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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Whyperion
Regular Member


122 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2011 : 23:14
Most national chains started small (ASDA , one of my wife's relatives dairies/ grocery outlets in the Hartlepool area sold out to what was at one time Associated Dairies as did many other small outlets as owners wished to retire  ) ,Morrisons - I think Ken Morrision started in Bradford , Sainsbury's started in London as did Tesco, B&Q started with one shop in New Maldon , Argos grew out out the Green Shield trading stamps outlets, Debenhams have a long history through mergers going back to United Drapers , Dixons from a camera shop in  I think Harrow ,M&S famously from one Market Stall in Leeds. With commerce there is not much to stop ( other than perhaps finance ) a present local firm from becoming something National. I posted on the Tesco thread the minimum pricing agreements that national chains agree that the price should be a national price with no local variation to unfairly compete in one locality.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2011 : 06:17
As the world gets going after Xmas we are getting political comment again. Nick Clegg gets in first with a statement of the bleeding obvious, that more will have to be done to get out of our economic mess. My view is that even under best case, we will not see an improvement until growth starts and there is no sign of it at present. I fear we are going to see some very difficult conditions and we shall see many businesses fail before things get better. The High Street shopping situation is dire. Forget the gross figures and footfall, look at the level of discounting that has had to be resorted to to sell anything. The first rent payments are coming!

The big question is, as always, events Dear Boy. Europe is a basket case and will get worse before it gets better. Nobody can predict how bad it will get because it is so important as the trigger which could cause global depression that there may be a massive concert party to save it. We shall see....

Remember me mentioning Iran? They have announced this morning that if an embargo is placed on Iranian oil exports they will blockade the Straits of Hormuz, an action that will certainly lead to clashes as the West cannot afford to allow this. We haven't seen the last of this.

Is there any good news? Funnily enough I think there might be. The US is showing signs of a slight improvement and I have a funny idea that domestically, the economic story of 2012 might be the start of a revival in farming. There are signs that at long last we have realised that  a profitable farming sector brings in many benefits to the national economy. I hope so.

In wider terms, the big story over the next ten years is going to be the modification of the global capitalist system. Capitalism is not dead but it cannot carry on in its present form which is essentially economic warfare driven by the laws of the financial jungle. Even the financiers themselves are showing signs of realising that they are destroying themselves. Self presevation might kick in and we could be in for some surprises. The politicians have failed to control the system, perhaps salvation might come from the bankers?  Now that would be a turn-up for the book!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2011 : 10:28


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Competition is a red herring. We allow national chains to compete unfairly with local businesses with no control locally.


This statement is just wrong on so  many levels, and appears to advocate protectionism.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2011 : 10:30
I would take issue with the final paragraph.

It is the banking system that has allowed those governments who have borrowed to raise the debts to the levels that they have reached.

Now that we are in an "Emporer's New Clothes" era, it is hardly surprising that someone has asked for some of it to be paid back so that it can be invested in things that will actually aid the world economy to grow and prosper.


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Whyperion
Regular Member


122 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2011 : 21:10
Rents were due on 25th Dec. Same old retailers having problems. Millets/Blacks ( they have been in financial trouble before ), HMV ( borrowed too much and struggle to break-even [ they are not loss making ] ). Thorntons Chocolate - profit warning -  they are only making a small profit . M&S went back to larger profits through changing the range of foods and switching supplies of clothing from expensive UK to cheaper imports ( great for short term retail by no fun for former UK suppliers ).


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 01/01/2012 : 05:49
I was watching part of one of those programmes where they wheel out pundits to assess the present situation and make predictions for the next year. Ine was Alastair Stewart and his basic message was that if the EU goes to the wall the UK is doomed as it can't survive without Europe.

Apart from the fact he is wrong, there used to be a charge under QRs for 'Spreading Alarm and Despondency amongst the ranks'.  I think it should be applied to the experts. Apart from anything else some of us can remember when we really were cut-off from Europe and it wasn't just insults they were hurling at us. We survived. Now let's see, when was that.....?  (I'll bet Ted can remember!) If Alastair Stewart is an example of the 'experts' we should be taking advice from then we really are in trouble!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Whyperion
Regular Member


122 Posts
Posted - 01/01/2012 : 13:01
The Greeks wanted protection for the use of the name Feta for some of their cheese, see where that got them too. Worry appears to be Italy being charged 7% for govt borrowing and Spain 5% , not too long ago those rates would have been modest. Banks could still make a profit on a return of 2 to 3% less on those rates , I would guess there would be a bit of interest rebate coming up. But both countries have structural economic problems that were not fully addressed during much earlier years of EEC/ EU membership.

Media is and has been talking down economic prospects , yet rejoicing that house prices in parts of the UK continue to rise.  


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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 01/01/2012 : 14:22
Too right, Stanley - they did lob a few selected assortments at us but right won in the end, and we never thought it would turnout otherwise.


