It’s all my fault

I’m 71. I used to be younger. I have been younger for longer than I have been 71 so it is no wonder that when I look in the mirror of a morning and see an old, lined face, it comes as something of a surprise.

That would be bad enough but it seems that all of a sudden I’ve become a person of no account, solely because of my age. I am being blamed for the current recession because of the time in which I was born. I am, you see, a baby-boomer and therefore the sole cause of the lack of money around nowadays.

I was born into rationing. For the first years of my life bread and potatoes were rationed. I was nine when sweet rationing ended and a year later, meat came off ration, but that didn’t mean we could afford any more of course. I got engaged and for two years my wife’s wages went into savings. We ended up with enough for the deposit on a little bungalow.

For five years we struggled along, with a little in savings. I then joined the police, which meant a cut in income of about a third, and we got into a bit of debt, which meant getting rid of the car, the TV, holidays, evenings out (that freed up one a month) and my parents giving us food parcels.

Moving county meant that we took out a larger mortgage, which we paid off in 2005.

Yet, it would appear, I am the cause of all the economic ills of this country. It is, somehow, my fault bankers could not master the basics of their role. It is my fault that house-building did not keep pace with demand, it is my fault that kids today refuse to wait the two years I did before moving in with one another, having mobile phones – we did without a land line for two years – pads, satellite TV, films on demand and other items I would call luxuries.

I have a credit card. I use it so infrequently that I struggle to remember the pin. When I used it to pay the deposit on a second-hand car, the salesman was rather amused to discover that I didn’t know I should have warned my lender.

HM’s uncontactable and, in more ways than one, taxing service decided to fine me many thousands of pounds due to me not complying with an unpublished deadline. They said I didn’t owe it, but if I didn’t pay it within a few days I would be fined £100 a day.

Rather than lose interest on invested savings, I went to my bank and applied for a short term loan. The published interest rate was not available due, I was told, to my lowish credit rating. When I challenged this, saying I was completely out of debt and paid off my credit card on the infrequent occasions when I used it before the end of the month, the loans woman told me, with a rather amused tone, that that was why I had a low credit rating.

So I’m the idiot. I’m the untrustworthy one, because I manage my finances tightly. I fail to see how the present financial crisis is all down to me just because I do not waste money.

What happened to the world when I was busy providing support for my family? It would appear the idiots moved in.

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