Keith comes in to tell me that there is now every sign that there is going to be an economic recession. Keith feeds on bad news. This year’s pea crop has failed. Council tax is going up again. Next month’s weather will be as bad as this month’s has been. Being his neighbour is rather like booking a sleeper on the Trans-Siberian Railway only to find that you are sharing a berth with Schopenhauer. ‘Oh yes and just before I go I forgot to say that three hundred and fifty workers are being made redundant in Coventry next week.’ His constant refrain is ‘What can you do about it? Nothing you can do about it.’ When George Osborne announces yet more cuts he gloats rather like an old fashioned preacher assuring his audience they will all go to hell. He is much obsessed with footballers’ salaries and is for ever rushing in to inform me of yet further increases to these already grossly swollen purses. What can you about it? Nothing you can do about it.