Thursday, 6 December 2012

Austerity and Change

                 Yesterday’s ‘Autumn Statement’ from  the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend during the Autumn of 2007. That conversation heralded the onset of such major change in my life that I am still waiting to exhale 5 years later.

 2007 was the second year in which I had not received the usual annual statement from the company to which I made significant monthly payments to cover an endowment policy set up to repay my mortgage in this very year – 2012 – it never happened.  And that is another story for another day.

Anyway, during 2007 I called the company to tell them I had not received a statement for two years now and wanted to know what was going on. I found myself speaking with someone in a call centre in India. On taking the necessary details including the address of the property in question, the young man proceeded to inform me that the address given was not the one they had on record.  What? But this was the property indicated in the endowment policy I was holding, so would someone please tell me what the hell was going on, and p.d.q.

I had to wait while the India call centre guy patched me back to the UK to talk to his manager with whom I had a conversation about fraud and identity theft.  As the saga went on I found myself talking to someone at the Financial Services Agency (the watchdog – generally toothless – for financial institutions in the UK). They said they could take no action without EVIDENCE that fraudulent behaviour had actually taken place. They said I should write to the company in question setting out my concerns and giving them six weeks to respond. If I had not received a satisfactory response during that period, I should take a complaint to the financial Ombudsman.

By the time the matter was eventually resolved, I had lost all confidence in the financial system. Would you believe that a few months later tucked away on an inside page of the London Evening Standard was a small article indicating that the company in question had identified widespread fraud in its operations.

I warned a friend with a small family business to check on her financial affairs and shore up her defences. She told me that they had no dealings at all with that company; but with alarming prescience I heard myself saying to her that it was not just that particular company. Something was going badly wrong in the financial sector as a whole.

A lapsed Jehovah’s Witness, my friend indicated that this particular branch of Christianity had always predicted the destruction of a specific type of capitalism. And a lot of water has flowed under that particular bridge since 2007.

So here we are today with George Osborne promising austerity until 2018.  But it’s not just about austerity, it's about monumental planetary change.


  1. Firstly I have to come clean and say that I know Amari, indeed she is a very dear friend and Gnu of mine. So I am familiar with the Blaize primer and am hoping to graduate to the next level by next summer. I am most delighted though that Amari has chosen to start her blog now, at this precise moment of time when there is an unconscious collision of material and imaginal realms, forced in large part by bully boys as Amari describes above. Of course in truth the imaginal world is elegant and fluid enough and in fact so real that the decaying material world can only glimpse it collectively from time to time. What Amari says about planetary change is a the heart of this. And it has always been thus - in the eternal dynamic of flow. I have read Amari's books and am so pleased that she is now writing in this format - as it means we can get regular updates as they come in which makes them dynamic! Carole

    1. Please don't go looking for my books; you won't find them. Carole is referring to draft manuscripts in different stages of completion!