dead man's chest 2

Imagine taking £13,000,000 sterling and taking it to a treasure island like a latter-day Long John Silver . Then imagine  digging a series of  holes throughout the island and burying pots of the divided bullion in holes  all over the land  and mapping it all out carefully .Imagine then , boarding your ship, sailing away… and  as you were about to stow the map away and clap your hands together at a job well done, an errant seagull whipped the treasure map out of your hands and flew away into the sunset on a fair wind. Money lost forever. All gone.

I can see you standing bug-eyed in disbelief at how your good-fortune has so easily been snatched away….maybe shaking your fist at the sky, a quiet tear rolling off the side of your eye, trickling down your cheek..

That is only one tiny example of how money can be lost or wasted ..People are always crying about poverty.There’s never enough money for anything. In the land of Norneverland there  is a wrangle currently underway about Welfare Reform. The government is about to fall, apparently, if we don’t sign on the dotted line with the Tories .Oh woe is me! there’ll not be enough cash to go around and we’ll all end up eating grass! Somehow , I don’t think so. It reminds me of the Monty Python sketch about poverty  where sufferings and deprivations of youth are compared and contrasted in a competition  of horrific,  comic  and increasingly surreal “recollection”…..The four , now well- heeled, Yorkshiremen, lolling in their finery after a hearty meal , compare horrific histories from thirty  years previous,  of deprivation, each attempting to top the other’s awful story while smoking their cigars and sipping their Chateau de Chasselas.

Would we notice if this government tumbled down? I’m not at all sure we would.It’s like that piece about reality .If we didn’t  listen to radio and television or buy a newspaper would we know  that a government existed at all. That’s really the shape of our reality from year to year. Looking around we seem to be in a much better position than we were in the 1970’s. Well , okay there was a conflagration going on here in Norneverland but I also experienced the reality of the three-day weeks and the power cuts while living in the UK. People were using candles when the power was cut off and factories and businesses had got  no electrical power to stay open. In comparison we are definitely in a better position now.If the power went off now , mind, all this electrical gear we use for communicating would be gone. We’re a lot  warmer and more comfortable ,for the most part ,than anyone was back then, of course.

That doesn’t mean everything is perfect , of course . Like I said, good money is being lost and wasted on a daily basis…. What could you do with £13,000,000 sterling if you were lucky enough to win it in a lottery or some rich uncle happened to leave such a sum for you in his will. It would be life -changing.It would be life -changing in any community if it was so endowed, wouldn’t it? That’s £13,000….a thousand times over. It ‘s a tidy sum but I suppose it’s only a pittance in the war chest of any government. It might have helped to build a hospital or to re-open the local railway station , mind …a pittance really in the grand scheme of things, though …the kind of money they waste all the time  .

I suppose that’s why some department in our government decided to dig a lot of holes and bury all that money in neat little packages for this past several years. Haven’t you heard ? ..That’s the amount of money they’ve already  spent installing water meters in all the new-  build houses and apparently they are still doing it, even though the meters are never likely to be used or  read. That’s water meters that are ticking away but are not in use and will probably never be used .Nobody has told them to stop…..You’ll not have to wait too long before the government announces the   closure of some hospital or that it hasn’t money for some promised project.You have to wonder that if they can bury and lose £13,000,000 like this , what else has been lost.

Now you know what Long John Silver felt like when that seagull flew off with his map……


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