Tuesday 12 September 2023

(1) Demise of Wilko; (2) Rise of the subsidy-stuffers

Evidently undeserving

(1)  So, farewell then, Wilko.  Always seemed a nice store to me.  We'd all welcome BQ's informed take on What Went Wrong ...

(2)  The other big business headline on the same day was BMW's decision to make the new electric Mini in the UK rather than China.  Well, obviously multi-dimensional politics there, but the aspect that interests me for now is the big subsidy from HMG.  That's evidently the mood of the moment.

Evidently highly deserving
Going back, say, a decade, international trade law in most of the West was broadly agin state support.  Obviously, several countries had a history of mercantilist policies, explicit or under-the-counter, but it was supposed to be on the wane and the EU, to be fair, mostly clamped down on it.[1]  

Well, that's over and no mistake, ever since Biden's IRA drove a coach and horses through it, if not before.  Germany is of course screaming to be allowed to do the same, although see this intelligent piece from our old motorbiking friend Yanis Varoufakis which indicates why a number of EU countries won't be so keen to let them without far-reaching "reforms" in EU treasury governance.  Meaning a lot more "Europe" for all of them.  We shall see.

When push comes to shove, it seems, everyone is a protectionist.  Let it be recorded that in happier times, Free Trade accomplished a very great deal and we may live to regret its passing, imperfectly enforced as it undoubtedly was.  You don't need to go far in history - even (say) that of ancient Greece (you listening, Yanis, old chap?) - to find tremendous examples of new-found prosperity born of free trade; and its converse, prosperity ended by a collapse in trade.  C@W, right?



[1] Of course, the really big ones, like Hinkley Point C, were always waved through, if only eventually & after a bit of horse-trading at the top in Brussels: "too big to be stopped"


E-K said...

I retired today.

I've taken up a paper round with the local post office and will be the highest paid paperboy in Teignmouth. Does BQ have any advice for me ? :))

(The most off topic thing I've ever said on this blog, I think !)

Anonymous said...


Though I did hope you would do something a bit more relaxing as a part time job

Like pm

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping for many happy retirement years, E-K.

I was pondering the changes of the last 40-odd years (a working life for many in the university age) when I looked at the passengers on the historic steam railway near me, all of whom could apparently afford £60+ for a day out on the train, and many of whom were a good deal more decrepit than I am.

These were middle class people who

a) could remember steam trains
b) grew up when housing was affordable - say from 1950-2000. You could still by a 4-bed place with 2 acres in Gloucestershire for £130k in 1997.
c) had final salary pensions
d) had relatively secure employment

when I was a young guy in the mid-70s, pensioners were the poorest people in society, people whose working lives started in the 1920s rather than the 40s or 50s. And young professionals - say F1/2 junior doctors - could afford a little 2-bed cottage as their first house - my next door neighbour was such a one.

My son is 27 and sharing a Cambridge house with a bunch of 30-something PhDs - they are all living like 19 year old students.

Thus far have we come. We Boomers have an awful lot to answer for.

E-K said...

I agree Anon. My sons too ! One a doctor one a research chemist. At some point I'm going to have to cough up. Oh. The other news is that the doctor proposed to his girlfriend at the weekend (also a doctor) and she's accepted !

I don't really blame Boomers as that was a fleeting period of even wealth distribution and was never going to last. Now it's all being stolen back. I'm lucky (though not a Boomer) but just know my state pension is going to be means tested when I get to that age in 9 years.


PS, After the shifts I've done for 32 years (37 including police) a 5am start on a regular basis is going to be a breeze to me. Some of my shifts started at 2am.

Anonymous said...

"When push comes to shove, it seems, everyone is a protectionist."

Not in the Thatcher/Blair/Cameron UK. We were prepared to close our shipyards, our car plants, our steelworks, our aluminium plants, our nuclear power.

The current drive for electric vehicles is basically handing the UK car market to China.


The UK is the largest market in Europe for Chinese electric car brands, accounting for almost a third of sales in 2023 so far, according to data from Schmidt Automotive Research on the 18 largest European car markets. About 5% of all new car sales in the UK were from Chinese brands in the first seven months of 2023, a market share second only to Sweden. Sales are accelerating: Chinese carmakers sold almost the same number of electric cars in Europe in the first seven months of 2023 as they did in the entirety of 2022. Chinese brands have long struggled to break into Europe because of a reputation for lower-quality cars. However, some analysts believe the advent of new battery electric technology has wiped the slate clean for Chinese brands, and sales are booming.

