Friday, 9 July 2010

Plus ca Change

It was Master P's turn to appear in the annual school production, last night. This year, the school decided to be ambitious, and ran Joseph - the Lloyd Webber musical. I have to say, they did very well indeed and Master P put an admirable effort into his (albeit small) contribution.

The story is, of course, one that you will know well. Joseph's superiority complex irritates his brothers, who sell him into slavery in Egypt to get rid of him. There, his dream interpretation skills come to the attention of Pharaoh, who wishes to know what his mysterious dream about seven fat and seven slim cows means (don't we all?). Joseph explains that the seven fat cows mean that there will be seven years of plentiful harvests, but that the seven slim cows mean this will be followed by seven years of poor harvests. Therefore, says Joseph, Pharaoh needs to build grain stores to conserve the nation's food during the good years so that there will be food available during the bad years.

Pharaoh explains, however, that this is totally wrong because his farming reforms mean that he has brought an end to boom and bust. Therefore, not only is it OK to consume all of the bumper crops during the next seven years, Egypt can in fact borrow food from others because the good years are going to continue forever and there will always be plenty of food in the future. This will enable Egypt both to support itself and to pay back those loans of food without difficulty. The additional food can be used to feed an new army of public servants who will be able to do Pharaoh's bidding, even if most of that takes the form of unwelcome interference in the daily lives of the farmers and the creation of endless additional work for them to do while they should really be out farming. And thus has Pharaoh ensured a future fair for all Egyptians.

Oh, hang on, my mistake. Gordon accepts Joseph's advice and appoints him in charge of mending the roof while the sun is shining. As a result, when the financial crisis hits, the UK is well-placed to withstand it and has ample funds available to bail out its banks without having to resort to borrowing money that it can no longer afford. Without a huge burden of debt and a massive public deficit, the UK is able to continue its wide range of public sector services and to finance the generous terms & conditions to which its public sector servants have become accustomed.

No, wait, I still haven't quite got this quite right....


  1. Good parable! The moral of the story is presumably, the secularist departure from the Bible is bad for our health. But I suppose if people didn't learn that from the history of the 20th Century, they won't learn it now.

  2. Didn't the famine start in America, so was really not the Pharaoh's fault at all?
    I think the Pharaoh saved the farmers by buying up their lands with their own money and ensuring that they could all continue producing food. Even the ones that were producing ash for some reason that isn't clear.
    Anyway, the Pharaoh merged the largest landowners together and they continued to produce crops but wouldn't share them with anyone. Not even other farmers. So the Pharaoh went to the Ankh-8 and told Rome, Persia, Greece, Carthage, Babylon, Parthia, Illyrians, and Tharcians that he had saved the known world.

    No more is recorded.

  3. So, are you saying that Canada and Australia had the gift of foresight? Or just that they were sensible? Oh, I'm really confused. How come the BBC never mentions that Australia didn't even have a recession? How come the BBC never mentions that Canada did not have a banking crisis?

  4. Bill,

    That is not quite the end of the story because it is recorded that the priests in the financial institutions, no,....bankers in the temples ...anyway, they worshipped cats. These cats grew fat in the years of plenty. The cats were greatly admired by all and would purr each time the Pharaoh passed by with his ladies. Bigoted women were only allowed to watch. Such approbation pleased the Pharaoh greatly so he decreed the cats could have as much food as they wished until the harvests failed.

    Cats are fickle creatures and when food became scarce and times were lean, the cats either left or knew where their bread was buttered. Those that stayed tried to do their owners' bidding but ended up just caterwauling at Joseph. As a result he didn't care much for cats so he wore a bright coat of many colours to shoo them away with. That bit is often forgotten.