But we must not talk of killing these people ... to do so could be construed as an arrestable offence - and it upsets some of our more sensitive readers. We, the little people, should instead smile and be grateful that we have such towering figures looking after our interests, for such a pittance. You know it makes sense.Yet in the Daily Telegraph (by a BBC reporter no less), titled The Greek tragedy: no money, no hope, the Greeks are openingly talking about just such actions as their day-to-day situation becomes ever more desperate:
"Some days we only buy the basics and a few days lately we were not able to buy even those. We have to count our cents to decide between buying bread, milk or butter," says Mary.
"Some days are better, but some are difficult. We don't buy clothes any more. People don't go out. There is simply no money around out there."
"We would like to see the politicians executed," says Maria, not smiling as she delivers the joke. "Most people are saying this: politicians deserve capital punishment – at the Greek equivalent of Traitors' Gate. It would be a nice time for politicians to be heroes, to stand up and defend the people. But they're not."Greece is collapsing and it's rapidly reaching a toxic combination of no work, soaring crime, shortages of food and medicine and an angry population with nothing to lose:
"We can't watch the television news any more," says Dmitris, shaking his head. "...Perhaps it's fortunate that we've had to cancel our cable TV subscription. I don't trust the media any more: I get all my news from the internet."
As a result Greek politicians have started to worry about something called "anomie" – a pervasive listlessness, low-level social conflict and the erosion of bonds between the country's citizens and the state.Despite the unsustainable situation in Greece due to previous bailout measures, the EU, in order to save their faces, want to impose even more austerity onto the Greek people. The consequences of which have very gloomy parallels:
You can read it in the figures: suicides have soared by 40 per cent in a year. Thefts and break-ins almost doubled between 2007 and 2009. Hostility to migrants – their arrival ignored during the good times after entry into the EU and the euro – has become widespread and unconcealed.
At the doors of small charities, queues of single men – ranging from Iraqis to Somalis to Nepalese – form in the early morning to receive free food or medical treatment. Now, to their intense anger, some Greeks are being forced to join these queues: 39 per cent of the country's under 24s are unemployed.
What's been obvious, each time, is the ordinariness of the people involved – bank clerks, interior designers, even a concert pianist once, their faces painted with alkaline liquid against the sting of the gas.All of which has been entirely predictable; removing sovereignty, creating an artificial currency and removing people's ability to throw out incompetent governments via the ballot box always leaves only one option.
But it is this seething anger of those who have never been on a demo that is really frightening - because we have no model for what happens if the middle class of a developed country simply switches off from politics and gives up hope.
Not since the 1930s, anyway.
They were warned, they chose to ignore those warnings. Now they must suffer the consequences.