Since I last wrote this column the financial crisis has certainly got worse, with HBOS taken over by LloydsTSB and Bradford & Bingley nationalised and large fluctuations on the world’s stock markets almost a daily occurrence.

The US bailout of financial institutions, crippled by the toxic sub-prime mortgage debt problems has also again underlined the US origins of this now worldwide financial crisis. The announcement this week of a Government rescue package for the British banking system has underlined the unprecedented nature of this crisis and illustrates the desperately serious times we are going through.

As the Prime Minister said at the Labour Party Conference, this is “no time for a novice” to be leading the country. I am confident that the Prime Minister and the new team around him following the cabinet reshuffle are best placed to deal with this crisis and hardworking families can be assured that the Labour Government is on their side and will do everything to protect their interests and provide help to them through the economic difficulties they face.

Undoubtedly, this international financial crisis is now feeding through to the real economy and difficult times lie ahead for everyone but the hope is that the decisive action taken by the Government in shoring up the financial system will ensure the impacts in the real economy are not as bad as they otherwise would be.

With all this financial bad news I am particularly looking forward to celebrating Diwali this year on Tuesday, October 28. Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, is also the time when throughout the world Hindus worship Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visits everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all.

This year, of all years the positive Diwali message of financial prosperity is certainly one that is needed, and I send my Diwali greetings to all Ealing Times readers.