Ian Bell’s Saturday Essay

Bell the economy and the legacy of the witch.

Exactly correct. Unfortunately. Who would’ve thought that not making things might hurt the economy in the long term? Oh, right. Anyone with a fucking brain. These New Labour cretins would have us believe that everyone is middle class these days, now that grubby foreigners manufacture everything we need. Not much cop being middle class without a job, is it?

One of the great illusions created by Th*tch*r and her demon piglets is to forget that capitalism, in any form, involves exploitation. Not necessarily in a bad way, I could give my skills, knowledge and labour in exchange for reward. However, we in the UK have become increasingly comfortable with cheap goods made by people in situations we would find unacceptable. The BBC’s recent reports from Mumbai show the dichotomy quite well.

Also, the idea, taken for granted these days, that capitalism equals freedom and democracy is flawed. The fastest growing capitalist economy is doing rather well, for a totalitarian communist regime. Still, kids toys and high street fashions are cheap, eh? As long as you don’t mind the odd pang of guilty conscience in Gap or Primark. It’s nowt, compared to what our partners in trade go through every day.

The illusion that really gets me though is the idea that, because they’ve made lots of money, that individuals and companies are to be seen as geniuses. Deep down, we know they’re not good guys, but they must be doing something right, yeah? Wrong. For example, when The Legend moved out, it took Scottish Hydro four months to confirm this and that I’d taken on the bill. Yesterday, I received the first letter from them with my name on it.

You guessed it, the bill. Or rather, the estimate. I’ve asked them for months to come and read the meter. No answer. Looking at it myself, I estimate the quarterly bill to be between £160 and £200. I received an estimated bill for £450. Seriously, its standard practice for these fuckers to absolutely take the piss. Anyway, I called them and gave the current meter reading. I bet you a million pounds that they’ll send someone to check it now. I’ve moved to E’on, but they’ll be just as bad (they charge you £30 to leavce, I noticed). it’s standard practice, with these bastards.

The banks, that fucked us up and were rewarded with our children and grandchildren’s cash? Have a look at the interest rate on your credit card bill sometime. That scam would make Tony Soprano blush. Still, at least they’re using that government cash to help small businesses out. Oh, wait…

Do you honestly think one wealthy person has suffered in this recession yet?

Meanwhile, in local authority land, still no council tax bill for four months, despite repeated calls and visits (where he was told “not to worry, they’d get round to it.”) The Legend received a letter threatening legal action, despite having moved out and started paying council tax at his new address! These are the people running our lives.

If this seems like a rant, it is.

I can’t afford to electrocute myself and, as for sticking the old head in the oven, I don’t have the gas. Machine gun round the office it is, then…

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