Paul Routledge says like canoeist John Darwin we are currently drowning in debt amid the cost of living crisis. Step Change, the nonprofit consulting organization, received nearly six million calls last year
The drama about the canoeman thief and his faked death made for great television entertainment.
In real life, corrupt prison officer John Darwin and his wife Anne were both sentenced to six years in prison for fraud.
He flew to a new life in the Philippines while she now lives quietly in a village in Yorkshire.
End of the story? Not for me. The play raised a major issue that seldom receives adequate media exposure.
I mean debt. Walter Mitty Kayaker Darwin “disappeared” because he had huge, unmanageable debts and bailiffs were pounding on his door.
In the film, the Anne Darwin character longs for “a simple life, a happy family that pays their bills.”
Some hope these days.
Britain is sinking under a mountain of private debt. Credit card lending rose by £1.5 billion to £59.5 billion in February, the highest since records began in 1993. With interest rates at 18%, the average adult owes more than £1,100 on a credit card and the number of households struggling with debt has increased by a third.
It is frightening. Step Change, the counseling organization, received nearly six million calls last year from over-indebted people suffering from depression, stress, domestic violence and even suicidal thoughts.
North East England, where Canoe Man took place, has the highest proportion of people seeking help regionally because the debt crisis is worst where people are least well off.
Canoe Man got into trouble through his own greed and folly. Today’s generation’s indebtedness is being dragged down by government policies such as cuts in Universal Credit, benefit freezes and rising inflation.
Chancellor “Richy” Sunak should be setting up an emergency budget, but he’s too busy paying fines.
hammer and songs
How was anything ever built before the transistor radio was invented?
No construction site, no odd job around the house is complete without Radio 2 belting out yesterday’s hits. Trowel and terror!
Some guys have more local tastes. I heard Radio Leeds doing it big amidst the concrete mixers.
And now they’re getting their own digital station, Fix Radio, whose founding genius Louis Timpany had the brilliant idea of delivering bacon butties to construction sites.
Listen to If I Had A Hammer!
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This “sincere” apology from Boris Johnson, translated into English: “There were no parties at Number 10 and when there were I wasn’t there to pour drinks and when I did it was work related and I have never fooled Parliament or if I did it was unintentionally and I don’t really think I did anything wrong – and don’t you know there’s a war a thousand miles away and I’m the reincarnation of Winston Churchill and the next election, so let’s have less of your lip, shall we?”
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Tony Blair thinks that 70% of teenagers should go to university. And he should go back to school.
In that case, where would we get the shop assistants, the bus and truck drivers, the care home and NHS workers and all the other workers we depend on?
A Masters in Football Studies is worthless in a crisis.
Certainly the pandemic has taught us that society as we know it grinds to a halt without key workers whose efforts should be fully recognized in their pay packages.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/britain-sinking-under-mountain-personal-26764823 "Britain sinks under a mountain of personal debt as credit card lending surges" - Paul Routledge