What happened to UK car production?

"The Longbridge factory that made MG cars for decades has been replaced by housing and a Marks & Spencer."

The mighty UK economy, apparently X times the size of Russia's, indeed consists of selling coffee and houses to each other.

Apart from "MG" - made in China - and "Polestar" - made in China, numbers 2 and 3 in UK electric sales behind Tesla, there's this lot.



So all London black cabs are made in China, and the conversion of the old uns to electric will be done by a Chinese company. Naturally these taxis will need plenty of cameras and microphones on board - for driver safety, of course. Same for the location reporting systems.

There's no way anyone might be interested in who gets taxis in the Whitehall or Westminster areas, or want to know their destinations, their companions, or their conversation en route.

PS - the guru of Far Eastern mercantilism is Eamonn Fingleton.


"Those on the other side are pathetically uninformed. They don’t understand that the Chinese economic system is not capitalism, nor is it converging toward capitalism. China is operating an adaptation of the East Asian economic system launched in Manchuria in the 1930s, perfected in Japan proper in the 1950s and 1960s, and now widely copied throughout East Asia. As itemized by Richard Bernstein and Ross Munro in their 1997 The Coming Conflict with China, features of the Chinese version of the East Asian economic model include a labyrinthine system of trade barriers; an artificially undervalued currency; an industrial policy focused on developing pillar industries and using export subsidies to give them competitive advantage; and pressure on foreign companies to transfer their production technologies.

In some ways, this approach resembles capitalism–it makes extensive use of markets–but its fundamental logic is quite different. Whereas authoritarian political controls constitute a hindrance to the efficacy of capitalism, such controls are essential to the functioning of the East Asian system."

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your son E-K.

My offspring is almost certainly off to Oz when F2 finishes. Pity, we'll only have one out of 4 left in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Just read the Varoufakis piece.

"It is hard not to pity the EU’s top brass. They thought that once Donald Trump was out of the White House, Washington would treat them as partners."

Hang on. This is the EU that has supinely accepted the destruction of NS2, almost certainly by the US.

I keep hearing that if X gets away with Y, he'll do A, B and C - after all, look at Hitler!

Following that logic, the EU has shown that they'll take any amount of abuse from the US, so it's not surprising that the beatings are continuing.

"Europe’s rapid deindustrialisation suddenly loomed large on a bleak and inauspicious horizon."

That's what happens when an energy-intensive industry loses a lot of cheap energy...

Anonymous said...

"They believed that the circle around Biden would appreciate the readiness with which, following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe cut itself off from dirt-cheap Russian natural gas to spend billions on the expensive fracked oil and liquified natural gas Europe now imports from Texas and New Mexico."

"She believed that Dealer Dave, following her breakup with Dealer Danny, would appreciate the readiness with which she cut herself off from Danny's pure and dirt-cheap skag to spend all her money on Dave's heavily-cut and more expensive product"

dearieme said...

"What happened to UK car production?"

The UK trade unions: their influence was profound because they chose the management - in the sense that very few able people would go to work in the motor car industry because of the antics of the unions.

A bright Mech Eng student explained it to me decades ago: I love cars, said he, but I'd pay good money to avoid working in that industry. Still, there was a silver lining. People like Shell and BP could hire bright mechanical engineers to work in their refineries.

Bill Quango MP said...

I never shopped much at Wilko. Not since the Wilkinsons brand days.

It was very popular. So popular other retailers came along and did it better.

General consensus, which I agree with, is too many, too large in size shops for Wilko.

The deliberate destruction of the high street, through the refusal to change the rates system, means the big shops were and are very vulnerable to cost inflation. The big retail Vs out of town Vs online realignment never occurred. David Cameron bottled the changes due to tax revenue needed for financial crash bailouts. Even though it has meant in the longer term, eating the geese that lay the golden eggs.

The competitors, The Range. B+M, are usually out of town. Retail parks. Whose costs are less and convenience greater. The large stores on the high street are usually, ( not always, but often enough) chains taking a lease from a landlord with a bankrupt tenant.
Primark. Dunelm etc. moving into the space from BHS, Woolworths, Poundland,USC.

It’s £1.00 to £3 an hour to park on a high street car park, that’s offering less reason to shop on every visit, versus free parking in the out of town.

Boots will close 300 shops next year.
It’s very very tough.

And the more that close to later become a betting shop. Vape store. Funky cafe, Barber or charity shop, reduce the chances of the remaining surviving.

