In the London in which I was born, before it was turned into a gated paradise for the super-rich, there were large areas where ordinary people lived, especially in the East and South. And among the ordinary people, of course were a fair number of criminals. It was possible in those days to talk of a “gangland” in London’s East End, ruled over, at that time, by the notorious Kray brothers, Ronald and Reginald, who ran protection and extortion rackets throughout the area. They were not very bright, apparently, but they were psychopathically vicious, and a number of books and films were devoted to them after their final fall, and their disappearance into prison.
All that seems very distant now – todays East End protection rackets are run by smooth bankers in expensive suits. But one thing that did live on was the Monty Python version of the Krays – Doug and Dinsdale Piranha, who carried the mix of stupidity and viciousness to typically Pythonian heights of surrealism.
So, of course to Greece. The method of the Krays (and the Piranhas) consisted of lending people money and forcing them into debt, then demanding more and more sacrifices with the threat of violence. Sounds familiar? It should, because it’s exactly this combination of stupidity and viciousness that has been practiced on the people of Greece in recent years, by the German bankers (some of whom, for all I know, may be called Doug or Dinsdale) hiding behind the inscrutable financial acronyms that rule our lives.
So now the Greek people have said no, what do you do, send in the troops?
But then we recall that the Piranhas, like the Krays, finally overreached themselves in violence, and were brought down. It would be nice to think that the Piranhas of Frankfurt could meet their end in the same way.