Monday, September 15, 2008

Recession porn

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

As if it weren't bad enough that the economy's on its arse and we're flying headlong towards recession, it seems we also have to put up with a bunch of talentless hacks punching the air and cheering. Last year, the certifiable George Monbiot put crayon to paper in a piece titled 'Bring on the recession' in which he opined:

I hope that the recession now being forecast by some economists materialises

Monbiot - ecomentalist and communist that he is - can hardly wait for a return to mass unemployment, inflation and poverty because it will bring us a step closer to the subsistence existence that he and his soap-dodging mates crave.

Now, if it was just Moonbat talking this shit, you could dismiss it - quite correctly - as the ravings of a madman, but the recession fetish is spreading far and wide.

Recession porn follows a strict format. First comes the token gesture of sympathy to those who will suffer, swiftly followed by unrestrained glee that economic collapse will stop those ghastly commoners buying handbags/going on holiday/driving their cars etc. Here's India Knight in last week's Sunday Times:

...endless headlines about falling house prices, recession, fuel costs and every single thing that you need becoming prohibitively expensive. Perversely I’m rather loving them, mostly because I am happy to observe that the decades of vulgar excess are finally over. I was speaking about this to a friend last week and we were both retrospectively astonished about how we lived eight or nine years ago - we were, we concluded, like mad people, or at least delusional ones: weekend pads in the country (paid for by overdraft), regular blowdries (ditto), dinners in expensive restaurants (tritto), thinking nothing about buying handbags that cost the upper end of three figures (quadritto).

Alright, so you and your mates are a bunch of stupid fucking shopaholics. Why am I not surprised?

I could go on


(and I have - I’ve written a book about the joys of the New Thrift, it’s out in November)

Priced at a less-than-thrifty £14.99. For 272 pages.

but you probably get the idea: what seems like a depressing time - rain, recession, getting a shock every time you fill up the car with petrol - can, with a little ingenuity and provided you weren’t on the breadline to start off with, have unpredictably cheering results on the home front.

How very jolly. You are, quite literally, the poor man's Mrs Beeton.

There’s no denying that some people are feeling the pinch in a way that causes them sleepless nights and I don’t mean to make light of their anxieties.


You've got a funny way of showing it. And I can feel a 'but' coming...


But, combined with the washout of a summer we’ve just had, there is a strong collective sense of us all coming back down to earth. It’s like a huge national reality check and, unwelcome as it may be, there is a possibility that it will result in us straightening out our priorities. The fact of the matter is that, although it may be a great bore to have to restrict our shopping to the window variety, most of us have enough stuff.

Most of us "have enough stuff" at the moment but that'll soon change when we lose our jobs and get our homes repossessed. And won't that be a terrible "bore", you vacuous bint?

In her defence, India Knight is a third-rate columnist with a book to plug (it doesn't sound much like a defence, I know, but bear with me). Her piss-poor column generally consists of three themes: (a) having children, (b) having a job and (c) combining (a) and (b) . She is well out of her comfort zone when discussing economics so it's no wonder she comes across as a fucking idiot. But she's not the only one who gets misty-eyed at the thought of a return to the austerity of post-war Britain.

Take Tim Lott. This twat writes for The Independent so you could be forgiven - even applauded - for having never heard of him. His article is called - I kid you not - 'Bring on the pain of a recession and purge our coarsened souls':

Recessions are nasty, horrible and painful. Many people are already suffering, many more will suffer. The unemployed, the elderly, the poor – all the usual victims will get it in the neck. It would be in the poorest taste imaginable to celebrate an economic slump and thus insult the many losers such a slump would produce.

Having got that out of his system, Mr Lott goes on to celebrate an economic slump and insult the many losers. In the poorest taste imaginable.

I would like to modestly suggest that recessions are both inevitable and (this is the controversial part) a bit – just a little bit – desirable.

Strap yourself in.

Christopher Ruhm, the American economist, for instance, has published a study suggesting that a 1 per cent rise in unemployment reduced the death rate in the US by 0.5 per cent. Higher unemployment, he argues, can mean fewer cars on the road and thus fewer accidents. This also means less air pollution and a drop in pulmonary diseases and heart attacks. Also he suggests that during a slump it is the heaviest smokers, drinkers and the most obese who are likely to change their behaviour.

I've never heard of Christopher Ruhm but the man sounds like an arse. A reduction in traffic accidents as a result of a negligible reduction in car travel is pie in the sky and "the heaviest smokers, drinkers and the most obese" are always the least likely to change their behaviour: that's why they're the heaviest smokers/drinkers/most obese. People will sell their own grandmother for a tab and a pint when times are tough. It's everything else that gets neglected (which is why, incidentally, sin taxes on fags and booze are ineffective and - because they make poverty worse - counterproductive).

Recession can lead to many other benefits – a boom in public works for instance. With residential construction virtually stopped it's likely to get a lot cheaper to build things. One of the enduring legacies of America's Great Depression, for example, was the infrastructure: roads, bridges, dams, city halls, museums and parks. During recessions, governments get far more for their money, so embark on public works projects, which can also cut unemployment.

