Debt mountain

According to the news today the average personal debt in the UK is double the European average, although our continental cousins are rapidly catching up with our spend now and pay later ways. Predictably the news pieces focussed on credit card debts, personal loans (I blame that Carol Voderman myself – “do you need a personal loan?” Yes, to pay off all the other loans Carol has persuaded me to take out!) etc and yet none of them considered fitting it into the pattern of British history.

Consider the fact that modern Britain was built on a system of credit and debt; it was this system of credit which financed government and military expansion and upgrade, instrumental in defeating other European powers and also the resulting expansion of the British Empire until it was the largest in world history (hey, don’t save up for all that pink paint to re-colour the map, just buy it on credit, easy terms available!). In one famous 19th century example Disraeli (the Victorian prime minister, not the comics artist) borrowed directly from the Rothschilds to finance the immeadite purchase of the Suez Canal. So there you go, it isn’t just our free-spending consumerist ways, it is a part of our culture. At least, that’s what I tell myself as I desperately juggle those bills…