Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fighting Turbulence

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised that the UK and other EU countries will "lead the way" in fighting "global financial turbulence". [BBC News 17 March 2008]

I just did a search on a well-known Internet search engine for the terms "fight" and "turbulence" and found that all the hits on the first page are to this news story. Paging down, I find lots of references to the airline industry (a journalistic cliche), and a fictional character called Turbulence who (you may not be surprised to learn) gets into a lot of fights with other characters with names like Thundercracker and Firebat. Nobody else is talking about fighting turbulence.

If you are flying, fighting turbulence simply means getting to your destination despite the turbulence. But that doesn't seem to be what Brown means. It sounds like he imagines that he and Sunstreaker and a few others will overcome Turbulence with their bare hands, wrestle it to the floor and stamp on its face.

Good luck with that. But I am minded of a previous ruler of these islands, one King Canute, who tried and failed to fight the tides.