You really haven't got a fucking clue, have you? During recessions, governments get far less money because fewer people are paying tax. Fuck me, this is such basic stuff. Even if the state could afford to pay the unemployed to construct monuments, it would not create any wealth. As has been appreciated for quite some time, a country cannot spend its way out of a recession. If "building things" was the answer to unemployment we could pay the jobless to construct pyramids in the Yorkshire Dales. As Frederick Bastiat noted over 150 years ago, in the parable of the broken window, that would be a fucking insane way to run an economy:

The ultimate absurdity revealed by the broken window fallacy is that if it were true, then governments could easily create and fructify wealth: they need only (and repeatedly) erect pyramids and monuments, dynamite them and immediately rebuild them. Better yet, if "job creation" were desired, then labour-intensive shovels should replace capital-intensive earthmoving equipment; and if even more "job creation" were sought, substitute the shovels with spoons.

Exactly. I'll say it again: this is really basic stuff.

Then we get the Monbiot argument:

...my feeling is that the environment may also benefit from a recession. People will want to cut their energy costs, therefore non-essential power consumption will drop by far more than any amount of liberal nagging would achieve... there will be less eating out (therefore less driving) and less meat eating (since it is more expensive). Holidays and therefore air travel will slump, curbing pollution.

Now we're getting down to it. Let's get the proles off the roads, off the aeroplanes and back indoors eating vegetables.

The mall culture that has destroyed many of Britain's high streets is likely to erode in the face of the financial burden of a car journey that can offset many of the economic benefits of out-of-town superstores. High streets – especially as rents begin to fall as businesses fail – can start to regenerate with smaller, more individual shops.

Oh, don't be so pathetic. The supermarkets will ride out any recession. It will be the small shops and independent traders that will go under.

During the Eighties, for instance, it could be argued that the huge amount of youth unemployment led to a burgeoning of creativity. The inevitability – and relative acceptability – of being on the dole meant creative layabouts spent a lot of time doing reasonably creative things, and it helped fill the art schools and led to, among other things, the New Wave in music and, arguably, Brit Art. Perhaps a rise in youth unemployment again will lead to another creative upsurge.

We are scraping the fucking barrel now aren't we, Tim? Don't get me wrong, I like 'Ghost Town' as much as the next man but surely there has to be a better way to improve the state of the pop charts. Couldn't we just send some promising musicians to Zimbabwe for a bit and let them soak up the inspiring atmosphere of economic decay?

Fuck me, even the government isn't trying to put any spin on this one. This is what they expect these "creative layabouts" to be doing:

Ministers are bracing themselves for a rise in violent crime and burglaries and a shift to far-right extremism as the effects of the economic downturn take their toll, a leaked Home Office report to the Prime Minister says.

In a series of warnings, the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, says that Britain also faces a “significant increase” in alcohol and tobacco smuggling, hostility towards migrants and even a potential rise in the number of people joining terrorist groups.

That sounds a bit more realistic, so what the fuck are these pundits talking about? Can't they remember what it was like living in a recession? How they used to weep and wail whenever some factory or coal-mine closed down. Weren't we told that every social problem was caused by employment, inflation and recession?

But all of this is just preamble to Tim Lott's main point, which combines the snobbery of India Knight with the misanthropy of Moonbat, and is at the heart of the bizarre fetishisation of recession:

But the main benefit for me of a recession is not any of the above, but the inevitable change in values that is likely to occur. After all there is no doubt that the past 10 years has seen a exponential increase in vulgarity, greed and stupidity. And, of course, shopping, which encompasses all three.

In a world where Kelly Osbourne can announce proudly that she owns 750 pairs of shoes and WAGs talk of putting their names down for a handbag that costs £12,000, haven't the boom years led to a collective coarsening of our souls? When Lakshmi Mittal can own three houses in one London street – one for him and one for each of his children – at a combined cost of more than £100m, we are well on the way to moral rot.

These people are hardly typical, are they? Lakshmi Mittal is the fourth richest man in the world, for Christ's sake. I doubt he's going to have to take in a lodger.

And a recession will not only see a massive growth of realistic thinking but in justified resentment. Suddenly all those City bosses who have been making millions for shifting figures around on a screen and avoiding paying taxes on the profits will not seem merely annoying but obscene. All those footballers who have been paid laughable amounts of money to kick a ball around will not seem glamorous but venal.

And what good will this outpouring of collective envy do? Robinho isn't going to get hit by the recession. Frank Lampard isn't going to lose any Ferraris. We all know these cunts get paid too much. So what? Having more people getting paid nothing isn't going to change that, you bitter socialist prick. The people on the dole can have as much "justified resentment" as they like, the poor sods, but they can't do anything about it. Still, at least you'll be happy knowing there's a bit more resentment in the world, eh?

In short, we will undergo a massive and well overdue reality check.

And I hope that everyone who got laid off by XL last week hunts you down and gives you a massive and well overdue kicking, you callous fucking wanker. I hope the fucking Independent goes under by Christmas and that you, personally, are told to clear your desk tomorrow. The Independent is the most tedious, self-righteous piece of shit publication on the shelves and you are the most egregious little turd on its books.

