Greed and sloth stalks Britain and it is pulling it down

In these twelve days of Christmas the stores of Britain were filled with customers.
Not only Woolworths, with its closing down Sale.  All of them were full of people buying stuff.
In the shopping center of Bicester the queues were 3 miles long, it was much the same everywhere.
And yet they say they can’t keep open, they are losing money, they are going out of business as of next year, in a few days time.  How much more do they want to sell?

The answer is that even if they sold ten times as much (a physical impossibility) it would not be enough.  Because businesses in modern Britain, or too many of them, are not living out of their sales and cash flow, but from their leveraging or to put it more simply, from cheap money they got from the banks and the CEOs showelled for themselves.  No sales can compare with that: Platita dulce, as they say in Argentina, and yes in the last years the economy of the UK has become very similar to the economy of Argentina under Menem.

Bread.  The most basic foodstuff.  In a year or so it went from 30 pence a loaf to 120 pence a loaf.  Yet Hovis, the most important breadmaking company in Britain, threatens to close, because of the leveraging of its holding company.

Apples.  The apple harvest rot in place in many orchards, because they couldn’t get enough Russians to pick them up: This small country has more than two million unemployed but you can’t find an Englishman to pick apples, a tiring job it is, and not well paid.

Hairdressers. The business that opened more in the UK during the government of Blair and Brown has been hairdressers.  Not what the rest of the world normally think when they think about Britain.

They are telling examples of living conditions in this country.  I am afraid that when the young graduates in some soft subject find that they can’t get a job making websites for a bankster, that they have to go and pick apples or potatoes like their grandparents did, and for little money, the trouble here is going to be worse than what happened in Greece recently.

There’s hope, to be sure, and I have a lot of trust and confidence in this country.  But they will have to change a lot in these coming years.  In any case I am sticking it out with them and not only because of a lack of choices, but from a slight feeling of sympathy.

Por Armando

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