There I was, enjoying a rare moment of non-medicated bliss when it was all shattered. I was contemplating immanent retirement; a little pottering in the garden, a spot of annoying the neighbours as I practise the tuba, perhaps a few potshots at local cats, and the economy of the world threatens to tank.
My savings, earning at the moment an interest rate of two tomatoes and a peanut per £1000 are heading for the hills like an Orangeman invited to mass. My pension requires an iron lung and my retirement prospects are as bright as a member of the royal family.
Meanwhile what are the masters of the universe, the elite, the movers and shakers of the world doing to avert disaster?
Between dates at the golf tee Obama is squeezing in a round of parties to celebrate his 50th birthday, £35,800 a ticket. Yes, the proles are tightening their belts as instructed, but don’t mention the overwhelming priority of the upcoming election.
In Europe Van Rompuy is off on holiday in northern Scandinavia; no-one remind him that there are polar bears in those latitudes. For the UK Cameron is in Tuscany and Hague holds the levers of power. It could be worse, remember John Prescott being left in charge by Tony Blair? Active SAS sergeants still wake up at night in a cold sweat.
What has this to do with an iconoclastic Calvinist? Responsibility.
If you know that you alone stand before God to answer for your life choices it engenders an attitude of personal responsibility. There is no blaming society, forces beyond our control, greedy bankers, over-reactive brokers, profligate lenders, the Tea Party or the Tooth Fairy. We must all shoulder personal responsibility for our own actions and the events which ensue from those actions. That includes the powerful, the influential and the decision makers. They have run out of excuses.
Most of us haven’t a clue about high economics or geo-political complexities. That’s why we elect people who are supposedly qualified to make these complex decisions. They have screwed up.
But we can’t point the finger and feel self-righteous and justified. I know that Vince Cable belongs in a tale by Lewis Carol, but who elected him? Who ultimately put Barosso in control of the EU? Who elected Blair, Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy and the other no-hopers?
If the country, the continent, the world is in a mess who is responsible? We are.