All the same, call me a cock-eyed optimist but I think the whole thing could be as refreshing as a slap in the face with a P45 and as chastening as one of the hair shirts Gordon Brown undoubtedly wears under his regulation two-piece suit.


So there you have it. The recession is going to be "refreshing" and "chastening". We're going to have to tighten our belts, stop driving, stop eating meat, stop going out and stop drinking because our unelected, autistic, thieving, incompetent traitor of a prime minister has spunked our money away in the good times. To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I wouldn't mind tightening my belt so much if I could tighten it around Gordon Brown's scrawny fucking neck. And the same goes for Tim Lott and all the other left-wing purveyors of "justified resentment".

Seriously, what is going on here? I know these people are economic illiterates but in what sort of diseased mind is a recession a good thing?

The fact that not one, not two, but three broadsheet newspapers have published the views of people who are in favour of economic misery shows how intellectually retarded this country has become. The targets of their venom - rich footballers, expensive handbags, proletarian consumerism - are the petty obsessions of privileged hacks. None of them are serious issues outside of their dinner party conversations and yet, in a grossly disproportionate response, they wish for nothing less than economic catastrophe to rain down on us all, safe in the knowledge that their own jobs will be safe; their own holidays are booked and paid for; their own children's education is secure. It will be a "reality check", they say. It will knock us down a peg or two. It will teach us a lesson.

Not only is it deeply misanthropic of these cunts to wish poverty on those lower down the social ladder, but their whole reason for doing so - that it will make us less vulgar and more eco-conscious - is completely misplaced. Environmentalism will be the first casualty of the recession because so-called "ethical" choices are invariably more expensive and more dispensable than the alternatives.

In the good times, we can find the money to buy organic food, free-range eggs and fair trade coffee even though we know that the cheaper alternatives are virtually identical. A booming economy allows us the luxury of pampering our consciences with ecological fads and ethical extravagances. But they're the first things to go when times get harder.

Similarly, we have grudgingly tolerated a slew of green taxes because we have, in the main, been able to afford them. But the penny is starting to drop that there has not been any global warming for a decade and we are becoming increasingly suspicious that the whole issue is, at best, an excuse for higher taxes and, at worst, a complete fucking scam. What were tolerable irritations in the good times will become intolerable impositions in the lean years and the public won't stand for it.

Look how quickly the government dropped its road tax plans and its 2p petrol hike after it got its arse kicked in a couple of by-elections. Where were Brown's green credentials when he went scurrying off to the middle East to beg the arabs to bring down oil prices? The Tories are backing away from their green commitments with as much dignity as they can muster and I doubt whether any serious politician will propose any new green tax until after the next election.

In Monbiot's demented mind, we should all quit our jobs, buy a plot of land and grow carrots (he, of course, will continue driving his car because George, you see, is an important man with important things to do). Back in the real world, a recession will mean more shopping at Primark, not less; more crime; more misery; lower pay; more exploitation; more pollution; more suicide; worse health. Is this so hard to understand? Apparently so, because only The Daily Telegraph - alone amongst the broadsheets - seems to have not yet lost its fucking mind:


Many of us will be the losers, bleeding money and equity till the bailiffs turn up. Thousands will lose their livelihoods or declared bankrupt. Many homes will be shattered and families made destitute. What happened in Georgia recently was a walk in the park by comparison. This is tragedy on a global scale. Nothing to celebrate there.

Recession is only good if you are the kind of person that takes pleasure in the pain and ruin of others.

How true that is. What a set of bastards.

50 comments:

lost_nurse said...

Can you imagine an India Knight review of Threads? What a joy that would be.

Jones said...

Maybe handing these asinine columnists their P45 would be the upside of any economic downturn.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"As has been appreciated for quite some time, a country cannot spend its way out of a recession."

Even if this worked, we would not be able to do so because there is no money: Gordon's spent it all and even the British government's credit line isn't limitless...

DK

Ian_QT said...

There are some really stupid, envy-ridden cunts in the world. Now for the weather...

John B said...

Mostly agree with this - but you're drifting dangerously close to the "at least it stuffs the political party I hate" genre of recession porn when you start blaming it all on Brown.

Independent forecasters reckon the outlook for the UK is slightly stronger than that in the Eurozone or any of its large economies, and is the same as in the US. Suggesting this is Brown's fault just because you hate him is /just as ridiculous/ as suggesting a recession is a good thing because it stops Consumerist Culture...

John B said...

(also, the UK government is paying real interest rates of less than 1% on newly issued debt, reflecting the fact that the national debt is still well below the postwar average and banks are desperate to lend money to people and organisations they think will pay it back. I'm thinking this might be a better message of whether 'there's any money to spend' than the subjective beliefs of rightwing bloggers...)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis, right on the money.

I wouldn't say I was looking forward to the recession, but as someone who has spent the last 6 months living in a very hot country with my only luxury being potable water ( and eventually a fridge ) I reckon I'm better prepared for it than most, because I am well acquainted with discomfort.

