Greek Tragedy?

Posted on November 3, 2011

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Here I am on a Thursday night wondering when familiar horizons will appear. Stepping out into the unknown seems to be what we are all doing. In fact it feels like we are all far from the shore. Like many people I wonder whether I will have a job in 6 months or a year from now.  I wonder whether we will be living where we live now.  But I know I have options. I wonder what will happen to the Greeks as their government crumbles and as one politician put it, they are being asked ‘Do you want to die, or be killed?’.  Whether or not they have a referendum, it must feel terrible to be in what seems a no-win situation.

Despite the fact that everyone believes Greece could be the beginning of a domino effect, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the Cannes Film Festival and not the G20 conference today in France.  Lots of theatrics about who turned up when and how long Sarkozy was kept waiting by Hu.  There were lots and lots of cameras and lots of big smiles from the heads of state.  There was Cameron cozying up to Obama, and Merkel cozying up to Sarkozy whose name even bears witness to his behaviour.  Even Papandreou had a smile.

So, are they smiling because its the only thing they can do or because this is so much more about global power being reordered – they’ve already realised that Europe is in the doldrums, and now its time to play alliances for the long game? Who knows.

In the UK, St Paul’s has done the most extraordinary about-face, agreeing to the protestors staying until after the New Year.  They have dropped the legal action and have begun talking with and about the issues the Occupy London Movement are concerned with.  Perhaps the extraordinary parallels with the life and times of Jesus could not be ignored any longer.

And how strange it is that on this very night the head of Barclays Bank told the G20 that Bankers needed to become better citizens.  Whether this is just to appease those who want to hear something, anything that shows bankers have a soul, we may never know, but one thing is for certain: things are changing.

The strange creature that is our collective future is emerging from the mud.  It is indeed some kind of polyglot.  With bits of all sorts of people and movements attached.  Who would have thought that the IMF, let alone the Archbishop of Canterbury would have come out in support of the so-called Robin Hood tax?

Perhaps people are smiling because the tired old play is finally grinding to a halt.  The new play is beginning and we don’t know what happens in the next Act.  Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out to be a Greek Tragedy!

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