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Scrapbook for July 2018

Posted on UTC 2018-07-01 02:01.

10.07.2018 – The free market

We learn today that fifty-five articles of frozen food, the range for shoppers in the UK alone, all come from a single processing plant in Hungary. We know this because the plant has been adding listeria to its products for some time now. For us, though, at the moment, the listeria is not really the interesting part of this news.

What gives us food for thought is that the dazzling choice offered by the free market is really no choice at all. Or more precisely, the choice has nothing to do with the product in the bag – you know, the thing you bought it for. The consumer may choose by price, the design of the packaging, the size or the portion or just happen to be in a particular supermarket, but the contents are always the same.

The economies of scale in large, global food production mean that for an increasing number of items the fundamental variety of products is being reduced, to be replaced by an artificial variety created by marketing.

People who worry about this probably don't buy plastic bags of frozen vegetables in large supermarkets anyway. But our inner Communist is troubled by the efforts of marketing and distribution that go into creating this fake diversity in products that are fundamentally the same. Those efforts will ultimately be reflected in the price the consumer pays for being deceived in this way.

There is no competition for the product, since it's all the same, only competition for the packaging and marketing.

09.07.2018 – That Brexit shambles

The fundamental problem with the current UK shambles over Brexit is that dim Theresa has never grasped that her procedure is fundamentally flawed.

For some incomprehensible reason she has filled the offices of her government in a mix of 50-50 Leavers to Remainers. This permanent conflict of opinion has not meant that some wise compromise acceptable to all has emerged – just the opposite, in fact.

To use the phrase from the odious Blair years, her government has devoted the time since the referendum to 'triangulating' its own position. This before the EU even gets started on them. This procedure has meant that Britain seems to have expended far more energy negotiating with itself than with its opponent. Thus the resulting unsavoury, malodorous, half-digested mass that has now popped out of the great government bowel after much grunting and straining (Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson™) will satisfy no one.

There is only one solution, and that is the one suggested by a despairing Peter Hitchens many years ago and here expanded for the new circumstances: let the Tory party commit electoral suicide; let the Labour lords of misrule bring a plague upon the land for five years, perhaps even cancelling Brexit; in those five years, release the local constituencies from the shackles of CCHQ, get the grassroots back; purge the Tory party of all Majorism, Hagueism, Cameronism and Mayism. On the return to power that will inevitably occur after five years of Labour lunacy, purge the entire socialist legacy going back to 1945. Execute a real Brexit.

Unfortunately it won't happen, leaving only ineffectual rage.

09.07.2018 – Novichok: the story so far

Two drug addicts find a syringe (?) discarded (?) by the would-be Skripal assassins (?) take it home (?) and inject themselves (?). Syringe not found; nothing found, in fact. One policemen feels ill (again).

That Putin has a lot to answer for!

Some factual input:

Porton Down stocks 'Novichok' and a lot of other nasty stuff. Amesbury to Porton Down 6 km; Salisbury to Porton Down 7 km; Salisbury/Amesbury to Moscow 2,500 km.

UPDATE

The UK authorities have just released a photo of the two alleged Russian assassins. If you see them do not confront them: they are armed and dangerous. Do not accept cigarettes, boiled sweets or syringes from these men.

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