By Charles Curren
Life is not so easy on the Pound anymore. The veteran currency no longer struts around with the pomp it had in its heyday. Way back when, a Pound could buy you a loaf of bread, a pound of butter, two pounds of flour, a pound of sugar, fourteen dishevelled French prostitutes, a luxury yacht and a small Island off the Italian Riviera. Now, you’re lucky if a pound gets you into a public toilet to urinate. It has been a steep, sudden decline.
The Pound, now elderly, walks as if withered. He clutches a stick, and his back, and shuffles rather than walks. But that is not where the indignity ends for our poor Pound. You see, the Pound recently took a tumble.
It is never an easy thing when an elderly relative has a fall. Worries spin around one’s head at a rate so fast I would not be surprised if they affected weather fronts. What happened? How will this affect them? Is their hip gone? Should we get them floaty shoes? Why don’t floaty shoes exist? So many questions. Why so many questions?
It is even harder when the elderly relative who has taken a fall is your currency. When an old relative falls, those closest are often torn apart but the vulnerable party gets looked after. When an old currency falls, the vulnerable parties suffer, while everyone else gets on with it. You will see headlines such as “Pound Fall Shaves £3bn off Share Prices” but never what that means at the root. What that means is the people who have been tightfistedly stashing all their wealth have lost a lot of it, and will thus be more tight-fisted. Trickle down economics working exactly like it was intended, i.e. not.
Governments will raise the gates and let the savage beasts of ‘austerity’ do what they do. After the Pound’s fall, who is really going to suffer? The poor Pound suffers, puffing and wheezing in a hospital bed with every rattling breath telling of the fall of this once great power. Maybe the rich will suffer a little too – as currencies struggle, share prices fall, and new trade deals disturb the thirty year framework we have used before.
Mostly, though, the suffering is in the hands of the poor and the vulnerable. The sufferers will be the workers, whose futures gain uncertainty, already struggling with an austere atmosphere, an unashamedly greedy property market and a government that supports both of these things. The sick and disabled have already been targeted under similar circumstances. Indeed, even under more positive circumstances, the sick and disabled were targeted. Shameful. The young will suffer, truly. The rug of opportunity has been pulled from under them, and while opportunity will no doubt exist in the future, it is currently diminished. It is no good talking about what will be in ten years time for people who are young now.
All this trouble, all this suffering, because the Pound fell over. Maybe we should take better care of these sorts of things we seem, so often, to take for granted.