Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gloom and Doom - UN Enlightenment?

The greyness of the British autumnal season coupled with my just learning  of the death on Friday of the Jesuit Priest who married mrs maytrees and I (Father Joe Dooley RIP) creates a sombre downbeat feeling.

Moreover  the state of religious economic political military and industrial events in the world today do little to dispel the risk of melancholia becoming embedded. 

Such feelings are best dispelled by humour but unlike   fellow BU blogger Banaby Capel-Dunn whose blog posts are frequently lit up with moments of great  humour, 
deliberate as distinct from accidental jocularity is alas not on my page in any great way at all.

The main economic  and political gloom and doom to the fore at present is   Euro driven.
 Vast  amountsof talking have resulted in  vast amounts (trillions of Euros apparently) being 
conjured  out of nowhere to save Greece and the EU from economic collapse 
although the subsequent jetting off to China by a senior Eurocrat looking for a loan suggests that
the Greek debt crisis and the Euroland one, is to be resolved by more  borrowing; 
whatever happened to the phrase "sub-prime loans crisis", which I had thought was the 
cause of the previous global financial meltdown?

The religious affairs scene is no more upbeat here in England. The pointlessness of what is 
occurring on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral in London illustrates this well. Protesting 
about globalisation is all very well if the protesters have something better to offer but they don't.
Furthermore many in the UK protest at the size of our tax bills
 and the cutting of important public services that we have come to take for granted.
What do the protesters expect would happen if the London Stock Exchange and the banks
shut up shop and moved to say  Bejing? 

Services like the NHS cost billions in 
filthy lucre of any denomination to fund,. It is easy to say that the money for funding should
only come from sources which are beyond reproach. However  one (wo)man's  area of reproach is
the source of another's daily bread. The very nature of money as a medium of exchange involves
the £1 in my pocket on occasion having come from a reproachful source. The  very anonymity of 
money means that even the most sensitive of people do not take time throwing coins out of their
 purses  for fear of it having been put to some tainted use  prior to finding its way to me.

The main point I would have thought for the enlightened liberal, is to try to earn his/her crust in
the most beneficial way possible and to work for society too to be enhanced as a result. 
There are some activities which are so obviously bad that protesting about them is worthwhile but
can those on the Steps of St Pauls whether canonical gentlemen or liberal protesters, actually give
a coherent account of why the LSE is an enterprise that is best shut down and at the same time
say how the thousands of jobs lost not only  at the LSE itself but also  at those companies 
which raise capital on  markets like the LSE would be replaced and how the 
cash would be found to pay such price?

I suppose the Arab Spring might be said to be a positive development but at what cost of 
human life?  Fighting  in Libya Afghanistan Iraq or  the Balkans has involved so much  human 
tragedy and greed that the outcomes whatever they are or will be are tainted. Surely
human ingenuity can come up with something  likely to be more civilised than  war  declared
 by a few even a  remote  one controlled 
fought from the sky, for resolving  major despotism   ethnic cleansing greed famine etc. 

That 'something' is supposedly  the United Nations. If the current  state of  the finances of   
Greece and  Euroland  warrant summit meetings hand wringing all night debating and now some
 European   kowtowing to China to try to overcome,  could not and should not the world's 
finest spend at least   the same amount of time and energy in making the UN fit for purpose?


  1. I was very sad to learn of the death of Fr Dooley, Jerry. He was one of my favourite priests at Beaumont and a very kind and gentle man. He was my history teacher in Grammar 1 and a very good one at that. Everybody in the class liked him.

  2. Greetings Barnaby.

    Yes Father Joe meant much to the many he taught at Beaumont. Coincidentally as a boy he was in the same class as my father at St Ignatius Stamford Hill. Dad who is himself 91 years old was sad to learn of Father Joe's death and recollected that at school Fr Joe had the edge on him in athletics because he had longer legs!

  3. By the way, Jerry, I never did thank you for the nice things you wrote about me. I am not considered very humorous in my family, I can tell you! But then no-one is a prophet in their own land, are they? Actually my ham-fisted and heavy-footed attempts at humour are, as someone acute as you will no doubt have noticed, really a doomed quest to keep the world at bay. Someone once said that most people lead lives of quiet desperation, and I think that's exactly right, don't you?


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