TedGo to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 02/01/2012 : 05:21
I thought that would ring a bell with you Ted. Problem is there aren't many of us left who can remember it. I can still see a land mine flating down on its parachute, lit by the searchlights. My dad grabbed me and threw me in the Anderson shelter. Good job too, it detonated about half a mile away and once you've heard on of them you never forget! Funny thing is that they were a very moderrn concept, they were recycled magnetic mines and if I remember right held out 3 tons of HE. Doubt if we'll be seeing any of them..... They were after Stockport viaduct but never hit it because the air pollution in Stockport was so bad they couldn't see it!  Thank God for coal!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 02/01/2012 : 07:01
I'm sat here waiting for it to get light enough for Jack and I to have our early morning walk and being regaled by Cameron's string of platitudes and 'bleeding obvious' statements which is his New year massage to the nation. I also hear of a new initiative to get people to eat more healthily which is to be run in conjunction with Tesco, Sainsbury and the Co-op, the same people that have a vested interest in making as much as possible out of the food they sell. Now how's that going to work?

The other thing that caught my eye last night while waiting for Harry Potter was the plethora of advertisements for furniture, beds and carpets. Minimum discounts of 50% and many going as far as 75% reductions. What does this do for profit levels and hence the viability of these companies? Am I alone on thinking that there is more than a whiff of desperation about these sales ploys?

My view remains the same as it has been for the last twelve months, the Train Wreck is continuing in slow motion. The sticking plasters of quantitive easing using phantom money  are being used to buy time but the essential foundation stone of meaningful recovery is as far away as it was in the 1930s, increased economic activity in manufacturing industry which is where the real value is added. Question is, what has to happen to trigger this off? In the 1930s it was a World War. The most likely source now is a global trade collapse forcing a rethink about the way we run our systems.  Now as then, the fundamental  change has got to be redistribution of wealth on a global basis. I see no political will amongst the developed countries of the west to impose a far lower standard of living and energy consumption on their electors which is what eventually will have to happen. Twelve months ago I advised everyone to cut back and get the Tin Hats out. Sorry Kids but there is no change.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Whyperion
Regular Member


122 Posts
Posted - 04/01/2012 : 22:26
Most of the sales of furnishing goods simply reflect the previous selling price of one or two models in one or two of the chains stores at an inflated price , the headline reduction shows the discount back down to normal prices , some are genuine clearance lines , others manufacturer backed to assist in retail headline rate down. Retailers also bump up prices with the credit terms with penalty clauses if not paid by the due date for settlement , and also prices omit the essential extras - headboards on the beds for example , cushions and bed linen which is sold at much higher prices than what you might pay in the deparment stores for just those items.

But these retailers do need volume , new housing /  a moving market in housing for sustainability 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/01/2012 : 05:33
News this morning that there has been a bi-partisan decision agreed in the US to raise the amount opf money given in overseas aid. The reasons given are that it is in US interest to try to influence global relations by cooperation and aid rather than military intervention.

Some of you with long memories will remember me asking the question about what would the effect have been in the Middle East if the money spent on financing the incursion into Iraq had been given in aid instead.  Think of the lives and infrastructure that would have been saved.

It may be that times are changing, thinking has advanced and that we may be seeing some recognition that the days of policy by force are over, it is simply inefficient and we can't afford it. If this is so I'm glad. However, the damage that was done will linger for a long time and will heal slowly. Never mind, this is a step in what I think is the right direction.

There is another way of looking at it that encourages me as well. We are hearing more and more about the 'wealth gap' and the necessity of reducing it by encouraging global growth. Of course the driver is self-interest, we are all in the same boat but this is the clearest indication I have ever seen of recognition that the basic problem we face is the distribution of wealth. As one commentator noted this morning, the people who bake the pie should have a decent slice of it.....

On an associated subject, Bentley announce record sales of their supercars. Even in today's climate, the market for super luxury goods is as strong as ever. Now what does that indicate?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 05/01/2012 : 10:07
It's the rich wot get the pleasure!


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 05/01/2012 : 12:58


quote:
Stanley wrote:
...... Of course the driver is self-interest, we are all in the same boat but this is the clearest indication I have ever seen of recognition that the basic problem we face is the distribution of wealth. As one commentator noted this morning, the people who bake the pie should have a decent slice of it.....

The problem is, and always will be, that real wealth = money = work = energy, and unless work to done  there will be no REAL money. Ephemeral money is the cause of the current dilemma and until all this is eradicated, along with those who generate it, there will be no end to our monetary problems. Sadly for many there will also be no "freeloading", but the workman must be worthy of his hire.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 05/01/2012 : 14:42
Ever considered Stanley that when comments are made about wealth redistribution it might be about more folk being able to keep what they have instead of handing it over to the state?

Having now read some of the eye watering amounts that the top echelon actually pay into the system I am left wondering if the countries tax rates should not attenuate the more that people earn, because that increases the incentive to earn more, and thus generate wealth.

Redistribution is all well and good. I am much reminded of the Restaurant Dinner Party analogy:

The Truth About Taxes
by Anonymous

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

> > The first four men, the poorest, would pay nothing;

> > The fifth would pay $1;

> > The sixth would pay $3;

> > The seventh $7;

> > The eighth $12;

> > The ninth $18.

> > The tenth man--the richest--would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement--until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers, " he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of you daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six--the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being "paid" to eat their meal.

So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth. "But he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short!



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