's hear it for Alex Salmond, crapping himself at the thought of a Scottish plutocrat going to jail on his watch! He's a Tartan Tory through and through!