Thursday, January 03, 2008

More HP Sauce

a bottle of HP SauceLet’s have a break from the environment and have a look at the economy – is there a crisis here too?

I’ve been reading the financial columns lately. Phrases like “debt bubble”, “credit crunch” and “mortgage defaults” abound.

UK manufacturing slows – again. The BBC magazine reports on a whole range of “British” products that are no longer made here, including HP Sauce would you believe. Even Wedgewood, which one would normally associate with Stoke-on-Trent, is now made in……China. Well, at least the name of the Country is appropriate. So, what exactly do we produce here in the UK these days? What is our edge in the Global Market? What do we have to offer? Apart from criminals nicking drainhole covers due to the price of metal going through the church roof, [oh and the lead from it] and exporting it on the black market?

Financial expertise we are told! So, what is the latest news on what our supposedly respectable financial institutions get up to. Northern Crock used an off-shore trust based in Jersey which “owned” 75% of its key assets and was, it appears, set up to benefit charities.

“One in particular, a small organisation for children with Down's Syndrome, and their families, which was being run from a semi-detached house on the outskirts of Newcastle.
Even more peculiar, perhaps, is the fact that nobody at Northern Rock bothered to tell the children's charity that it was a beneficiary, and the charity never received a penny from Granite.”

Now we have Crude hitting the $100 a barrel milestone.

Happy New Year.


  1. I always get the impression from the News that they want a recession or downturn as it gives them something newsworthy to report on. A crisis is so much sexier than stability! This is particularly true when they discuss the housing market. Despite the clear evidence that demand far outstrips supply. However, if not careful, by discussing a downturn they could promote a "self-fulfilling prophecy" and encourage UK citizens to spend less. Although, I understand UK retailers all reported decent Christmas sales.

  2. Yes, but have they been spending money that they already have [earned], or have borrowed?

  3. Anon: "...the housing market. Despite the evidence that demand far outstrips supply..."

    Only on the artificial basis of ZanuLab's importing millions of extra bodies together with income polarisation and hypermobility resulting in "second-homes disease".

    These facts aside, even though Japan, for example, has a homelessness problem caused by undersupply of housing - house prices have still been falling.

    The notion that concreting over our greenspaces is going to solve England's housing problems is just propaganda from an establishment that is in hock to developers.

  4. Our manufacturing base has been on the slide for as many years as I can remember and I suspect that our renowned grip on banking and insurance will begin to be eroded once the Brussels dictators view our off-shore position as being too remote from the centre, what then for the future of our World renowned and clearly immensely attractive to so many social safety net?

  5. Anon@17.01 - the mainstream media are taking a very restrained line on the potential for recession.

    The pound is on the slide, the UK has a record deficit, we are chucking money down the drain of Regional Development Agencies, untold quangos, PFI initiatives, the Spanish economy is cracking up (which will affect the stability of the Euro), we have no gold reserves (sold by G Brown at the bottom of the market), and no, all UK retailers did not report decent Christmas sales - the latest figures from Dixons for example are poor, and MFI, Debenhams and Woolies are in trouble.

    Flats are being boarded up in Leeds and Manchester because supply is outstripping demand, and we will see the same thing happening here in East London.

  6. We are said to be post-industrial and certainly seem to be short of skills taken for granted in the past. However, although it is not much mentioned in the media, we seem to be significant producers of armaments to export to all and sundry.

  7. No return comments from anon?

    Or was this just an incognito flying visit from the Ministry of Blog Oversight to tell us what a good job HMG is doing?

  8. Everything SUCKS here right now. I hope it gets better when our leadership changes.

  9. It's worldwide I think. I hope that a semi repeat of the 1930's doesn't happen.

  10. History repeating itself?

    Too late already, it's well in hand - only worse. This time we have computers, GM, nanotechnology, and the rest to contend with.

    Just follow the money, honey ...

  11. That's B for Bohemia