The concept of quantitative easing was never one that I, as a lowly lay person, fully understood.
Suffice to say that it came over to yours truly, as I am sure it did to many others, as the practice of essentially printing money where none existed before with little to back it up and with most of it, as ever, ending up back with the banks who caused the problem in the first place.
Simplistic, I grant you, not to say downright cynical but you try making more sense of it without doing your head in and you’re a better man than I am.
So you will no doubt be thrilled to learn, on the principle that the more worthless the currency, the higher the denominations produced, that the Royal Mint has just come up with a £10,000 gold coin.
This is, it would seem, the biggest in its thousand-odd-year-old history, weighing in at 10 kilograms or 22 lbs in old money.
It took 400 hours to produce, including four days of polishing. It’s also the final flourish of what is known as the Queen’s Beasts collection, based on the 10 symbolic statues along the route of Her Maj’s coronation procession of 1953.
Don’t say you never learn anything worthwhile in this column.
Said statues include such heraldic creatures as the griffin, dragon, unicorn and, last but far from least, the yale.
No, I hadn’t heard of it either. It’s apparently a goat-like creation loosely related to the ibex.
But in spite of its regal significance and the fact that it never actually existed, it seems to fit right in with current fiscal thinking in being almost as mythical, some might say, as the fabled magic money tree.
You know, the one invisible to Theresa May but which since seems to have put down roots and flourished like the proverbial green bay, in the Downing Street window boxes.
Perhaps there should be branches everywhere, making up for the lack of local banks anywhere accessible to the general public.
Now, this new and impressive coin of the realm is purely a commemorative piece, available only to those happy to shell out 10 grand for a bit of reverential regal-related bling.
Although (and I can see you, as we speak, deserting the early morning Primark queue and rushing off to Wales with your flask and sleeping bag to claim a prime spot outside the Royal Mint) it will also be available in a range of finishes starting at around £13 for a £5 coin.
Which is rather like what a friend of mine used to call “trying to get 10 pounds of manure into a five-pound bag”. Although she didn’t actually use the word manure…
And, let’s face it, surely even £10,000 is a paltry sum to fork out for such a literally golden opportunity, compared to the funds made available, no doubt at what my word-mangling Auntie Julie used to refer to as “providential rates”, to the Prime Minister in the cause of knocking up an acceptable new look for his Central London skip?
£58,000 and counting, as I understand it? Coining it, matey!
One would not be surprised, put it that way, to discover that the original of this newly-minted national asset has found its way into the trouser pockets of Boris Johnson as the perfect solution for covering at least some of his domestic costs.
Or even his walls. I suppose we should be grateful that he hasn’t already ordered it to be melted down to provide yet another room festooned with gold wallpaper, as allegedly ordered by his Significant Other, Ms Carrie Symonds for their current, though essentially (given that all political careers end in failure) short-lease residence at No 10.
However, it seems to be that Mr Johnson’s personal surface, unlike the gloss, matte or textured interiors of his abode, is made of Teflon and is far from anything approaching a proper finish.
I wouldn’t bet against the probability that even if the latest batch of investigations find he has kicked Dylin the dog while he was about it, nothing will happen
And that’s in spite of inquiries, probes and reviews into his finances and generally cavalier way with the actualité on a wide range of more serious subjects including all-too-believable remarks about letting the Covid bodies pile up, like a kind of latter-day Marie Antoinette.
I wouldn’t bet against the probability that even if the latest batch of investigations find he has indeed done something wrong, lied, cheated and kicked Dilyn the dog while he was about it, absolutely nothing will happen.
That is the pattern so far and it’s not going to change while he and those of his staff at present monitoring voting intentions and attitudes amongst the common herd, reckon the latter “don’t give a monkey’s” about where he got the cash for the ric-rac braid on the four-poster and that’s it’s all a “farrago of nonsense.”
It’s just that, if such actions were taken by “ordinary people” (was there ever a more patronising term? Call us mugs and have done with it) it would inevitably lead, PDQ, to Queer Street, the Job Centre and the criminal courts, instead of a gilded cage at No 10.