Caeser Hēméra said...

The UK has a problem with capitalism and trade full stop, once upon a time I was an adherent of if somewhere else can do it cheaper and at least as well, let them. We import and move our industries up a level whilst supporting those communities left hollow.

Hasn't worked out terribly well, how much down to it was never going to work, and how much down to governmental incompetence, who knows?

These days I'd rather see a mandate that x% of something is made internally, subsidised if necessary, with capacity to ramp it up when supply chains fail to minimise internal impact. A safety net.

We also need to clamp down on debt-fuelled purchases of UK services, arguably on total foreign ownership given how the likes of water services have been used to extract money to shareholders. If the government can't be arsed giving regulators the teeth needed, or ensuring lack of regulatory capture, then a different tack is needed.

It's become depressingly obvious too many capitalists are happy to give the communists a case of the late-stageism jollies and the everyone else becoming weary and wary of capitalism in general. Not healthy.

Oh, and it's looking like we're going to see food inflation going through the roof again next year. Rishi will be thrilled.

Caeser Hēméra said...

@BQ there are towns accepting the high street is pretty much gone - my old stomping ground, Oldham, has some very nice looking plans for greenifying the area.

Once a vibrant town with problems, now it's just a town with problems. Veritably Cooper Clarke's Chickentown these days (https://johncooperclarke.com/poems/evidently-chickentown)

Of course, in practice, it'll just be a crime-ridden area that the local druggies and dealers claim for their own. Manchester's lovely sunken garden at Piccadilly went that way, so they removed the greenery for a concrete monstrosity and left the druggies and dealers.

I had to laugh when the council decided to move into the shopping centre and convert the old council tower to housing. The shopping centre is light, airy, and with a car park attached - perfect for some nice upmarket apartments with easy bus and tram access. The council offices is a grey block of doom with the bus station outside, perfect for sticking in those on benefits to moulder in a depressing atmosphere.

And betting shops... I really hope Labour stamp down on FOBTs, it's clear the Tories won't. They are to gambling what meth is to a tipple with dinner. It's clear they exist purely to extract the proceeds from benefits and small crimes into the pockets of the betting firms via the desperate and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Anecdata- my local precinct had Wilko, Poundland and Home Bargains very close together- it was the Poundland that closed a while back, so Wilko (or their staff) were doing something right. Poundland are returning by taking over that Wilko. B&M and The Range are at the local retail park, but another very Wilko-alike high street competitor I'm not seeing mentioned is the Boyes chain from Yorkshire who took over the local Woolworths.

It's maybe not just the level of parking charges that puts people off the high street, but the new-fangled payment/enforcement mechanisms. I see news items implying that older drivers are unable to use smartphones for parking but not that they are unwilling. People locally have been issued penalty notices for driving through the town centre car park: their camera algorithms are not perfect, quelle surprise...

My phone doesn't have access to my bank account and I'm keeping it that way for as long as I can in case it gets nicked or an app goes rogue- so no town centre parking for me. Maybe I could pay by card but I'm not risking £100 or whatever to find I can't. One can maybe do the research for a local town centre but anywhere unfamiliar is now a planning exercise. The thought of a chunky parking charge from a dodgy camera or app must be a little offputting to anyone however much they enjoy collecting and installing smartphone apps :-(


Bill Quango MP said...

Agree with Caesar and anon relurk. ( and with a fair bit of Putin’s anon, Above too)

Back in the early 2010s when I’m writing everyday here about the retail situation and the government or council or CBI, or treasury all having a bright idea, it was still possible to preserve the best of the high streets

Though even then we were picking winner and loser market towns. Those that understood and were able, Vs those that hadn’t a clue beyond the latest memo from the minister for XYZ.

Covid, the great accelerator, has done for them all.
Making those final old age holdouts, resistant to the online experience , into permanent Amazon shoppers.

Now, I see the Levelling up money being used for proposals cooked up by the town planners from 2009. They do not appear credible.
Expect many more to go.
What comes next? Those council or ncp car parks are perfect for car charging. 100-1000 spaces in an enclosed area.

( though, on the high street, it is a good period for the small business. Rates and rents low. Incentives to use the space. Exit clauses and low deposits. Lots of empty units. Lots of crappy green, eco, rainbow, diversity grant money too.)

Nick Drew said...

Kev - happy retirement!

Anon relurk - wot you said on parking. Not for me, either. Banking app on phone - doesn't anyone read about the scams?

