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Goodbye To Rip-off Britain

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/c...icle3634764.ece

good article

Goodbye to rip-off Britain

With the crunch coming, the articial inflation in the economy will soon be exposed

Martin 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 Caffè 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.

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.

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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.

100% accurate statement. This deserves to stand with Merv's "house prices are a matter of opinion whereas debt is real" staement of a coupleof years ago.

Could not have summed up the dying days of Godon's miracle any better. What beggars belief is that so few saw it coming. How the journos, including Smith of the Times, will regret calling HPCers a bunch or hyperbolic doom-mongers.

Anyone else think Broon will be gone by the end of the 2nd Q????

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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.

100% accurate statement. This deserves to stand with Merv's "house prices are a matter of opinion whereas debt is real" staement of a coupleof years ago.

Could not have summed up the dying days of Godon's miracle any better. What beggars belief is that so few saw it coming. How the journos, including Smith of the Times, will regret calling HPCers a bunch or hyperbolic doom-mongers.

Anyone else think Broon will be gone by the end of the 2nd Q????

No, he'll hang on unless really drastic things happen in people's every day lives. Absolute fuel shortages, electric blackouts, major bank runs, empty shelves, that sort of thing. Which is not impossible, I grant you, but unlikely. However, if you are a conservative, you'll want him to hang on until 2010, by which time the majority of the housing correction and subsequent economic anguish will have happened.

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Farmer browns job is to get as much as he can from his flock of sheep and unless people wake up and say no more then it's not going to get better any time soon and do remember this farmer carried a shot gun (facist police) and so hopes he can get the slaughter house to do all the kiling.

Your country doess not love you and your field is over grazed so follow me over here i have a plan.

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Excellent post.

Fortunately, I have never been to a Starbucks. But I did get 2 parking tickets in a week a few months ago - not having had one in over 15 years, so the "average" is not too bad. :(

Looking for my passport. :)

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This is a very good analysis of what's going on in Britain. But make no mistake, Ireland, Italy and Spain have done exactly the same. France, a bit less. The germans, they have been clever. They will suffer too, but will come out of this mess better than all the other eurosicks.

Oh, and the US at some point will be back up too. they are good at cutting the fat.

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Dream on.

Have you heard of cost-push inflation?

The pound has already fallen by 20% plus against 'proper' currencies that act as a store of value

With more interest rate cuts and 'liquidity injections' sic priniting pounds, the exchange rate will continue to fall

A weak and falling pound will push up imports. Most of the stuff that we buy is imported, and most of it will become a lot more expensive as time goes on; yes, there'll be plenty of inflation even if nominal wages do not rise

You want to know what will happen next? Just look at similar examples from history e.g. Russia's and Argentina's collapse avec hyperinflation, crashing currencies and bank shutters being banged on by frustrated plebs who can't get their currency out. The authorities don't like it when the plebs try to convert their savings into a proper currency

What are you lot going to say when CGNAO is proven to be 100% correct?

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Great article.

Someone else on here had a similar thread, about how price discovery was almost completely absent in our economy. I'll try to find it. (And am sorry I forgot who posted it, it was a good thread.)

This is about state failure.

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Stealth taxes, stealth destruction of the economy.

Many many people would be better off staying in bed and simply not bothering with the economy, their lives would be far better. This is over and above the millions already doing so.

Busting a gut in a Blanchfloweresque labor market, trying to compete with third world slave labour is going to pay for nothing in terms of a mortgage or pension.

Why bother?

Many won't. Many will be crippled by the costs of actually performing an activity - rules, regs, insurance, travel, storage, equipment, advertising etc etc - all a total rip-off and escalating in price by the month.

The likes of Broon and Merv have never done a normal job in their lives, never competed against anybody in the globalised economy - they know nothing about the economic hellhole they have created. Merv and Broon are inseperable - they are two different heads on the same bent coin.

Edited by OnlyMe

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May I just ad that you pay under a tenner for a parking ticked in Germany :P

It is so true that this country is such a rip off for almost every thing :rolleyes:

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Favourite sentence:

"... which is why the benefits from your endowment mortgage will just about cover a self-assembly greenhouse from Homebase."

:lol:

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Cracking article. Yes indeed a mirage economy.

This Govt has brought the country to it's knees with it's pryamid scam of tax - spend - waste - continued tax - spend - waste imho.

Add to the article the situation were in some councils, where the rubbish collection has dropped to once a fortnight and coucil taxes continue to rise. People are paying for a second collection privately, so paying taxes twice. Why do we put up with this scam.

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Fooking good article....

This country needs to shed some dead weight....

Trouble is there is thousands of extra 'dead weight' coming in to this country every week - however all is not lost it seems the majority have similar views here.

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  • 297 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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