Sadly for George Monbiot, meat eating in my house is going to increase very shortly. I'm buying a .308 rifle this week and Bambi is going to be on the menu for the forseeable future, together with any other cute edible critters who are unlucky enough to meet me.

Rob said...

"I hope the fucking Independent goes under by Christmas and that you, personally, are told to clear your desk tomorrow."

And the only job available for him is breaking rocks is the pissing rain to build the new road to fucking nowhere the government commissioned on his urging.

Old Holborn said...

I'll rock the boat here.

A great read and an interesting perspective but one that I disagree with.

It’s hair shirt time. And in my opinion about time too.

Let’s have a look at what a recession will bring. Firstly, credit is hard to come by. Unless you have a good record of borrowing money and paying it back, you won’t get it. People are beginning to shout that this is not fair, as they’ve been able to borrow squillions before, buy loads of useless shit and have the odd month off from repaying it. Well, tough. The rules have changed. If you had an ounce of foresight, you would have realised that buying things you can’t afford to pay cash for, using other peoples money is a privilege, not a right.

Yes, your house is full of Argos tat, but you haven’t actually bought it. Other people have. You just used their money to do it and now, you’ll have to capitalise your labour and give the people their money back.

That means:

Little Tyson WON’T be strutting around the playground in £90 trainers this year. He will be wearing Primark plastic trainers that you bought for £6. He WILL survive, trust me. Most of the other kids will be wearing them as well. 99.99% of the kids in the world wear nothing on their feet at all. David Beckham may feel the pinch as his earnings from the mongs who buy his endorsed shit goes down a million or two, but his wife still has her career. He’ll get by.

You will not be able to take the entire family and Nanna to Disneyland twice a year and put it on the plastic. Trust me, this is a good thing. Eventually, your children are going to have to earn their own money and if you have been teaching them that spunking every penny you have up the wall is a good policy, they have been ill advised and are in for a large shock later in life. 99.99% of the worlds children do not know what a Disneyland is or have any need to know. Spend the money paying back a bit of last years lager fuelled bender to Benidorm before you start spending even more of other peoples money.

You will have to sell your Saxo wiv da big exhaust and get the bus. Yep. Tragic isn’t it? No more wheelspins away from the lights wiv ya crew in d a back, trying to get that bird with the tattoo on her tits to shag you. If you want her to shag you, be nice to her, be attentive to her needs and show her you care. Handbrake turns are not romantic.

You may have to cook some food. This is a hard one. 99.99% of the world has managed it but somehow, life without the “ding dong” of the Dominoes Pizza man (with free Cola) arriving at your abode everynight, spilling out utter shite for you to eat on your laps whilst watching the Simpsons is actually not a bad thing. If you can save up £100 (without immediately spending it on a PS3 game or a handbag) you could buy a dining table and some chairs. Then, you could sit as a family and eat together. Maybe some of you could talk about stuff. Decide things as a family, plan days out together and get to know the other people who live in your house. You can buy food in markets. Those shouty blokes waving green stuff in your face as you head to the Bingo are actually selling fresh food. All you have to do is cover it in salt and sugar and boil it for an hour. Then sit down at your table and eat it. Topped with lard for all I care

Your house. This is a hard one, because some of you saw stuff on Sky and thought you had to have it. So that hot tub you bought on the Barclaycard and have used twice (both times to invite your wife’s mates over, although you weren’t so keen when they brought their slimmer hubbies and your missus whipped her tits out, were you?) and was a snip at £4K didn’t actually ADD £4K to the value of your house. In fact, it turns out that spending £20K on patio heaters, a ride on lawn mower, a “chiminea” and koi carp has actually brought no return at all. Apart from more letters offering “consolidation loans” secured on your foreskin.

A recession means you will have to live within your means. It means that you can no longer spend money you have not earned. Just like the rest of the planet in fact. It can be done. The rest of the planet manages to do it, so can you

OH’s 10 money saving tips for poor people who don’t realise they are poor yet (but fucking will, soon enough)

1. Stop spending money
2. Cook and eat food yourself
3. Don’t go to Menorca with Nanna on shit holidays you cannot afford
4. Stop trying to keep up with the fucking Joneses who are just as fucking skint as you
5. Get the bus
6. Life is short. Do stuff that doesn’t cost money. A walk with the kids for example
7. Put a jumper on
8. Get a bike
9. Stop pretending to be rich. There is no shame in poor but honest. Even if you lost everything, you still have more than most of the planet. Which is why half the bastard planet is trying to get here in the back of lorries.
10. Tanning/nail studios are the work of the devil. Stay away from them


Go and look at some really poor people (the Scottish or Welsh is a good place to start) and you may just understand that it doesn’t matter what other people think. Including me.

Tim said...

old holborn: I think i can summarise your post as 'things can be shit, and people will realise in the future, so it might as well be shit now to show them. And I don't like the same things as other people, so they shouldn't have them'.

Of course I disagree, because a shit economic time won't be fun at all, so they shouldn't be welcomed. Furthermore, gloating that people who spend their money on things you don't approve of won't be able to do so anymore rather misses the point - the people hit hardest won't be the ones with a bit of spare cash, but those with very little during the times of economic growth.

