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article imageReview: A bailout in 'Coronation Street' and a lesson for Greece Special

By Alexander Baron     May 12, 2012 in Entertainment
The culmination of a plot in this long running soap has implications far beyond a mythical Mancunian town, but will the Greeks or anyone else take the hint?
(Note: This article contains spoilers for those who haven't yet seen these soaps).
Recently, a character turned up in Britain's longest running soap and made waves. Terry Duckworth had last appeared in 2008, but his recent and short lived reappearance has been disastrous for everyone who was so unfortunate as to come into contact with him, especially his long lost son and Duckworth junior's girlfriend, Tina.
The bottom line is that he decided to open a lap dancing club, which might just have met with objections in a residential area, including from the local boozer - the world famous Rovers Return - and a new upmarket bistro. After his plans were scuppered, Duckworth was saddled with a crippling debt that he had run up with a local loan shark. This odious character, Rick, has appeared in the soap before, and his terrorising one of his previous clients literally drove the poor man to his death. The victim that time was Tina's father, and naturally she is horrified to see him back on the scene, this time accompanied by two fellow thugs.
After borrowing (permanently) from his son around half the money necessary to start the lap dancing club, money which had gone straight into Rick's pocket, he decides the only way out is to torch the place and claim on the insurance. He persuades his son to go along with this mad scheme, but Tina interrupts him, and after wrestling with her she falls and hits her head.
Badly injured, Tina is rushed to hospital, while Duckworth senior blames her condition on an attack by Rick, and somehow persuades his son not to go to the police. He also makes a half-hearted attempt to murder Tina before she regains consciousness but fortunately is interrupted, and when she comes round, Tina tells her boyfriend the truth. By this time, Duckworth senior is about to leave town with yet more money he has persuaded his son to con out of one of the local grease monkeys, Tyrone - it gets complicated, so let's leave out the unimportant details.
After a face to face confrontation, Duckworth junior tells the older man he is no longer his father, and Dad bails out leaving town, presumably never to be seen in the mythical Weatherfield ever again, having well and truly burned his boats this time.
As the now skint youngster heads back to the hospital to visit his girlfriend, who should jump out of a car but Rick, and announce that the debt has passed from father to son, and that unless he sorts out some sort of payment, well, let's not go there...
A summary of the previous misery initiated by Rick can be found here, now let us transfer this to Greece. The analogy is not perfect because although he charges extortionate interest rates, Rick actually lends real money - or the person he buys an existing debt from does, as in the earlier and tragic case of Joe. Also, Rick operates outside the law; if his victims had the bottle to stand up to him, he would soon go out of business. The parasites who are at the moment strangling the sovereign nation of Greece lend money that is created out of thin air, and their enforcement of “repayments” is legal.
Although Terry Duckworth was an out and out villain, he was on this occasion attempting to make an honest if somewhat sleazy living. He would not have contemplated arson and insurance fraud much less murder if he had not been under intense pressure from a ruthless creditor. It remains to be seen how many Greeks have crossed the line because of their current situation, but what does not remain to be seen is that if Greece, the other nations of Europe, we the people, do not stand up to the banking cartel that they will take everything we have, in some cases will turn us into criminals, and will very definitely enslave our children, the way Rick intends to enslave Terry Duckworth's son and his girlfriend. So what is the way out?
The fate of Duckworth junior and the lovely Tina lies in the hands of the scriptwriters, but if Ashley Thomas, the former vicar of Emmerdale turns serial killer as predicted here last month, they could be facing a very grim future indeed due to the ratings war between the triad of Britain's leading soaps, the third being EastEnders. For Greece though there is a far more palatable solution: bankruptcy on its own terms.
In the UK, the bankruptcy laws have been reformed to such an extent that if there is still a stigma attached to it, the process is actually rather humane. A summary of the current legislation can be found here.
As stated, Greece should declare bankruptcy on its own terms, this will enable it to withdraw from both the Euro and the perfidious Maastricht Treaty, reclaim its sovereignty by returning to the drachma, and deciding how much money to print.
An important point about bankruptcy is that the bankrupt is liable only for his own debts, and no one else - certainly not his wife and children much less his neighbour - is obliged to sell off the family silver in order to fill the coffers of his creditors. Apply this to Greece, indeed to every nation. We in Britain are still paying interest on debts incurred before most of us were born. Why should a baby born in Greece next week be held liable for the debts of his father, or of his grandfather? And why should this baby be held liable for the debts of Greek politicians and others to whom he is no kin, has never met, will never meet, and who may have died before he was born?
More about Coronation street, Emmerdale, Bailout, Bail out
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