This is the post I tried to write last week using WordPress for Blackberry but which got swallowed up by the Data Goblin which lies in wait for all unsuspecting early adopters. My tale begins in a London pub where I had adjourned with some frat chums for some social interaction. It wasn’t particularly busy (for this was a Wednesday evening in mid-October) and there were seats to be had almost everywhere; however, it seemed only polite to ask the young twentysomething couple (though he was perhaps slightly older) if the big table next to them was available. It’s the British thing to do.

They smilingly — almost laughingly — gestured with collective waves of their hands that all was fine and so we took our seats and began to discuss queuing and poorly-catered buffet lunches and a host of other riveting subjects. Perhaps it was no surprise then that my attention began to drain away to the lovers beside us.

The Lovers

This was a passionate, yet perhaps inappropriately public dialogue. In a nutshell it seems “he” suspected “her” of some significant act of infidelity and had previously accused her of it in a social situation.

“She” was simultaneously protesting her innocence with the vehemence of an ayatollah being accused of eating a bacon sandwich and trying to get across her feelings of shame at being publicly smeared.

As regards spectacle, this was better than hearing your neighbours arguing through a party wall.

“Her” joint outrage and fear of being thought of as a scarlet woman was bringing her close to tears and she was alternately admonishing him and pleading with him for his trust. “He”, meanwhile, was disbelieving and sarcastically dismissive, wagging his finger and condemning her “stories”.

Speaking as a dispassionate observer here, although “she” was very nicely put together in an English Rose sort of way and “he” was just a middle-aged Yank in a cheap suit, I believed her. Either she was telling the truth, or the West End theatre is missing a major star.

The Tower Struck Down

True to say that even though they left together, the prospect of a happy ending is not good. Any sort of relationship is ultimately based on trust, all the more so when it comes down to the regular exchange of body fluids.

My dispassionate view is that “he” was a cad and a bounder and in former times I would have been forced to slap him with my leather glove and challenge him to come outside to preserve the lady’s honour. What simpler times those were, when everyone knew their station in life, valued it and sought no advancement from it. There are, apparently,  some who think the world is still like that, or wish it so.

They must be the ones flyposting London with leaflets claiming that “Capitalism has had its chance. Now is the time for Marxism“.

Well, that’s all very nice and that but is it anywhere close to reality? In the days of Marx and Lenin, and even as late as Mao, a lot of people thought Communism was a good idea because being poor was an honourable thing to be.

The Heirophant

We’ve probably got the Christian Church — and in particular the Emperor Constantine — to thank for this. He saw Christianity as a way of controlling the peasantry: it was after all a faith based on teachings of poverty with the promise of good times for those who toed the party line … but only when they’re dead!

Nowadays of course, no-one believes that tosh. Even today’s poorest Have-Not expect to be one of the Haves sooner or later. Why stay poor when you can win the lottery or X-Factor or get your own reality TV show, even if you have to fake a balloon flight across America to do so? There’s no value in poverty. Everyone wants to be rich, at least that’s what the adverts tell they’re thinking. Given this universal truth, what real attraction is there subscribe to a system in which there would be no Balloon Boys or Reality TV or Simon Cowell?

Hang on. No Simon Cowell … ? Hmmmm. Perhaps these Marxists are on to something …