Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Not so Wonderful

My local branch of Woolworths closed today. It was amongst the last 200 to go and it was a sad day, primarily of course for the employees. I realise that Woolworths had run itself into trouble, but quite why it received zero help from the Government to keep it going until a reasoned appraisal of any options could be considered I do not know. After all, every other business of comparable employing size that has run itself into trouble over the last year or so has been presented with a number of fat cheques under the guise of 'maintaining national stability'. Even though those recipients have arrived at that parlous state through greed, self interest and ineptitude. But Woolworths wasn't a bank, just a shop.

Presumably the destabilising social and economic effects of 30,000 people being thrown out of work, and the knock on effects on suppliers, maintenance people, lost revenues for town centres and the nasty taste this has left in a lot of people's mouths is something the Government think that they, and we, can handle. Maybe they're right. Time will tell. Right now though, I object to the Government's assumption that 'I' will think it's okay to save each and every tinpot bank with 'my' money, but not extend the same courtesy to a shop. I guess Gordon is a banker and always will be a banker.

Anyway, in the shop this lunchtime it was a grim affair. The young staff carried on serving customers with good humour whilst the scenery of the shop was literally dismantled around them. A few people milled around the remaining items, looking both guilty and avaricious, perhaps like people picking over the contents of a house whilst the owner was simultaneously being carried into the crematorium. I was one of them. A middle aged woman found a card saying 'Sorry You're Leaving' amongst a pile of random items. She started chortling to her companion, held it up and shouted out to the people around her, "Look, we could all sign this and leave it for the staff".

Everybody looked at her. But nobody laughed.


LF Barfe said...

The bank rescue makes me seethe. These are the same bastards who've been telling us that the market can't be bucked, and that it alone must decide our economic fate. Now that's been shown to be a steaming pile of horse manure, they're very keen that the public purse should buck the market, but the trouble is that once we're through this, they'll still be claiming to know best, even though they know the square root of fuck all about anything, and shitshowers like Brown (and Cameron - don't believe the hype, even though it's all he's got going for him) will still be listening. Fuck 'em. The gubmint should have let the market decide its own way out of this one. With or without intervention, jobs and homes will be lost. With intervention, a lot of much-needed money is being pissed up the wall. I'm off for a double espresso to calm myself down.

office pest said...

Where will it end, LF, and when? I wonder if we'll ever see the debt settled. God help us when the oil runs out, if this is the turmoil that can be created by 12 bankers, banking.

LF Barfe said...

We'll never see the debt settled. It's as though Brown's seen one of those daytime ads with Carol Vorderman and thought "That'll sort us out", like any other desperate idiot. Mark my words, the next Live Aid/Live 8 concert will be to raise awareness of debt in the developed world. It'll end with a new version of Do They Know It's Christmas, the chorus of which will run "Fuck the world. Let them know that charity starts at home".