It's alright for some people. We see that Brian Hunter has been fined £18 million for his part in the collapse of a hedge fund. Mind you it's hard to feel sorry for either hedge funds of the people who work for them! The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who imposed the fine would have us see Hunter as manipulative in nature. It is also reported that his actions cost his company about £4 billion and so it went bankrupt.
With comedians a sense of timing is vital, it appears to be the same with memoirs. As we see HERE Gordon Brown is still typing his and, recalling those speeches by Tony Blair, the ones he peppered with pauses for dramatic effect, perhaps his typing stops dead now-and-then too, for the great big book from Blair is rumoured to be still months away from publication. If as reports suggest Brown is typing 10,000 words a day, although the man was prone to fibbing, all eyes will be on the work by Peter Mandelson. For his book is the first to appear, first past the post if you like and no, this is not, for once, the main point. What is of real interest is the length of it and the estimated speed of typing, as the question must be-"when did he start writing it"?
Naturally the Spectator finds it hard to say anything good about Gordon Brown, funny yes, good no! An article by David Blackburn was especially funny as it homed in on the attempt, or so it would seem, by Brown to get himself into the record books. When in government many people accused Brown of lying, well even in opposition (or should that be exile?) fantasy and the ex-PM are together. Brown is writing his memoirs and it's the size of the thing that's suspicious. Let Blackburn explain -
If you think your life’s an unremitting tragedy, pity the proof reader at Gordon Brown’s publisher. The late and unlamented Prime Minister has been out of office for 58 days, typing 10,000 words a day. That’s 580,000 words already. Tolstoy took 4 years and 460,000 words to write War and Peace, Cervantes needed 10 years and nearly 500,000 words to write Don Quixote, and the Bible is 783,000 words. 580,000 words typed by a partially sighted man with maybe 30 years to live.
It's time to feel sorry for Gordon Brown, or so they say. The man has suffered enough from his Rochdale mishap; is it time to put the errant Mrs Duffy, who caused all this grief, back in her box? The foundation of this sob story is that the remarks by the PM were made in private, in effect the nation has spied on Brown. None other than Peter Mandelson has suggested that Mrs Duffy should not have "buttonholed" the PM and asked questions about student fees, the UK's financial situation and, worst of all crimes - immigration. In effect how dare a member of the public question the politburo. What rubbish!
This morning the Guardian, not noted for its coverage of financial matters, had the Greek financial crisis as its lead article. Also on the front page, but below, was the analysis of the Metropolitan Police report on the death of Blair Peach. As far as defending civil liberties goes the Guardian has an established track record, we are not being critical. So what do we make of it? The Blair Peach story is an example of how the authorities must not do things, the years of lying and cover up etc. However, the Greek financial crisis is an example of how the EU has failed.
The Guardian has a long standing reputation as being a staunch supporter of all things related to the EU. The crisis that has engulfed Greece is not a simple national one. The Guardian, devoted to the concept of a supra-national Europe, must now be thinking of the greater effect of the financial crisis. Even the most devoted EU supporters can see that the comments by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, that the Greek debt crisis is now spreading "like Ebola" , is not a snappy headline from a newspaper sub-editor but the truth.
And while this is going on we are being treated to pages of newsprint about Gordon Brown and his run in with Mrs Duffy. With due respect to her, I would suggest this is not the big story of the week.