Posts Tagged ‘It’s a wonderful life’

Christmas special: It’s a wonderful Labour life

25/12/2013, 08:00:32 AM

by Rob Marchant

(With apologies to the late Frank Capra)

Christmas Eve, 2013: snow was falling fast in the small town of Leftford Falls, the stores were packing up for Christmas and Edward Bailey – known to his friends as Ed, and his detractors as “Red Ed” – had finished work for the day at his little family savings-and-loan business.

It had been a very difficult year: the business had been established a hundred years before, to provide help to “the many not the few”, as its slogan ran. This Christmas, it was just about keeping its head above water, in troubled economic times.

Meanwhile Lennie M. Potter, the power-hungry boss who owned half of Leftford Falls, was cooking up a plan to secure the one piece of the town he had never yet managed to get hold of – Bailey’s company.

Seeing that the savings-and-loan was in difficulties, Potter had decided to turn the screws further by declining to cooperate in Bailey’s clever new scheme to save his little business. The scheme was a bit complicated to explain, but Bailey’s idea was that the company would get more money, more power would go to ordinary people and less to Potter. Potter, needless to say, disagreed.

In fact, Bailey had never ventured much outside of his neighbourhood of Leftford Falls, because he always had the fear that, when he came back, Potter would have taken over the whole place.

To cap it all, Bailey’s own bank – a co-operative enterprise headed by the clownish “Uncle Billy” Flowers – had just gone bankrupt. Indeed, thanks in part to the foolish actions of uncle Billy, the financial base of the whole savings-and-loan business was now at risk.

So, on that last evening before the holidays, everything had come to a head. There was only one thing for it: he would have to go cap-in-hand to Potter, and beg him for a loan to get his business back on the straight and narrow. Surely Potter would see that ordinary people would be better off that way? He couldn’t see Bailey go to the wall, could he? It was Christmas, after all.


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