Inbox2
Gordon-and-Sam
Remebrance-18-2
Remebrance-18-1
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Landscape
Big-Bull
EARLY-MORNING-CANTER-473-
Roving-Crows1
Torch-2012-05-23093-
MBORO-HOCKEY-YOUTH-473
Duke-of-Kent086
George-Wilding-301
Inbox-1
BABRURY-XC-JUMP-473
Snowy-High-Street
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
FROSTY-MORNING-
JazzFestSat572
IMG9097
Hares017cropped
Brazier
Sunset2
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
MYFC005
Turin-Brakes6
Civic-Service-18
D812668
Tina-May5
Camilla-2012-10-19152
D4S9273
Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
Animals06
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
YELLOWHAMMER-473-
White-Horse
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
Ogbourne
D4S0472
Scouting-for-Girls7
Remebrance-18-3
Sunset
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
IMG8472
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Pete-Gage-Band1
Brooks-Williams1
SBJ
4MI-2013-11-28030
TdB-Pewsey044
Camilla-MSM
Musical-Time-Machine5
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greece seems to have been on the brink of crashing out of the euro for so long that what looks like the final instalment of the drama, the Referendum on Sunday (July 5), may yet prove to be something else.  Commentators swing first one way and then the other when considering the pros and cons of a Greek exit, but what does seem to be agreed is that in the short term things for the Greek people are likely to get worse before they get better.
 
In these circumstances it is only natural that people seek explanations for what has happened and wish to hold to account those who seem responsible for the events that have occurred.
 
Some commentators suggest that the problem is essentially a design fault in the euro project itself.  A monetary union between such divergent economies and cultures before a political one was never going to work.

Others say that the problem lay less in the design of the project and more in its implementation.  Greece didn’t meet the entry criteria for the euro and so fiddled the books - something which European bankers knew full well.

Additional comments point the finger of blame at the inefficiencies and corruption of the Greek economy, while some choose to blame the role of German bankers and politicians. Even the Greek electorate must bear some responsibility for voting in the governments they did – we tend to get the government we deserve, do we not?

It seems likely that there is truth in all these observations and whilst they might appear to contradict each other, what they have in common is the simple truth that there is a link between behaviour and experience.  That is to say that the actions we take, and the decisions we make, affect people.

The trouble is that the people who make decisions are not always the ones affected by them!
 
Writings within the Bible recognise this. Broadly speaking, The Book of Proverbs, for example suggests that there is a direct link between action and experience  –  ‘A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ (Proverbs 15.1.).  But the Book of Job, on the other hand, implies that the misfortunes that happen to Job are entirely random and not linked at all to the way he has behaved.
 
In Greece and elsewhere in the euro zone, events do have an explanation and root causes can be traced.  The explanations may be various and some may be contradictory, but what they stem from is a kind of wishful thinking – a failure to grasp difficult issues (divergent economies, dishonest figures, too much spending and not enough income) in the hope that they will go away.
 
In September 2009, on the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, the then Archbishop Canterbury, Rowan Williams, appeared on Newsnight.  As the discussion about the cause of the banking crisis developed, Jeremy Paxman suggested dismissively that the Archbishop would find a place in the general scheme for Original Sin.  To Paxman’s surprise, Rowan Williams agreed with him: "Humans", he said, "have a dangerous taste for unreality".
 
This ‘dangerous taste for unreality’ has been exercised by a number of people who should have known better and the consequences are there for all of us to see.
 
But they are consequences which are being lived out and endured by people in Greece – who now need our support and not our hectoring.  It’s not clear what form that support might take, but let’s hope there are practical things we might be able to do.

 

back to 'Columnists'

Print

Big-Bull
White-Horse
MYFC005
Scouting-for-Girls7
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
TdB-Pewsey044
Camilla-MSM
CivicSelfie1
Brooks-Williams1
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Sunset
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
Remebrance-18-1
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Sunset2
Turin-Brakes6
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
Duke-of-Kent086
Musical-Time-Machine5
D4S9273
JazzFestSat572
Remebrance-18-2
Tina-May5
D812668
IMG9097
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
D4S0472
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
George-Wilding-301
Pete-Gage-Band1
Remebrance-18-3
Gordon-and-Sam
SBJ
4MI-2013-11-28030
Civic-Service-18
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Animals06
Roving-Crows1
Brazier
Hares017cropped
IMG8472
Landscape
Snowy-High-Street
Ogbourne