Goodbye to rip-off Britain

Discussion in 'Economics' started by 2cents, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. good larf!

    "If you worried about inflation in the developed world OR want to get really
    depressed, here is a gem from a purported sportswriter for the Times.

    Goodbye to rip-off Britain
    With the crunch coming, the articial inflation in the economy will soon be
    exposedMartin Samuel
    There is a guy, does business up town, doesn't use his car much, bit of a novice
    when it comes to scooting around London. Anyway, a few weeks back he has
    complications with late meetings so, for a couple of days, he drives in. First
    time, schoolboy error, he forgets to pay the congestion charge, incurs a £60
    fine right there. His parking for the day comes to roughly £40 in an NCP. Next
    time, he remembers the congestion charge, but leaves his car on the street,
    doing the parking meter tango, feeding it, moving it, feeding it, moving it, £8
    here, £6 there, until finally he gets really busy, overruns by five minutes and,
    bang, a £100 penalty. He reckons the whole experience, with petrol, of two
    days' motoring will have cost close to £300. He's a wealthy man, he can afford
    it; but suppose he was an ordinary working stiff from the sticks, bringing in
    the average wage? That could be his disposable income, after the mortgage, gone.
    For two innocent, pretty harmless, mistakes. This is why Gordon Brown is in
    trouble.

    The economy is false. The economy is a lie. The economy is a fictional set of
    numbers cooked up during a boom period that is almost over, and six months from
    now nothing will add up. The cost of a parking ticket grew to be completely
    disproportionate in relation to the offence committed because everyone was
    sawing it off, so nobody cared. Some twerp slapped a sticker demanding one
    hundred notes for a minuscule oversight on your windscreen and you knew it was
    preposterous, but you could afford it. And now you can't. And now you are going
    to realise how overpriced and bogus the minutiae of British life are, and Gordon
    is panicking because there is no way he can make this sustainable; yet the
    artifice of commerce and government relies on your expanding wallet.

    If, while waiting for the clampers to arrive, having paid your £100 release fee
    plus £60 fine plus VAT, you pop into Starbucks for a cup of coffee, you will be
    charged close on £2. For coffee. Think about it, because so few have. We read
    about sub-prime mortgage markets and global credit squeezes and receive the deep
    thoughts of financial experts that have caught a cold in every recession for
    the past 50 years, which is why the benefits from your endowment mortgage will
    just about cover a self-assembly greenhouse from Homebase, but nobody notices
    the details. Coffee, two quid. No rationalisation. No justification. In a
    recession, nobody can drop two quid for a hot drink three times a day, five days
    a week. Bottled water the same: £1.60 for 500ml to take away at Caff
    Nero on
    Monday. And everyone has a sip. Our lives are full of inflated expenses that are
    propping up Brown's fairyland economy and, when the penny drops, this crash
    will be the mightiest ever. No wonder he looks scared.

    For so long we have not given this stuff a thought. My favourite football club
    charges a £1.50 booking fee on each ticket, so if I take my three boys we pay an
    additional £6. These tickets will be placed in one envelope and sent to one
    address, so the charge cannot cover postage or packing. I am actually paying a
    ticket office extra to sell tickets. It would be like a greengrocer applying a
    levy for dispensing fruit and vegetables. Yet as this nonsense was introduced in
    high times, nobody quibbled.

    Pack up your troubles and fly away? I'll take my chances on the train, thanks
    When a booking fee is demanded, we should ask the person on the end of the line
    to send round a cheese sandwich instead. You know, do something that is not part
    of the job, because that would be worth a tip. Clean the windows? Yeah, I'll
    pay extra. But applying a surcharge so a ticket office can provide tickets? I'm
    not seeing the value.

