There is always one. The poor sod who takes the wrap for everything. In the case of the 2008 global crash it was bankers and in the case of all my friends' bad behaviour, in the eyes of their spouses it was me.
But today sees a new scapegoat on the block. A convenient muster point for all things bad. A flagpole up which to run the colours of doom, no matter what their nationality. A kitchen sink into which to throw all personal failings. A mass grave in which to bury all loose ends, even if they are still alive.
What is this new black hole of bad news? Well if you've read the newspapers this morning then you couldn't have failed to notice that it's oil.
The FT kicks off the lynch mob with this story (article here) that manages to blame oil for not only high yield but also all equity falls but also a collapse in global growth, which is ironic as I am pretty sure that when oil prices were doing exactly the opposite 6 years ago they were getting the same blame.
Even the Scottish press has finally woken up to the fact that 0il prices have a) fallen b) aren't going up and c) may have an effect on an independent Scotland's budget. But this story in the Daily Record is more notable for the brevity of it acceptance, with the whole article running to a length only 5 words longer than its headline. Is that a record held by the Record?
Though I am not convinced that oil is the sole culprit, it just being a casualty of its own Bauhaus Chair-like supply and demand curve, with everyone else now blaming it for the High Yield collapse, stock market melt down, global instability, the death of the dinosaurs (actually wasn't the death of the dinosaurs more likely to be responsible for oil), the rise of fascism and the loss of Flight 19 in the Bermuda Triangle, I assume that oil will take the place of bankers in the lexicon of hate. Not of course completely replacing them, but appear a more in touch, informed modern day excuse.
In the courts
On planets far away
Prime Ministers Question time.
On the ranch
And finally in the banks.