BQ - some old carparks not OK for charging above ground floor level - they weren't built for the sheer weight of EVs: and underground carparks v. worried about battery fires

dearieme said...

I'd never heard of Wilko until the recent fuss. And then last week on my way to Specsavers I saw a branch. Not very distinctly, but still.

E-K said...


Online shopping the killer surely ? You can have a gift bought, wrapped and sent for far less than a shopping trip.

Amazon is irresponsible tax wise and has a huge advantage over real shops.

Tax havens in general too. The Unions are banging on to their members about it all the time and its converting even the most conservative minded.

E-K said...

Thanks Nick.

jim said...

Congrats to EK - you will never be so busy.

The Americans with their IRA are showing great intelligence - intended or not. They can see there are very very few good useful new technologies coming along and the US intends to hang on to the ones that exist and dominate the very few new ones.

The EU will have to take a leaf out of the US's book and cooperate a la Yanis - more Europe. The British will have to grow out of relying on magnolia paint and Polyfilla to drive the economy. Not easy when the US and the EU and China are into looking after No 1. We are in danger of being the ugly kid at school whose lunch money is easy pickings.

Slowly slowly our masters will realise we can't all be marketing strategists or top flight bankers or lawyers and that making coffee and cutting hair will not fund the Treasury. That nasty primitive old business of bashing out tin trays is a good way to utilise the vast average orders of people. Snag, everyone else faces the same problem.

Sad about Wilko. Was my primary stop for birdfood, razors and paint on my way to the Oxfam bookshop and paper shop. A longer and more inconvenient drive to the retail parks with not a vestige of culture to leaven the experience.

Caeser Hēméra said...

Parking/Apps - back in the misty days of yore, AKA 2002, long before smartphones were a thing, I prototyped a mobile parking system. You texted your location and number plate, and you'd get x number of premium text messages (ads were the plan.) You do it in one fell swoop, or get charged until you texted stop.

So you don't actually need an app, the technology to do it app-less is as old as the mobile networks.

@Kev - Amazon makes most of it's money via AWS, the store was never more than a way to get into logistics, which is why the Amazon site is looking very unloved. Alphabet Chinese shops gaming the system, and it cleverly wondering if you need even more toilet seats after buying one. Savvy people are abandoning it.

And Amazon will be fine with that. One day they'll shutter the store, it having done it's job.

But they helped kill the High Street - not that councils or the High Street didn't provide it help. Town centre parking charged and refusal to co-operate all meant Amazon had easy pickings.

Plenty of places tried "mini-Amazons" before Bezos got his claws into the UK, so your local shops could go deliver to you. The local shops weren't interested until it was far too late.

Deliveroo will deliver from your local off licence now, 20 years ago there was no interest, now they're desperate for it.

Epimetheus rulez innit?

Caeser Hēméra said...

Locally we have (soon to be had) a Wilkos, a Poundland, and a Boyes.

Wilko's alway feels like wandering into a shrunken B+Q, Poundland something from the mind of Douglas Adams, and Boyes like having stepped out of the TARDIS into 1979 into a Grace Brothers attempt to crack t'north.

Nobody likes sterile, so perhaps that too had something to do with Wilko's demise, it felt like a hospital ward, albeit without the thrill of MRSA hiding around the corner.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

"Wilko's alway feels like wandering into a shrunken B+Q, Poundland something from the mind of Douglas Adams, and Boyes like having stepped out of the TARDIS into 1979 into a Grace Brothers attempt to crack t'north."

Oh, yes. Very much so. Wilko also stuck me as being slightly out of time - almost exactly like one of the larger Co-Op stores from the late-eighties. Strangely unsettling.

Anyway, the whole Green/Net Zero wotsit strikes me as being akin to the Railway Manias, particularly when you add the IRA in.

With those Manias, the investors (private) basically lost their shirts - but did leave behind a whole load of infrastructure, which got picked up dirt cheap.

It's not clear to me what infrastructure this stuff is going to leave behind, or it's expected useful life, or even salvage value. With government (taxpayers) money behind it, any bust would be horrific. I'd give it about ten years.

Nick Drew said...

I agree, Mr Cowshed, that speculative asset-investment splurges frequently leave a valuable legacy of assets (sunk costs), even if it bankrupted the investors. I've often written that it's what makes the world go round

The difference this time around is that all this new 'green' infrastructure comes with government-underwritten subsidies and/or guaranteed rates of return

Anonymous said...

