Paul Routledge says, like Canoe Man John Darwin, we are currently drowning in debt amid the cost of living crisis. Advice charity Step Change received almost six million calls last year
The drama of the Canoe Man Thief and his fake death made great TV entertainment.
In real life, rogue prison officer John Darwin and his wife Anne were both jailed for six years for fraud.
He flew off to a new life in the Philippines as she now lives quietly in a village in Yorkshire.
End of the story? Not for me. The piece raised a big issue that rarely gets proper media exposure.
I mean debt. Kayaker Walter Mitty Darwin ‘disappeared’ because he was in huge, unmanageable debt and bailiffs were knocking on his door.
In the film, the character of Anne Darwin aspires to “a simple life, a happy family that pays its bills”.
A little hope these days.
Britain is sinking under a mountain of personal debt. Credit card borrowing soared by £1.5bn in February to £59.5bn, the highest since records began in 1993. With interest rates at 18%, l average adult owes more than £1,100 on a credit card and the number of struggling households in debt has risen by a third.
It’s scary. Step Change, the counseling charity, received nearly six million calls last year from people in debt suffering from depression, stress, domestic violence and even suicidal tendencies.
The North East of England, where Canoe Man took place, has the highest regional proportion of people asking for help, as the debt crisis is worst where people are less well off.
Canoe Man got into trouble because of his own greed and madness. Today’s generation of debt is being dragged down by government policies such as declining Universal Credit, freezing benefits and soaring inflation.
Chancellor “Richy” Sunak should prepare an emergency budget, but he’s too busy paying fines.
hammer and songs
How could anything have been built before the invention of the transistor radio?
No construction site, no small job in the house is complete without Radio 2 broadcasting the hits of yesteryear. Trowel and terror!
Some guys have a more local taste. I heard Radio Leeds give it big amid the cement mixers.
And now they have their own digital station, Fix Radio, whose founding genius Louis Timpany had the brilliant idea of delivering bacon butts to job sites.
Listen If I had a hammer!
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This “unreserved” apology from Boris Johnson, translated into English: “There were no parties at number 10, and if there were, I was not there to pour drinks, and if I was doing, it was work-related, and I never misled Parliament or if I did, it was unintentional, and I don’t think I did anything wrong – and don’t know- you not that there is a war thousands of miles away and that i am the reincarnation of Winston Churchill and that i will win the next election, so let’s have less of your lip, you oiks, right? »
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Tony Blair thinks 70% of teenagers should go to college. And he should go back to school.
If that happened, where would we find the sales people, bus and lorry drivers, manual care home and NHS staff, and all the other workers we depend on?
A master’s degree in football studies is worthless in times of crisis.
Certainly, the pandemic has taught us that society as we know it comes to a halt without key workers, whose efforts should be fully recognized in their salaries.