Friday, 6 July 2012

Their word no longer their bond

About the only thing on which I agree with Michael Gove is that children should be encouraged to learn poetry by heart at school.

Here's a "poem" I learnt at primary school in the 1940s which I can still recite from memory, though perhaps with not 100% accuracy:

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their soul.
Who steals my purse steals trash.
Tis something, nothing.  Twas mine, tis his,
And has been slave to thousands.
But he who filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enricheth him,
But makes me poor indeed.

It is, I believe, a speech by Iago from Othello. Its relevance to today cannot be overstated.  Successive governments have fallen over backwards to try to preserve London as a pre-eminent financial centre.  Now our "good name", the proud boast of the City that "My word is my bond" has been blown by  traders whose greed has been granted unbridled scope by politicians obsessed by the myth of the efficacy of unregulated markets. 

Now we need to "rebalance" our economy and learn to earn our national living in more honest ways.  It will be a long struggle.

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