Britain's Brezhnev-style capitalism

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by alib, May 12, 2013.

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  1. On Potlatch Britain's Brezhnev-style capitalism
    My bold, yes why the loathing of traditional British free market capitalism at it's messy business? You could just call it the same march of modernity that tore up the branch lines, bulldozed terraces and built tower blocks or shutdown mines and went to gas.

    It's also about what sort of country do you want? A nation of grumpy small shopkeepers, a bit dusky perhaps but very much how not so merry olde England once was, or the lumbering blandness of Tesco, Aldi and Lidl. Adam Smith might well have more affinity for the former and might compare the latter to the great state assisted merchant companies he abominated.

    And this applies to much of the economy where the perks go to existing large actors while smaller companies trying to struggle up the ladder get their fingers stamped on. An ideologically one party state, whether led by Dave or an Ed with its favored corporate fellow travelers.

    We all know who
    tomorrow belongs to, it a shared assumption not confined to the political elite. It's plain to see who lobbies for and receives competitive advantage and who a population too lazy to walk from shop to shop favors. So the consumer society waddles towards increasing conformity clutching to its heart a Three-For-One pack of own brand horse lasagne. And that is really the shrunken lonely soul of the place.

    There is something of the late Soviet era here, lots more bright and shiny baubles and far less queueing.
     
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  2. I do very much like reading your stuff, Alib. It's always though-provoking. Thank you.
     
  3. Yes, it is interesting - and as a staunch Tory, I find it bizarre that we would rather have megalithic multi-national chains squeezing wages and minimising tax liabilities, than a multitude of niche specialists who, whilst they might do the odd 'cash transaction' probably pay more tax than (certainly) Vodafone AND keep a community alive.
     
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  4. I think this is something both parties have lost touch with.

    The corporatist Tories at least have had leaders like Heath, Thatcher and Major all came from a background of a family small business. The last two clearly had some empathy with the lower reaches of the middle class. Dave on the other hand is the son of a Stock Broker and JP, not just an Old Etonian for God sake he's a descendant of William IV. Gorgeous George Gideon Oliver Osborne, is the son of a Baronet who did dabble in "Trade". He founded [FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Osborne & Little, a desperately posh wall paper and fabric group, that does not like paying No 11's taxes one bit.[/FONT]

    New Labor while busily making fat cats purr and entirely comfortable snorting Beluga with thick necked Russian oligarchs was always rather suspicious of small business. Despite his patrician education and communist turned Tory barrister father there's a grocery shop in Blair's maternal line but Labour leaders sprung more from families with a works or pit in the background. Brown also has a mother whose family were in trade, timber merchants but it's his father's pulpit that he always looked back on.

    No smear of trade attaches to the current Ed of the party. Milliband is the son of Polish Jewish asylum seekers. One a notable Marxist academic the other a human rights activist, I fear he was never destined to lead UKIP. The Ed in waiting had a grammar school hating Zoologist for a father, says it all really, went to public school and then like the other comprehensively educated Ed onto Oxbridge. Both Ed's like G&T before them lurve America, the first having spent some of his youth there and the other having dawdled as a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics at Harvard.
     
  5. From the same blog Santander 2013
    Truly a Orwellian Sign Of The Times, a haunting by sporting celebs offering cash backs. I'm never going to look at a Santander bank the same, and not in a good way.
     
  6. It just struck me what the tone in the Ad above reminded me of. There's a scene in the current season of Man Men where an increasingly depressed Don Draper pitches an Ad for Holidaying In Hawaii featuring a pile of clothes on the beach and footprints disappearing off into the sea. He then is perplexed that the client isn't in a similar frame of mind to actually find that attractive. Things must be pretty bad at Santander HQ.
     
  7. Fascinating thread. Again ARRSE members provide thoughtful analysis... Did anyone else find the advert desperate, creepy and a little bit patronising? Does the golfer even worry about his mortgage as he raids the ladies fruit bowl? If I caught Jensen Button behind my fridge door, he would be cable-tied, hooded and gagged long before any financial advice could be offered.


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  8. Yes, I'd like to see him try combining apple theft with pimping for Santander in chez JJH.
     
  9. Funny, that was exactly the thought I had when I saw it.
     
  10. I take it that the thrust behind the original piece is that Britain has become a very dull place because it is dominated by lumbering multi-nationals. Whilst this is partly true, it is worth noting that there are plenty of relatively new businesses that have grown from start up to significant market presence in recent time. Some of them have challenged and taken significant market share off the established big boys in the very commoditised service market place (I'm thinking Talk Talk, Utilities Warehouse, the rise of Morrison's from northern bit player etc etc). There is still plenty of space for entrepreneurism in the UK.

    There is also a very diverse small business community in most of Britain's towns; just go along to a Chamber of Commerce meeting or any of the networking clubs to see how diverse the sector is. Many will only ever be salary businesses, paying wages for their owners and employees without ever growing and being genuinely profitable. So what?

    As for politicians, there have been very few of any party over the years from a business background, be it small or large. Very few have run businesses, certainly not Thatcher, Major or Heath, let alone Blair & Brown. Of Thatcher's cabinet big beasts, only Heseltine was really a businessman. Nothing new there; very few business people ever want to go into politics.

    Meanwhile I've complained to Santander; when I set up balance alerts on my account, but I get a text message. Bit disappointed I'm not being stalked by Jess Ennis.