Last Friday I watched television, which is for me actually rather usual. The main reason was an excess of beer and curry and inertia, but the second reason was that The Apprentice was to feature contestants making New Agey scented soaps and things for their challenge. This being the sort of thing we buy a lot of in our house my wife wanted to watch. It wasn't a terribly romantic way to spend an evening - but I can probably blame the beer and curry for that.
I've never watched the program before, but I found it extremely enlightening. As far as I was able to understand the program the contestants were divided into two teams and had to make as much money as possible by flogging home made soap and other smellies to people in a hurry. Team A managed to make something that resembled a partially melted ice lolly, but managed to sell most of their stock for a few quid and came out with a slight profit. Team B made something that actually resembled soap but failed to sell enough and so lost. Team A were sent off to be wined and dined at a posh restaurent whilst selected members of Team B were hauled up in front of Sir Alan where upon they sold each other out like a prize group of stoolpigeons.
Coming at a time when the world's economy is crashing thanks to the mistakes of "blue eyed white men" this demonstration of the Anglo-Saxon business model was quite enlightening. For making some yuck in a packet Team A were rewarded with perks that cost considerably more than they took off the gullible commuters. Team B, despite actually managing to make what they were supposed to, and despite admitting to having had fun and been a happy team, were pilloried and, rather than sticking up for themselves, they tore into each other and their hapless leader.
So here we have the Anglo-Saxon way of doing business. We produce rubbish, we reward ourselves for making rubbish with money we don't have, and when it all goes tits up its everyone for themselves. Apparently in France black berrets are now proving popular, a way, apparently, of showing respect for Gallic traditions and to make absolutely clear that the wearer is not in any way, shape, or form Anglo-Saxon. Meanwhile Sir Alan, and the rest of our disgraced economic elite, still have their blackberries but no respect whatsoever.