Ray looks back at the impact of the snow and ponders the wisdom of such enormous Government borrowing
February really did live up to its promise, didn't it? The longest period of heavy snow falls for over a decade. But, despite being forewarned, was the good old UK ready? The answer, of course, is a big fat NO! Hundreds of schools closed, roads impassable and literally tens of thousands of workers who couldn't get to work. As far as I could determine, many of the schools closed because of a lack of heating; but does my memory fail me if I say I don't remember having heating in schools when I was a child? But aren't the early Spring flowers a treat? The snowdrops and aconites seem even more colourful this year; perhaps they are natures way of balancing the books for a hard winter?
To add to our unusually hard winter, the credit crunch continues to bite. With interest rates falling to a hundred year low, those of us in the Senior Citizen group find our monthly incomes reduced by a dramatic fall in the interest paid on our savings. Production output has reached an all time low and many experts are forecasting that the Britain will soon be in a "depression". So what is the solution? It seems that the Government's answer is to instruct the bank of England to print more money. Can I do that, do you think? I suppose on the plus side, the fact that inflations is also down to a 49 year low means the cost of living has reduced for all of us.
I read this week that Dame Stella Rimmington, once the Head of MI5, has accused the government of turning Britain into a "police state" by cynically exploiting the public's fear of terrorism. She claims that the withdrawals of many of our ancient freedoms have been relentlessly undermined by draconian new laws. I then read that the cost to the tax payer of this 'Government Surveillance Society' is at least £34 Billion! £634 Million for the Contact-Point database of every school-aged child, £12 Billion for the Home Office Interception Modernisation programme, £7 Billion for the ID Card & National Identity Register and £12.7 Billion for a computer system linking all patient health records. Just what benefits do we the general public gain from these programmes? Surely at this time of economic crisis we should be spending public funds more wisely?
Enjoy the Spring sunshine and make the most of our beautiful countryside. Perhaps with the credit crunch more of us will discover the true beauty of our wonderful Norfolk countryside.