Truth the Only Victim

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Truth the Only Victim


Byline: LORNE JACKSON

MY commiserations go out to the sacked Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Well, I have to say that, don't I?

After all, good-looking, massively talented Special Ones have to stick together during a time of crisis.

But although I'm sympathetic to Jose's plight, in a way I'm also delighted.

Because in this week's column, I'm going to exploit the fall of the footy boss, and use it as a big, fat metaphor to explain the Northern Rock crisis, the dangerous ramblings of two smug French blokes, the strange calamity that is the life of OJ Simpson and the continuing horror of the McCann case.

Think I can't do it?

Go on, then. Just watch me.

First, let's start with Northern Rock.

This isn't a good time for the bank, which looks as wobbly as Shakin' Stevens gyrating down a road, minutes after a truck from a ball-bearing factory has overturned in the area.

So what went wrong?

Quite a lot, actually.

Gordon Brown's policies whilst in Number 11; Alistair Darling's inept handling of the situation; an unstable American market; the nervousness of the bank's customers, creating a panic mentality.

However, there's one thing we can't blame the crisis on.

The Iraq War.

At least that's what I thought, until switching on the TV, I saw a line of rattled customers being interviewed outside a Northern Rock branch.

"Why are you here?" asked the interviewer.

"It's because of Iraq!" wailed the customer.

Oh, well, there's always one, I sighed.

Then the journalist cornered another person.

"It's because of Iraq!" wailed the customer.

The next man said the same. And the next...

This was nonsense, I thought.

Jittery bank customers were clearly just ashamed of their actions, and were now scrabbling around for an excuse, anxious to blame someone or something other than themselves.

And what is the multi-purpose scapegoat that's invariably dragged out these days, when any half-way politicised halfwit is feeling disgruntled, unhappy or abused?

The bogeyman under the bed, of course. The troll beneath the bridge.

"It's because of Iraq!"

Yet, on further consideration, I realised the members of the queue had a point.

What they were talking about was the loss of confidence in the Government and all public institutions, including the banking sector. …

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