The man behind the mic: A price to pay for Greek tragedy

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
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Hands up all those people that would like to pay less for their mortgage and whilst they are at it, completely wipe out their credit card debt too. I thought so.

Maybe, like Adrian Chiles, you have lost your job recently (although he is rumoured to be the new face of Embarrassing Bodies) and you cannot honour the commitments that you had previously made or you may have signed on the dotted line for a loan, with an extortionate interest rate, that is now crippling you financially.

If any of this sounds vaguely familiar and you are in dire straits right now, then please don’t hesitate – vote. If it’s good enough for Greece it’s good enough for you.

I am sure Santander will be accommodating when you ring them to explain that it is the democratic will of the people, who reside at number 378 Coniston Road, Gunthorpe, Peterborough, that the interest rate be significantly lowered on your five – year, tracker mortgage.

Barclaycard will be over the moon to hear that you intend to return their plastic in the post, minus any sign of a cheque and I am sure your nifty change of billing address will completely fool the bailiffs.

You see the Greeks have set a dangerous precedent here with the election of the far-left Syriza party, who stood on a ticket which promised to scrap austerity measures and renegotiate their debt payments.

From this day forward, for you, me, the Spanish, the Italians, the Portuguese and anybody else who owes a bob or two, Greece is the word (I knew I could shoehorn that in somewhere).

Like Rihanna in full clothing, this all came as a bit of shock to some, whilst others argued that this was incontrovertible proof of the fallacy of the whole European Union idea, a union whose future is now finely balanced on a precipice.

Some claimed that this was bound to happen and that a basket case economy like Greece should never have been admitted into the Union in the first place.

But surely the same can be said of a number of other countries and if all of those were denied admission then it would be a Europe made up of just Great Britain, France, Germany and Denmark – imagine how terrible that would be!

If Greece do get their way and renege on some, or all of their £204bn debt, the repercussions will be enormous. The effects will be felt everywhere from Berlin to Bridge Street because there is no such thing as a free mezes - somebody, somewhere in Europe (our main trading partner) has to pick up the tab for the feta cheese.

As if David Cameron needed anything else to deal with this week, what with the hoax caller who claimed he was “Off his face” (the caller, not Dave) and the announcement that the six year inquiry into the Iraq war had still not finished with the big, black marker pen - although Tony Blair remains absolutely convinced that the Chilcot inquiry could be ready to publish anytime in the next forty five minutes.

And with just a under a hundred days to go to the election our Prime Minister has still to give his seal of approval to the live TV debates which, it seems, could now include up to eleven different party leaders, with Uncle Tom Cobleigh the latest to sign up.

Perhaps we should send him the bill for this Greek tragedy.

- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Paul Stainton writes for the Peterborough Telegraph