John B said...

"the people hit hardest won't be the ones with a bit of spare cash, but those with very little during the times of economic growth."

How does that work? If you don't have a job to start with, then you can't very well lose it in a recession...

Roger Thornhill said...

Recession is only good if you are the kind of person that takes pleasure in the pain and ruin of others.

i.e. Socialists. Wealth-vampires, the lot of them. Commentators will survive, talking about the ruin. Social Workers will have a caseload a mile high.

Yes, some people will get a reality check, but many who did not need it will get the pain anyway. Why should they be bitch-slapped along with the morons who buy a car orranolliddy on tick?

Typical LibLabCon trick of punishing all for the faults of the few.

Moronbiot should be made to eat his words.

Roger Thornhill said...

john b, there are MILLIONS of people who have very little spare cash - they are those who work for a living and live in mortgaged homes. Their spare cash is stolen from them even before they get to see it by Grabber Gordon and pissed up the wall on useless projects and unreformed "services".

Old Holborn said...

Hold on a minute.

Those who have taken responsibility for their own lives will either pay the price and suffer or have been smart enough to put something aside.

The only people who will suffer are those who refused to take matters into their own hands, preferring to leave it all up to that nice Mr Blair. If nothing else, this will teach people about the very concept of Libertarianism. Being responsible for your own life.

John B said...

"there are MILLIONS of people who have very little spare cash - they are those who work for a living and live in mortgaged homes."

I didn't buy a house in 2007, even though I could have got a mortgage with little difficulty, because buying one I'd've wanted to live in would have involved leveraging myself up to the eyeballs. Instead I lived in a rented flatshare.

You seem to be drawing some kind of bizarre distinction under which people who unsustainably borrow money they can't afford are Bad People if they spend it on a nice TV or car, but Good People if they spend it on a nice house.

Old Holborn said...

Tim

"old holborn: I think i can summarise your post as 'things can be shit, and people will realise in the future, so it might as well be shit now to show them. And I don't like the same things as other people, so they shouldn't have them'."

Not at all. What I was saying is that the Emporers new clothes have just been revealed to be complete nakedness. And those who firmly believed that poverty was for other people are about to have an attitude adjustment.

It won't kill anyone. Unlike real poverty which does.

chris said...

The spendthrifts should cook and eat themselves? Harsh ... but fair.

Budgie said...

John B said..."you're drifting dangerously close to the "at least it stuffs the political party I hate" genre of recession porn when you start blaming it all on Brown."

Well who else can you blame but the "no more boom and bust" McBroon?

This country has not been saddled with a re-run of the ERM because we kept out of the Euro (thanks to the "bastard" eurosceptics).

This country has not been saddled with the Pound being the world's reserve currency as the Dollar is.

Even without those millstones McBroon still made a pile of catsick out of our economy. How cataclysmatically bad does McBroon have to get before NuLiebore apologists see the light?

Old Holborn said...

They won't.

They are Datcha owning, champagne swigging socialists, drunk on power. Just like the Politburo under Gorbachov. Except we have no Gorbachov. Only Stalin.

Exit Visas are the next and logical step. The poverty the recession will cause will be the fault of the filthy capitalists and the answer will be more taxes for those that can earn and more benefits for those who can't/won't. Simple really

bernard said...

Good bunch of comments today.
Amazin what the prospect of hard times can do to concentrate the mind.
Actually, nature has already made provision for such an occasion: The countryside is infested with delicacies such as rabbit; cities with pigeons; suburbia with grey squirrels. All good to eat.
Just buy an air rifle - Now! The govt has been trying to ban them for years, in case the proles look capable of defending themselves.

no longer anonymous said...

One hopes the UK Libertarian Party will begin to promote the theories of Mises and Hayek who predicted the crash in the late 20s. Their descendents in the Austrian school predicted the current bust too.

http://mises.org/story/1905

Anonymous said...

Recessions are not terrible in all cases - they are a darwinian method of control. Bad companies badly run go under, and poorly performing capital and employment is reallocated by the market to areas that require more and the good companies grow and thrive. Of course there will be pain - heartbreaking stories of loss and trauma. Bad companies, with bad management and control and poor returns on capital have to fail or they slow up and destroy capital and become a deadweight on the rest of the economy. If it is dying it is best it is dies quickly, from death comes new growth. The buggy whip makers facing recession with the growth of cars rather than buggies - had to adapt or die. The buggy whip makers suffered but it who would argue that it was not inevitable or necessary....

Old Holborn said...

Berhard

I recommend the Weihrauch HW57 with scopes.

I recommend chickens in your garden

i recommend a deep freezer

V said...

at least Anonymong understands!

Recessions are a good thing. In the long term they help kill off bad ideas, bad businesses, and bad ways of making a living.

The worst thing for society is when governments keep everyone in a bubble that they can't afford - which has been happening for the last 2 years - at least.