Wanting to generate some income South Somerset District Council invested, I think, over £4 million for the Wilko store in Yeovil. The rent payable was in the region of £400,000 per annum - way way over the market level. Wonder what it is worth today?

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read this as a British Expat in the US, where things are bad, but not nearly as bad:

- I make about $140k as a ho-hum IT Project Manager doing very boring things for a megacorp. I am about $1000 pm better off after tax and after medical costs than I would be on the same gross salary in the UK. But even in London, I’d struggle to reach the same gross salary in the first place.
- I went to an ENT the other day. Had to wait 2 weeks but didn’t need a GP referral, and saw a top chap. Within 45 minutes he had seen me, sent me for a CT scan at the same location, and then had me back into his office to interpret the results. That would have been , what, 3 months on the NHS?
- Decentralized government, thanks to the federal system, means that the madness of Washington doesn’t dominate the country in the way the madness of Westminster does the UK. But it’s not just the federal system. It’s almost as though culture and society themselves are more decentralized. Hard to explain what I mean without a ridiculously long comment so I won’t try.

Anonymous said...

"That nasty primitive old business of bashing out tin trays is a good way to utilise the vast average orders of people."

Trouble is we've lost what James Dyson calls the process knowledge - the vast amount of learning-by-doing stuff that makes for a decent steel/aluminium/tin tray/nuclear/silicon wafer industry.

Plus... increasing productivity in manufacturing is generally an order of magnitude easier than in services... and there are some services you very very rarely want done by a robot, like being nursed when you are very ill.

(Although it'll be interesting to see what AI does to clerical-type jobs, I can see a lot of bottom level phone people (where the idea is to filter out the easy stuff so the people who DO know aren't overwhelmed) going 'out the door'. A friend tells me that two of her daughters old school friends now make a living selling their bodies - one online via onlyfans, one in clubs as a "burlesque dancer". Trouble is the competition's going to get fierce... plus the ageing thing...)

Shiney said...

"That nasty primitive old business of bashing out tin trays is a good way to utilise the vast average orders of people."

My first job out of Poly was as a trainee cost accountant in a factory that made printed pub trays and ashtrays.

Caeser Hēméra said...

Problem with manufacturing is that it generally doesn't pay well. If you're manufacturing something high value, that requires specific skills, then you get paid well.

If you're knocking out tin trays, no one is interested in purchasing those at the prices to employ someone wants to work at without some heavy government subsidy and/or protectionism.

Now it's easy to say bin the minimum wage and let wages find their level, right up until the moment everyone votes for the party determined to return things back to the way they were, or and angry mob burns your house down with you screaming in it.

So if we're going to get people back to doing that, they're still going to parked on benefits of some kind, when we really want them getting trained to do something they'll get paid more for, and either take said skills elsewhere, or do something to bring in inward investment for those skills to be used internally.

Whatever gets done comes with a raft of consequences, known and unknown, that terrify the Sir Humphries and ministers alike.

Caeser Hēméra said...

@Jim - we do and did super clever stuff, we just perpetually fail to capitalise on it, or sell off the goods to external investors.

ARM is a fine example. We're finding more uses for graphene and it's relatives. Our universities are still, just about, destinations, though between wokery and bumping up the costs for foreign students, that's a golden egg wobbling on a ledge.

Problem is we've got, and had, a succession of useless governments who think the population's disgruntlement with immigration is down to xenophobia, rather than a pile of local issues such as a council's turning a blind eye to fireworks or the pass-the-parcel zero-star takeaways.

Bradford's money laundering schemes may be a bit more prosaic than London's, and I'm sure it could be filed under levelling up.

A lot of that clever stuff come from foreign influences combined with British education and inventiveness, and we're actively alienating those influences, whilst the Romanian knocking shop is now the Nigerian knocking shop.

Unless taxation is rapidly changed, and the government stops kicking things into the long grass, I don't think we'll be the cheapest in the West. Worst off? Oh yes.

If - and it's a huge IF - government gets it act together over the next decade, I reckon we'll be fine, otherwise the Great British capability of just getting on with it will have an axe taken to it.

Anonymous said...

Told you.


The British car industry is showing off its green electric future at a Bedfordshire racetrack, and behind the marques, some familiar, some less so, there is a new force. China is cornering the market in electric vehicles.

Keeping open to the imports in would make it easier for the UK to hit its goal of no new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and it would make electric cars cheaper. But the UK car industry could be damaged.

i.e. eliminated

Most Teslas in the UK in recent years have been shipped from China, made in the Shanghai Gigafactory that was built in six months in 2019. In total, China has already overtaken Germany for overall global car exports, and will overtake Japan this year, becoming the world's top exporter, according to figures from Moody's Analytics.

