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The screeching U-turn

Liz Truss burst onto the stage with the idea of stuff has got to be done and she doesn't care if she is "unpopular".
Her idea was trickle-down economics. That's the one where all the money is given to the rich, and the rich laugh so hard they wet themselves. And that trickles down all over everybody else, like some dystopian nightmare (feel free to picture Immortan Joe turning the water on and off).

This is especially egregious since it has been proven to be complete bollocks. In the current state of global turmoil, rich people are going to hold on to their money. Screw job creation, one doesn't get rich by being altruistic, right? It's a bear market, after all.

Barely a week into the job and her Chancellor of the Exchequer managed to spaff sixty five billion quid - that's what the Bank of England had to do in emergency measures to stop all hell breaking loose (and by the by, £65B is about five years worth of EU membership).
Not to mention uncountable damage to the economy thanks to the sinking pound, and the distruption caused by making a situation so bad that banks pulled their mortgage products from sale.

Why did this happen? I mean, aren't the bankers happy to have their bonus caps removed? Aren't the rich happy to pay much less tax? Well, as it happens, no. Not really.
The answer would logically be yes to both, as we all know rich people can get quite creative in their accountancy to limit their tax liability, not to mention moving money to secret locations.
But the thing is, bankers and rich people tend to know a thing or two about how the economy works. Unlike, say, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They understand that as nice and welcome as these things are, the PM and CE have not done their homework and, well, it's basically unfunded.
Which simply doesn't work. So the bankers and other rich people would rather say "stuff your 45p rate tax cut" than have to deal with what happens if the dozy British-cheese-lover should happen to bankrupt the country.

All of this is... actually pretty impressive for the first week (we're just glossing over the duration of The Queen's Funeral as Britain pretty much hit the Pause button for that).

Now, don't read this U-turn wrongly. Truss, for all her words, does not give one tiny inkling of a shit about you. The 45p tax thing was pulled purely and simply because it was the headline grabber that everybody was up in arms about and the Tories, who are only interested in staying in power to enable themselves, noticed that Labour were polling higher. Notably higher. Not a temporary blip higher. Depending on news source, 25 to 33 percent higher. As in "calling a snap election would be suicide" higher.

So all contrite and lacking in anything that resembles remorse (and still not pledging anything of value to hard-hit families), the 45p tax thing was ditched. After spending days standing by their decision.

Cruella, sorry, I mean Suella Braveman clearly hasn't got the memo. She's been bleating about the other Tories mounting a coup against Truss. Which to me translates as "well crap, I'm going to have to pay more tax this year".
Thing is, the other MPs have managed to understand that for all that Johnson was a massive steaming turd and about as estranged from the truth as Trump, he at least won an election (granted, against Corbyn, but still).
Truss, on the other hand, might well have made the party unelectable except in the true blue heartlands and by the rich.

The problem is, Truss and Alphabet-Spaghetti-whatever-the-hell-his-name-is now have exactly zero credibility. Just as she was inclined to make U-turns in the hustings depending on how the wind was blowing, she and her Number Eleven have done massive damage to themselves, to the party, and to the country.......and they're both barely a week into the job.

No mandate, no credibility, no solution, no hope. That that have both not offered their resignation is an anomaly. This is a fall-on-your-sword level cock-up. I'm rather surprised everybody else hasn't called for a Vote of No Confidence in this government, but maybe they're just being patient knowing that the next election isn't so far away now, and with Truss in charge, she can only cause Labour's lead to increase.

 

Money for the rich

Oh, and don't think that 45p rate has gone away. It's obviously something that the wealthy party donors have been wanting. We can probably expect some modification of it to turn up somewhere weird, hoping that nobody will notice. Like a long and tedious pile of legalese describing what constitutes a "hot dog", with the following appendices:
  • Appendix 1 - permitted colours of hot dogs
  • Appendix 2 - minimum and maximum sizes of regular hot dogs
  • Appendix 3 - minimum and maximum sizes of party hot dogs
  • Appendix 4 - reduction of 45p tax band to 25p
  • Appendix 5 - minimum permitted pork content of hot dogs
  • Appendix 6 - permitted bulking agents in hot dogs
  • Appendix 7 - required allergy notifications for soy or wheat based content used instead of meat
  • Appendix 8 - recommendation to put a hole through hot dogs to reduce choking hazard in toddlers
The rich get what they want, eventually...

 

Citroën Ami waiting time

I phoned the Citroën Ami help line (they actually have such a thing) and asked what the estimated waiting time for an order to be processed is.

Thirty two weeks.

I asked if this was due to a supply problem or if it was just how long it takes, and the woman confirmed that the time between placing and order and getting the car delivered was, indeed, thirty two weeks.