When the government announces that it thinks buying a house should be a right - they are altering the forces of the market - and it will bite you on the arse!!
Governments might be bigger than most banks - but the market is bigger - and it always wins in the end!!

Old Holborn said...

V

You'll hate this

http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2008/09/hair-shirt-anyone.html

bernard said...

Old Holborn. (never smoke the stuff myself, too strong).

Coincidentally that is exactly what I DO have! Expensive, German, weighs a ton, but with a scope you can hit a sixpence at 30yds. And if your really desperate, a squirt of wd40 in the chamber will produce the 'diesel' effect and double the power. (great if you care to rid the country of liberals).

Anonymous said...

You can intentionally diesel a spring air rifle, but they won't put up with much of that treatment before falling to bits. A Weihrauch will fare better than most though.

Doubling the muzzle energy from a nominal 12 ftlbs to 24 ftlbs ( which I'm sceptical about ) isn't much use for hunting two legged vermin though. The humble little .22 rimfire cartridge isn't exactly a man stopper and that produces 120 ftlbs energy.

The 5.56 NATO round has about 1200 ftlbs and it's often criticised for a lack of stopping power.

I'll be using 7.62 NATO in my .308 rifle ( same cartridge dimensions and I buy surplus Radway Green machinegun ammo which is cheap, got tons of it in my SHTF box ) - that has 2500 ftlbs which really knocks things down.

What I mean to say is that if it all goes tits up and the underclass are rioting because their giros, free playstations, microchips and blue pop have been cut off then an air rifle will probably serve you best as a club. If you shoot someone with it you'll just make them angrier.

bernard said...

Very good Anon. All quite true, esp. your last paragraph!

The Filthy Smoker said...

Old Holborn,

A very fine and well-argued comment. You set out an attractive scenario but I'm afraid I remain unconvinced. Like Monbiot, Knight and Lott, you are hoping that people in reduced circumstances will spend what they have left in the way you think they ought.
Moonbot thinks they will sell the car and buy an allotment. Knight thinks they will make do and mend. Lott thinks they will set up a small business, start a record company or help build a railway.
You, sir, think they - and specifically the chavs - will start cooking fresh food and buy a bike.

Well, they might do all of this, I suppose, but I very much doubt it. People generally find a way of doing what they like, even if it means taking a cheaper option. If we go along with the stereotype you portray, I think these people would need to be reduced to genuine poverty before they made the changes you hope for. A more likely outcome is a cheaper motor and cheaper frozen food, all supplemented by a modest amount of benefit fraud and - if that is not enough to make ends meet - out and out crime.

Because no one knows what to expect from this recession, we are free to fantasize that it will 'sort out' the people who have annoyed us in the good years, ie:

India Knight: shoppers

Tim Lott: the super-rich

Old Holborn: chavs

Moonbat: everyone

But this is just blind hope. I don't see any more reason to believe that it will give the working class a bit of discipline than to believe that it will make us more eco-conscious. Is there any evidence that the recessions of the 70s and 80s had such a silver lining? I really don't think this is. It's just wishful thinking.

In modern Britain the default response to suffering hardship is not to pull your socks up but to bitch and moan and blame somebody else. Some people might be taught a valuable lesson about easy credit but most of the daft cunts you describe will spend the recession on the dole or on the sick, making full use of that telly and PS3.

The real point is that I just don't care enough about what other people spend their money on to wish for a recession that will also hurt me, you and everybody else, except a bailiffs and pawnbrokers.

John B said...

"This country has not been saddled with a re-run of the ERM because we kept out of the Euro (thanks to the "bastard" eurosceptics). This country has not been saddled with the Pound being the world's reserve currency as the Dollar is."

Hmm. You seriously reckon that Europe's problems are down to the existence of the euro and all that nonsensical 'suboptimal currency area' cack, that the US problems are down to the fact that everyone gives America free money, but that our problems are down to the fact that the PM is eeeeeeeeeevil?

Blame Labour for their appalling performance on civil liberties, by all means. Hate Gordon Brown for his lack of integrity and charisma. But suggesting that anyone else would have handled the economy better is complete and utter balls.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"But suggesting that anyone else would have handled the economy better is complete and utter balls."

I take your point, John, but are you actually saying that there is no way in which the economy could have been better handled over the last ten years – you absolutely cannot think of something, anything?

Because, to be pedantic about it, if you can think of even one thing that could have been done better, then you are allowing for the possibility that someone else could have done it better and are thus talking "complete and utter balls".

DK

P.S. Good point about the 1% rate of lending; you flagged that up some time ago and I meant to highlight it then. Pressures of time...

Roger Thornhill said...

johnb: You seem to be drawing some kind of bizarre distinction under which people who unsustainably borrow money they can't afford are Bad People if they spend it on a nice TV or car, but Good People if they spend it on a nice house.

No I am not, you are disingenuously inverting. It is in reply to your comment:

How does that work? If you don't have a job to start with, then you can't very well lose it in a recession...

suggesting that somehow only the jobless are without spare cash. You then hop-skip and bootstrap all manner of presumptions.

Yes, the recession will be a sudden readjustment and will make many wake up, but to think it is an impact only on those who are unwise or spendthrifts is absurd.