Anonymous said...

We will have expensive leccy and gas while China burns vast amounts of coal to produce solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars, heat pumps etc - all of which we'll be completely dependent on.

I think our government is in the hands of foreign agents.

Caeser Hēméra said...

@anon - it's like most things, what is the target that has been asked to achieve?

It's reduce the carbon footprint.

If you ask a clever fool to clear up all the rubbish on one street, they'll brush it into another street. Objective met.

Governments have a lot in common with ML, they work to an objective no matter how dumb the overall results end up.

Unless you define the objective like you're getting an unruly and smartarse five year old to do something for a reward, you're going to get the result you asked for, not necessarily the result you expected, wanted, or needed.

Caeser Hēméra said...

I see the BBC News website team have excelled again.

Can't help but feel Brand's hands are about to exit my screen for a bit of moob grabbing, and possibly a surprise motor-boating...

Anonymous said...

Caeser - but our carbon footprint is what - less than 1% of world emissions?

While China is > 30% ?

(Brand has been targeted because of his move to the Dark Side as far as TPTB are concerned. I imagine if any of us had slept with a few thousand women, a deep state supported* trawl could find a few willing to allege "abuse" or even rape.)

* wiki - "During the COVID-19 pandemic, Brand’s YouTube channel underwent an increase in activity and change in political direction veering heavily in the direction of COVID denialism and conspiracy theories, which led to an increase in popularity and has amassed 6.5 million subscribers and more than a billion views."

Now wiki is useless for anything politically contentious, but on those contentious subjects it's a good guide to the establishment view.

Jan said...

Agree 100% about the targetting of Brand and I'm female! I also know I would have been frightened to death to have anything to do with him when I was 16 however famous he was.

Caeser Hēméra said...

@anon - doesn't matter. The edict was lower our carbon footprint. In that context it matters not a whit what China's emissions are.

If the edict was lower the *global* carbon footprint, then it would have.

As for Brand, his ego has ever filled up a room, and his persona has never strayed far from that of a cult leaders.

Whether the accusations are true or not, it's about as surprising as it turning out Savile was a creep.

Geoffs Bridges said...

Brand was wise, or lucky, to have used Covid vax kills as a selling point.
His supporters are all Jez Corbyn over him. Truth doesn’t matter. Unless it’s his truth. Then it’s like the Koran..
Written directly by God.

Anonymous said...

"the edict was lower our carbon footprint"

In that case our politicians ARE foreign agents, as lowering our emissions to zero "in isolation" will make damn-all difference given they're less than 1%.

We have some strange policies. We are paying Tata £500m to convert Port Talbot to electricity not coke. That's what Norway and Sweden, with their vast hydroelectricity resources, are doing. But we've got damn-all hydro by comparison.

You will have noticed all that surplus electricity we're producing from our 5th-gen molten salt reactors, which inter alia burn old nuclear waste and are the envy of the world /sarc

PS - Brent at 94 a barrel. Those Russians are really suffering!!


Nick Drew said...

"the edict was lower our carbon footprint"

may post on this soon. In fact, the edict has become "spend more money on Green"

Caeser Hēméra said...

@anon - with 13% interest rates, and difficulty sourcing fuel internally (it's more profitable to export with changes to subsidies) they're not having a good time of it.

I mentioned earlier about inflation likely to bump up next year, this will be due to the Russian harvest not being anywhere near as good as usual due to those fuel issues.

The fact they've lost control of a chunk of the Black Sea (to a nation without much of a navy left) won't help matters internally.

Cherry picking a glint of light to try and big up Russia can be easily done, it just doesn't hold up very well in the whole.

Anonymous said...

We'll have to agree to disagree old chap.

"they're not having a good time of it"

How are the UK getting on? Why am I shopping for bargains to donate to food banks?

Anonymous said...

Looks as if the Azeris are about to attack Armenia btw. Indeed ARE attacking them, using Israeli loitering munitions.

Still, I'm sure the US/NATO will come to their aid...

E-K said...

CH said: If you're knocking out tin trays, no one is interested in purchasing those at the prices to employ someone wants to work at without some heavy government subsidy and/or protectionism.

Agreed but those people are going to be subsidised by the government if they bang out trays or sit at home. There are whole coal mining communities still... without coal mines. They have better houses with mod cons than the real miners campaigned for.