Tuesday, 10 February 2009


This morning the heads of RBS and HBOS are being questioned by MPs . . . It’s fun listening, even though the MPs aren’t being sharp enough, and a good writer could make much of this format in which discomfort, fear and anger is overlayered by politeness and business platitudes. Paul Muldoon once wrote a TV play about the entrapment of the dodgy car-maker John Delorean in which executives trade small talk (‘Had a good flight?') while discussing cocaine smuggling and money laundering. The play was called Monkeys, which in turn reminds me of Zagajewski’s poem ‘Apes’: ‘One day apes made their grab for power. / Gold seal-rings, / starched shirts, / aromatic Havana cigars . . . Deeply involved in our other pursuits, / We didn’t notice: someone read Aristotle, / someone else was deeply in love . . .’

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