Stran said...

Well I am a Social Democrat, but all things that was quoted my the writer is completly stupid.

While I don't endorse your political views, Filthy Smoker, I have to congratulate you for your article.

One thing is to defend that is better to consume less energy, or to do more public work, another completly stupid, ignorant, and out of this world is to defend that we need a recession to do that. Or that is glad that a recession came to "iluminate" the minds of people.

One thing is to say that is better to hit the bottom the fastest that we can when you know that you going to hit it. But if we don't have to is better that we won't (at least for me)!

John B said...

"are you actually saying that there is no way in which the economy could have been better handled over the last ten years – you absolutely cannot think of something, anything?"

Nothing that I'm confident would have improved things in aggregate, and certainly nothing that would have avoided what we're seeing at the moment.

There are various things I'd prefer personally - specifically, more spending on transport infrastructure funded by keeping NHS spending and standards at 1997 levels - and there are various moves that could have been handled differently in retrospect (the initial B of E loan to Northern Rock that made nationalisation the least worst way of protecting the government's money), but nothing that anyone credible was actually advocating at the time...

The Filthy Smoker said...

John B,

Do I blame our unelected leader for the coming recession? Not entirely, not even principally, but certainly partially.
Inflation has just hit 4.7% because of fuel prices. Why? The price of oil, of course, but also because we have some of the highest petrol taxes in the world. I clearly remember, in about the year 2000, oil prices going down sharply and Brown responding by banging a few more pence on tax (for the good of the environment, natch). Where was the reduction when oil went up?

Energy prices have gone up 35%. Why? Raw costs and corporate greed, of course, but also because Brown is forcing the energy companies to piss vast sums of money away on wind farms. The Germans and the French have ducked out of such wasteful schemes.

Oil prices have gone up but they are now going down. Why are we not feeling the benefit? Because the pound is getting weaker and weaker against the dollar and oil is priced in dollars.

Global problems, then, but with added domestic aggravations that have been largely created by that fucker in number 10. And that's without even mentioning selling the gold reserves, bringing in HIPs, escalating stealth taxes, fucking over the pubs, neglecting the roads, debasing education, shafting farmers and - above all - squandering mind-boggling amounts of money on countless mad schemes.

This recession is being led by inflation on fuel which leads to inflation on everything else. The best thing Brown could do would be to reduce tax on fuel. But he can't because there's nothing left in the fucking pot. What money he has left has to be used keeping his army of bureaucrats, risk-assessors and equality officers in work, as well as supporting the 3 million workless families.

Let's not defend this twot.

Centaur said...

Bravo Mr. Devil, Bravo. One of your best posts I think.

Robin said...

In the soupkitchen (free stale bread from ASDA today !) we talked about this.Not the ones who are new, and looked shocked,or the really old hands who just dribble into their beards, but us intermediate ones.
We look forward to seeing some of you here. It will add "diversity" and excitement,even if it`s the talk about the latest suicide.And the enjoyment discussing make do and mend with plastic bags.

Alexis said...

"If you had an ounce of foresight, you would have realised that buying things you can’t afford to pay cash for, using other peoples money is a privilege, not a right."

No, Holborn, it is buying and selling. Or rather, in this case, renting money for a fee. Not some kind of moral morass.

"...handbags..."

Look, seriously Holborn what the FUCK is up with the expensive handbags? Why in Satan's name is everyone so FUCKING OBSESSED with $1000 handbags in your country? Do you all go to handbag school before getting your little "I'm progressive" badges handed out?

Stran said...

"This recession is being led by inflation on fuel which leads to inflation on everything else."


I wish the world could be so simple like put it here. But reality is a litle bit complex then inflation on fuel.

Anonymous said...

The recession does have an upside though. It /proves/ Gordon brown is a cunt and a liar. "End to boom and bust" indeed!. Cunt. He should go simply for having that hubris.

Anyhow, perhaps of those 20% of sub-cretins who would apparently still vote labour, a few might just see sense.

Anyhow the recession means Gordon Brown and Labour have NO chance of getting back into power any time soon.

Now we just need a few fuckers in the Labour party to show a BIT OF FUCKING SPINE. Asking a lot I know but hey!

Come on you fuckers. For once in your pathetic fucking lives, do something for the good of the country. Fuck Gordon.

"Not the time to change leader in the middle of an economic crisis"

I would argue if the cretin in charge is in a large way responsible for said crisis, ASAP is the right time to change the cunt for someone else.

Z.

Anonymous said...

Alexis. Anyone prepared to spend £1000 on a handback should have it inserted sideways into their anus before being shot in the face with a twelve-bore.
Zorro

Tim said...

John B: You seem to suggest that the government made the best of a bad situation, with regard to the Northern Rock crisis.

Not true. A month or two before the real problems hit home (late August/early September 2007), but shortly after the first serious drop in NR's share price, Lloyds TSB tried to buy NR, only to find the government stopping them on the basis that this would create too much market dominance by one firm. Oh dear. Lloyds business model (i.e. a lot more depositors, and a lot less reliance on inter-bank loans) and size would have easily kept them afloat depite the Rock's problems, and so there would have been no crisis and no great expense to the taxpayer.