That's eight months. Or two thirds of a year. That being said, it's worth pointing out that a new electric Fiat 500 has a delay of around 10 months, and an Audi Q3 Sportback has a nine month delay, as does the new Dacia Sandero - it's down to the semiconductor supply problems.

Still, I can't help but wonder how many sales are likely to be lost because of this extremely long delay?

As I said the other day, the car with the Pop pack and 5 year support package comes to €9284 (or €8384 with eco-rebate for buying a battery car - but you claim that back separately).
A Minauto Access (the cheapest Aixam) starts at €9966 (including €167 for a spare wheel pack). I don't know what the Aixam supply delay is, but there's not a lot of electronics in a diesel Aixam. It probably comes down to how long it'll take to get all the bits to actually build the car.
The cheapest Microcar (with €149 for a radio and speakers) starts at €10,548. It's basically the same sort of deal, a very simple diesel jobbie.

So the price of an Ami is quite competitive compared to any other electric car in its category, but if somebody is simply looking for one of these sorts of cars (for, for example, their 14 year old), the price of an Ami is not that much different to a low end regular sans permis and, let's face it, what you'd get from that is something that better resembles a car than the Ami, which is often described as "quirky". How quickly it can be made and delivered could be an important factor, and 32 weeks is a loooooooong time.

Still, I've just noticed that CNU Ouest have listed a bright orange Aixam Crossline from November 2006 for €4,000. It has racked up 95,000km. I've just passed 54,000km and I'm doing about 8,000 a year. So by my maths, that suggests my little car has at least five years more in it, with some bits fiddled with along the way to keep it going.

 

Well done, Amazon

My advent tea arrived. The Amazon picker unwisely stuck it into an M1 style envelope. Anybody with just a quarter of a brain should have realised what was going to happen.

Great job of packing
Great job of packing.

I contacted Amazon. The help bot kept taking me to the information for "return this article" but I really wanted to speak to somebody to notify them that it was inappropriately packed.
In the end I beat the bot by just choosing the "other" option repeatedly.

The woman who answered has sent a message to the place that packed this article, and she then offered me the choice of returning it for a full refund, or keeping it for a partial refund.
Since all the tea sachets were present and undamaged, and it's only for me, I decided to keep it.
For three reasons. Firstly, it can't be sold like this, it would end up as landfill. Secondly, I really can't be arsed to fart around with the hassle of sending it back. Especially if the reception person does something stupid like raise an error for "sent back damaged" or something that I'd then need to sort out. Oh, and reorder again, and it would probably turn up in an M1 again...
And finally, a few creases on the box aren't the end of the world, it's not a gift. A few dabs from my hot-glue gun ought to make it box shape again.
So I'm getting a 50% refund. And maybe a little gold star from Saint Francis.

I'm not sure I'd call it an Advent Calendar though. It's a set of numbered tea sachets ... and at €6,50 €3,25 for 24 sachets, it's pricier than French tea normally is.
But, still, it seems to have some interesting flavours (except green tea and mint - I detest mint, anybody want those two?) and the box smells quite nice.

 

 

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Anon, 4th October 2022, 21:50
Mint is nice with chocolate. Or a squirt of mint syrup in hot chocolate. Or with After Eights (chocolate again). Or mint Clubs. 
 
Basically mint goes with chocolate. I'm with you on mint tea though. Mint should be put with chocolate and nothing else.
Rick, 4th October 2022, 22:04
Mint is crap toothpaste. The sort of horrid stuff that makes you retch. 
Mint doesn't belong on chocolate, it doesn't belong anywhere. Ugh. 
 
[my toothpaste is a weird cinnamon concoction, specifically chosen because it *wasn't* mint] 
Anon, 5th October 2022, 00:29
In the words of Boris the Animal: "Let's agree to disagree!"
David Pilling, 5th October 2022, 17:48
I keep hearing "trickle down", I thought it was the other idea where lower tax rates increase the overall tax take. Has to be an optimum tax rate. 
 
Tax does not cover expenditure, and it has not done for a long time. The UK runs at a loss, importing more than it exports, relying on selling off the family silver to close the gap - and it has done for a long time. 
 
(cf Michael Gove saying Conservatives will not borrow to fund low taxes). 
 
At some point the money will run out - but not for a while yet. 
 
Liz Truss does have the right idea about a bigger pie. It's the kind of thing politicians of all parties should have been working at for 50 years. 
J.G.Harston, 6th October 2022, 00:16
Hey, that's Emulsified High-Fat Offal Tube.
Rob, 6th October 2022, 01:19
Trickle down ... 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zipckr/4580812339
Rick, 14th October 2022, 14:35
Told you there was no point remembering the guy's name. Ten days after I wrote this, the economy is still in chaos and Truss has thrown him under a bus. 
 
Why is there no premise to register that the government has essentially failed (in just about every way possible) and trigger a general election? 

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