    Brown got away with murder because he was Chancellor in the days when chimps
    could make money. In May 1999, he sold half the country's gold reserves during a
    20-year low in the market at an average price of $275 an ounce. Yesterday
    morning the price of gold was approximately $946 an ounce. Brown bought euros
    instead, which have done well, but even so the cost to the nation of this
    mistake is measured in billions; and the only reason it has not been
    immortalised as a catastrophe in the same way as, say, Black Wednesday is
    because the population has been too busy hiring personal trainers and eating
    fancy crisps (chardonnay wine vinegar flavour, firecracker lobster flavour,
    patatas bravas, have you people gone nuts?) to care.

    It costs more to download music from the same supplier in the United Kingdom
    than it does in the United States. Consider that. No shipping, no additional
    overheads, no reason the cost of the service shouldn't be identical. We are so
    used to meeting inflated prices, it barely registers anymore. The
    top-of-the-range Lexus hybrid costs £83,000 in the United Kingdom and £54,145 in
    the United States. The wealth that keeps Brown's economy ticking over is a
    mirage; it cannot survive the recession. And neither can he.

    Not long ago I made a reservation at my favourite Chinese restaurant in town.
    Bit pricey. A special occasion place, not your average local. They wanted credit
    card details in advance with the right to charge £35 per head in the event of
    any alteration to the booking. I refused. They would not reserve otherwise. I
    very politely asked it to be explained to the manager that there was a recession
    around the corner and the number of people looking to drop six figures on
    noodles could be about to change quite dramatically. He might want to keep those
    that do onside. The reservation was accepted, no credit card. He knew, you see.
    So does Gordon. That is why he looks worried."
     
  2. Maybe everyone will stop telling everyone they meet how much their house is worth, and how much they paid for it, and by inference what a f*cking financial genius they are. One of the reasons I go back there as little as possible.
     
  3. dont

    dont

    We have told you English before "Prawn cocktail is not a flavour of chips":D

    seriously sounds pretty bad.
     
  4. Ahh, the Brits have been getting screwed for a long, long time. But that's what happens when you give away your domestic manufacturing base and put all your eggs in the financial services basket.

    They make nothing of value - but have expectations of living like the island hopping conquerors they were in now ancient times.

    I love this article. Spot 'o tea, anyone? Toot-a-loo. Shant we eat at Gordon Ramsey's two months from now? I heard the 25 euro tilapia (whatever *white* fish the fishing trawler can scavenge up) is divine.

    2cents, where is this from?
     
  5. That was the Blair/neo con crack down on rights. It's coming to us. NY and Toronto both considering taxes for cars entering the city.

    We have to pay the carbon taxes, meanwhile how many barrels of oil are being used daily by 150,000+ troops in the needless occupation and destabilization of Iraq? To power cars, jets, warships? The pollution emitted from those must be staggering.

    But we get punished, in this vision of a neo con prison planet.
     
  6. The article should have been called "Goodbye to rip-off South East England". Then again, most national newspapers are published in that unfriendly, dirty, high crime cesspit called London, and I am sure this journalist is a resident of the capital rather than a city in the North, Scotland, Wales or N Ireland where characteristics like friendliness, relaxation, a healthy work/life balance, and knowing how to have fun, are all present in the general population, rather than having been totally wrung out by decades devoted to the rat race, as is the case in the south east.

    Oh and for the neo-anti-imperialists on this thread - Brit pounds buy 2 of your dollars now, if I want to colonise you then I have no need of an army of marauding Redcoats. A mere functioning credit card and I just have to move to the Midwest where I can probably buy most of your town or cities for the equivalent price of a packet of crisps (sorry, "chips") back home.

    __________________
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."

    - the Dalai Lama.
     
  7. zdreg

    zdreg


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/martin_samuel/article3634764.ece
     
  8. Your irrationally over-valued pound will soon follow in the dollar's footsteps; only a steeper and deeper decline.

    Don't worry, though. You can't do anything about it.

    At least kidney pie and blood sausage will get cheaper, mate.
     
  9. zdreg

    zdreg

    what currency do u like?
     
    #10     Mar 31, 2008