A clear illustration of how much of a meddling twat Gordon is, and his mates are - and not the only example.

Trixy said...

It's astonishing that some people still believe in Keynesianism, even after the 1970s.

Maybe they were not fortunate enough to be taught economics. or, they were taught by someone who was a union official, which amounts to the same thing.

Herman D. HugeLoad IV said...

"And I hope that everyone who got laid off by XL last week hunts you down and gives you a massive and well overdue kicking, you callous fucking wanker"

More like being ass-wrecked by a horde of wild former XL employees all banged out of their skulls on various forms of cheap supermarket alcohol.

Budgie said...

john b - if you want to disagree with what you yourself invent then be my, or rather DK's, guest.

What I actually said was that McBroon had made a pile of catsick of our economy despite being free of the millstones of the Euro (inc the ERM) and the Dollar around our collective economic neck.

That was not a comment on the the eurozone's problems per se (btw not Europe - the UK is a European state). The ERM and EMU (inc the Euro) actually do cause problems, particularly because the EMU prevents individual states from taking appropriate action in the face of economic threats.

Nor is America given "free" money - it is debt which has to be repaid; as is painfully clear at the moment.

As for no one being better than McBroon at handling the economy - that is a joke in the worst possible taste. McBroon started by filching people's pensions; went on to create a housing boom by setting interest rates too low (by making the B of E follow CPI); lied about eliminating boom and bust; overcomplicated the tax/benefit system by creating the horrendous tax credit system; vastly over borrowed; and on and on.

Numerous people showed where McBroon was going wrong (Moulton, Bootle, Congdon amongst hundreds). I don't care that McBroon is not personable, I care that he is completely incompetent; certainly the worst Chancellor I can think of - worse even than Healey.

Alexis said...

Zorro: what the hell? I ask why on earth everyone is so fucking obsessed with handbags and the only response I get is from you, suggesting we kill people who buy expensive examples of same?

WTF? Who cares about these fucking handbags? If some dope wants to spend a trillion dollars on a handbag, she only has herself to blame. I own shares in luxury goods manufacturers through my pension fund (so does everyone with a fund, I assume), so bring it on baby.

Trixy said...

'Alexis. Anyone prepared to spend £1000 on a handback should have it inserted sideways into their anus before being shot in the face with a twelve-bore.
Zorro'

Why? It's their money. As long as they can afford it. Cheaper than a new car, which isn't necessary in London.

John B said...

"You seem to suggest that the government made the best of a bad situation, with regard to the Northern Rock crisis."

...given the evidence at the time. Remember that the main concern re banks last summer was market dominance and abuse of retail customers, not systemic liquidity crash.

McBroon started by filching people's pensions

This is a popular but stupid lie. The pension relief abolition was directly offset by corporation tax cuts - in other words, the subsidy of pensions versus more sensible forms of investment was removed, with no net fiscal impact.

went on to create a housing boom by setting interest rates too low (by making the B of E follow CPI)

...following the advice of the vast majority of economists and national statistics organisations worldwide. What A Bad Man.

lied about eliminating boom and bust

He's a fucking *politician*. Yes, it was politically stupid of him to take credit for the good times since it means he had to take the blame for the bad times - that doesn't mean he was a genius (rather than above-average-by-not-totally-fucking-up) chancellor, nor that he was a bad one.

overcomplicated the tax/benefit system by creating the horrendous tax credit system

True, but the net economic impact is very limited.

vastly over borrowed

No he didn't. Again with national-debt-at-low-compared-to-abroad-and-historic-average; again with very-low-spread-on-government-borrowing. Neither of these would be the case if Brown had vastly over-borrowed.

Numerous people showed where McBroon was going wrong (Moulton, Bootle, Congdon amongst hundreds)

Similarly, Cassandra was proven right whenever something terrible happened. That doesn't mean she'd be good to rely on for strategic or investment advice. See also: that cock Larry something from the Guardian who thinks the world financial system's going to collapse...

Rory Meakin said...

Tim Lott: "I would like to modestly suggest that recessions are both inevitable and (this is the controversial part) a bit – just a little bit – desirable."

He's actually right on both points, for entirely the wrong reasons of course. The business cycle has not been abolished, although it is managed better now than in the past. And the fantastic wealth creation process that is capitalism is as much about taking resources away from the inefficient as it is about allocating them to the efficient. Recessions are pretty good at doing the first part of that and might be necessary to maximise the benefits that flow from their allocation to efficient uses in the recoveries that follow.

Filthy Smoker: "Inflation has just hit 4.7% because of fuel prices. Why? The price of oil, of course, but also because we have some of the highest petrol taxes in the world."

Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon - Milton Friedman.

Taxes, in isolation of any spending of them, remove money from the supply and are deflationary in their overall effect.

Budgie said...

john b, you seem to be wired directly to the NuLab propaganda machine. Every excuse you spun for that failure McBroon was demonstrably false, except that it is true - he is a politician. So what.