Cyprus

I would suggest that the funding of a bank bailout by imposing a one-off tax on those wealthy enough to have savings accounts is a far lesser evil than either allowing the bank to go bust – leading to the reposession of homes – or funding through general taxation – leading to the cost being borne by the truly poor who are dependent on welfare and government spending.

Colective punishent, meanwhile, is both illegal as sin and a moot point.

Well, I could spend ages pulling at odd strings in this, one of the more sensible comments (relatively speaking) on a Guardian page about Cyprus’s latest way of resolving its financial problems – raid savings accounts of anyone who happens to be saving up for their kid’s birthday/ Granny’s birthday/ next Christmas/ the holiday/ the next house/ a meal out/ a new TV/ next year’s season ticket. There was a distinctly economically inept person going on about saving destroying the economy and how we should go out and spend our money, which reminded me that as well as buying a house I need to keep some money aside from pay-to-pay spending for a new computer. Apparently they have a fixed life these days and this one’s getting on a bit. And a new one which meets my thrashing requirements still costs more than the heritage computer sat on the desk behind me did.

But I resent the idea that I am “wealthy” simply because I put some money aside in a high interest bearing savings account (it generates about  £4 per year or something superlatively worthwhile like that). I could rant for ages about all the signs that I am not wealthy, but apart from the fact that I used to live off Tesco Value Horseburgers most of them are a bit revealing about where I live.

(I might manage to throw in the fact that I can’t afford a car either, not even one of those amazing value Volkswagen cars for £21,000. I admit they’re amazing value. It’s amazing that anyone thinks they’re good value. You do realise that five years of commuting into London by train is unlikely to set you back more than £18,000? And expensive London season tickets count as a railcard too, not that anyone advertises that; see here for details and save pots of money despite not being over 55, under 26, a student, disabled, unemployed or local.)

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to note that it is now only a matter of time before these things spread as a way of allowing Governments to raise more money to better buy more votes, so everybody is therefore advised to Panic!

Panic!

Panic and withdraw all your money from your savings account!

And invest it all in re-opening the Wye Valley Railway! Guaranteed no EU raids on profit margins!

(There won’t be any profits. In fact you will never see the slightest sign of any of your money ever again, unless you count the begging letters asking you to send more money to allow the railway the faintest possibility of one day having enough money to afford to hold an Annual General Meeting or submit accounts to Companies House or fulfil any of these other bits of legal red tape. But at least the EU/ the Government/ the banks won’t get anything out of it, and that’s a distinct advantage over a savings account!)

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