Finance and ballet

Monday was first day back at Parliament – and outside of the Chancellor’s statement on the economic mess – not much else happening.

Darling’s ‘statement’ did nothing to calm nerves as far as I could see. He didn’t move to secure all savings. He didn’t move to encourage interest rates to drop and he didn’t move to re-capitalise the banks. So – no wonder the next morning the stock market plummeted. All he could muster was – we will do whatever it takes. Well Alistair – better to be pro-active than re-active. Has he not seen what damage dither causes? As the 60% of savings in this country held by 2% of the population begins to seek safer havens – Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Germany and Spain is on the way – talking about the need for a cohesive policy for Europe is bit horse and stable door.

Given there was no vote last night – I actually managed to go to something I was invited to – the launch of the new season at the Royal Opera House: four ‘tasters’ from the coming season danced and sang for us – up close and personal. First were a couple dancing from a newly choreographed ballet – absolutely stunning; followed by a virtuoso violinist; followed by the two principals of the Royal Ballet doing the pas de deux from the Swan Lake and concluding with a magnificent tenor singing two arias. Right in front of my nose. It was magic.

Tony Hall – the Chief Executive, then spoke to us briefly about the work the Royal Opera House is doing to bring people in who have never been there before and who might believe that the barriers that prevent them are immovable. But with their clever partnership with the Sun newspaper, their new training, their lower prices – they are doing a good job at changing the mindset – that opera and ballet are not for the likes of us!

They are – and they are uplifting and wonderful. How lucky am I?