So I switch on BBC News and it is the funeral of Vaclav Havel. And you know what these rolling news things are like. In the left pane of the screen is “Live From Prague: Vaclav Havel’s funeral” and in a smaller right pane they have on shuffle Mr Havel’s “greatest hits” – Mr Havel, greets Bill Clinton, Mr Havel signs a treaty etc. This the BBC helpfully flags as “library pictures”. You don’t say.
(At this point I don’t have to remark on the difference in tone of the morning for the two “Father’s of their Nations” who recently joined the choir invisible).
Anyways now onto something else. I went out for some washing powder this morning and I clocked the single cashpoint (the other one was in the Co-op and was stolen months back and not replaced) in the village I live in. It belongs to one of the two banks on my high street – the NatWest. It is out of monies. Great! The day before Christmas Eve. Anyone betting that it won’t be in service till the day after Boxing Day at the earliest? Now this does happen but it has happened more often since that bank only opened on Mondays and Fridays to “cut costs”. Fair enough and all but the other bank in the village is an RBS (and doesn’t have a cashpoint). Now call me simple-minded but seeing as NatWest and RBS are the same
companies nationalized institutions a more sensible and prudent option would have been to maintain full service at one of the buildings and sell the other one. NatWest’s advertising slogan is “Helpful Banking” and they boast things like “UK only call centres”. Magic! But you know what I’d find helpful (and I bank with NatWest) is being able to get to my money.