Recession? what recession!

WELL, what a momentous few weeks! Hot on the heels of the Fox/Werritty saga, there’s been an ETA cease-fire announcement.The death of Gaddafi.The first free elections in an Arab Spring nation, Tunisia. The Occupy London movement (though only in daylight hours, please!).

A devastating earthquake in Turkey. The on-off volcanic eruptions off El Hierro. The equally on-off Eurozone debt/recession summits in Brussels. And the EU Referendum debate in the UK.



Now, since Britain’s Lib Dems are the only Coalition party to have raised the prospect of an “in / out” Referendum in their manifesto for last year’s General Election, Tory MPs’ anger at Deputy PM, Nick Clegg’s opposition to this EU referendum vote was understandable. But then, I’m sure they’ve already forgotten what they promised their voters anyway.

After all, it’s a well-known medical condition: Governmental-Onset Amnesia. It affects politicians of all parties of all countries and for which, as yet, there is no known cure. (Though doubtless Jamie Oliver’s working on one).

Recession or no recession, it seems though luxury goods are on the shopping lists of the rich again, judging by profits at Burberry, Mulberry and other top-end companies. Britain’s luxury goods sector is booming thanks to soaring sales – and waiting lists – for £3,500 handbags and other “necessities” in London’s upscale stores.

The well-heeled are pushing up London property prices too. Now, it appears, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything in Mayfair under £5 million – barely the price of a starter home for a billionaire.

At the same time, business for the UK’s charity / discount shops and pawn brokers is booming too. Bargain chain, Poundland, is now the fastest-growing retailer in shopping centres. It’s set to expand into the Eurozone too, starting in debt-ridden Ireland, under the brand ‘Dealz’ (not, er, ‘Euroland’).

Now, when you see Poundland stores sprouting up in the high street, you know things are grim. Even grimmer though when they close down. And it’s always instructive which books end up on its shelves. Generally a surplus of remaindered X Factor biographies if memory serves.

Which all goes to prove how well the present Coalition is doing. Only the two ends of the social scale are growing: the luxury goods market and the market for the cash-strapped. The Government’s managed to make the rich richer – while the massive profits from the cheap stuff at a business like Poundland also goes to a privately-owned company. Well done!

Photo credit: pittaya

Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code ( available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca

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