The past weeks of my life have been a daily routine of repeated presses of the snooze button before sloping off to the library where I'd sit watching the outside world live their lives as I kid myself that being surrounded by books really does constitute revision. All this sensory deprivation has meant that my usual scanning of the broadsheets has turned into fleeting glances of the day's headlines.
I have been perplexed recently to see headlines cropping up left right and centre about "Davos", a mysterious sounding place which I assumed to be a cheap package holiday destination. It was only upon waking up in the afternoon following my final exam with what felt like someone practising their blacksmithery behind my eyes that, slumped in front of the television, I realised lots of economists and politicians were not "lads on tour" but delegates at the World Economic Forum. It sounded more fun when I thought The Times had inherited an unhealthy obsession with the chav Mecca that is Kavos, a resort that sounds as much fun as botulism.
As an economics student I was a trifle embarrassed that I'd managed to remain oblivious to the whole Davos fiasco, on the plus side, living with arts students it isn't the type of thing which crops up over pasta based dinner. Now was the time to plug my knowledge deficit, to do what any self respecting economics undergrad would do and log onto "Week in Pictures" by the Guardian.
If you are looking for watered down news this really is the place for you. You get some smashing little quotes. Take for example: "Lord Mandelson unlocked £2.3bn in loan guarantees for the ailing car industry". Where was it locked up? It sounds like something from a TV reality show. What did Lord Mandelson have to do in order to unlock this £2.3 billion, drink a pint of pulverised kangaroo whilst being goaded by two cheeky Geordie tinkers? As it happens this is the kind of TV I would happily watch to sooth my post exam hangover and I think a large proportion of the British public are with me. Meanwhile, the redtops are always brimming with new and ignorant headlines in the realms of "Bonkers Bailout Coming from OUR Pockets" (where do you want it to come from, Robin Hood?) If we could just incorporate recession busting stimuli with a jungle challenge/phone vote element the cost could be offset slightly and at least the viewing public could feel warm and fuzzy that not only are their savings safe but they get to vote for the CEO of Northern Rock to gulp down liquidised Australian bush creatures.
I'm well aware that allowing the watchers of daytime TV to press their red button to find a solution to what is a highly complicated and multinational problem really isn't wise but, wouldn't it be fun? Let's look at what we have now. The world's leaders and top business and economics representatives gathered at a classy hotel in a Swiss ski resort to have an expensive and well educated blame-athon. Light and blustery jibes at America with scattered insults over Iceland.
At Davos, once the world's leaders have left the conference rooms for the last time all that seems to remain is for them to return to their respective countries a little miffed at their international colleagues, nothing resolved. This could all be done from mild and reliably grey climes of Manchester. I triumph in many ways as Manchester is not only home to a good number of suitable venues but is also the natural habitat of one Jeremy Kyle. Let's move the whole thing to Manchester. It'll be a fraction of the cost and a million times more amusing. Jezza can ruffle some feathers, remove any of the dignity and respect the attendees may have had and get some good debating done. "Mr Soros claims it's the Fed's entire fault: let's see what they have to say...bring them out!" What's more, Matthew Reeves can once again sit, hungover and tired and watch the whole pointless affair on ITV 2.