Although the temperature is still over thirty degrees down here in beautiful bankrupt south-eastern Europe, that time of year is getting closer in the UK when lucky senior citizens sit patiently by the doormat each morning waiting for the Winter Fuel Allowance to come in. It goes without saying that over 70% of us don’t spend it on winter fuel, or freezing cold Spring fuel – or even lighter fuel because smoking is naughty – but rather on those small luxuries that have recently been denied to us thanks to the spectacularly successful policy of offering 0% on bank deposits.
The trouble in Britain is that we make so few things ourselves any more, buying pretty much everything including fuel simply ups the national deficit. If you spend the money in a major multiple supermarket, the money will go to China , Sri Lanka, ClubMed or South America. If you spend it on petrol your money will go to the Arabs. If you purchase a computer it will go to India , Taiwan, China, Korea or the US. If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico , Honduras, Spain and Guatemala. If you buy an efficient car it will go to Japan or Korea. If you purchase uselessly pointless stuff it will go to Taiwan. And even if you pay off your credit cards or buy shares, it will go to management bonuses, which the lucky recipients will then hide offshore.
So true patriots like moi are left with the tricky conundrum of trying to spend some of our own tax money being given back to us that 70% of us don’t really need on something that will make Blighty’s financial position less onerous for future taxpayers who probably won’t get a Winter Fuel Allowance in the future anyway. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and these are my tentative conclusions.
One business sector clearly booming at the moment is the massage parlour aka whorehouse space. Most of the girls are Romanian or Ukrainian, but as they send British things home that you can’t buy there, this is a form of exporting, however informal it may seem. Also the girls usually pay some lowlife to get in here illegally in the first place, so the import cost is negatively configured, as they say in the Federal Reserve.
Getting drunk is as good a use of one’s money these days as any other, and as we still grow hops in Kent, apples in Devon, and distill malt in Scotland, this too can be an activity likely to bring a smile to the Chancellor’s visage. As George Osborne’s boatrace is usually somewhere between a sneer and a smirk, I think most of us would find the improvement well worth while.
Most of us are pretty depressed about how crap life is in Britain, but cheer up because now’s your chance to go online and buy antidepressants illegally that were made and developed in Britain by the likes of GlaxoSmithkline and AstraZeneca. Of course, the internet black market versions were also exported illegally in the first place, so you’re really only repatriating what’s legally ours – as well as saving the NHS money.
And finally, instead of buying imported fuel that had to be imported because Defra doesn’t know how to hold thermometers the right way up or read weather forecasts, why not make your heating system more efficient with a new British-made boiler? We’re still a world leader in those; and as long as you can find a retrained media studies graduate to fit one for you, all should be well.
So then: get laid, get pissed, take more pills, and ensure you’ll always be warm in summer. Is this not a quintessentially British approach? Of course it is: don’t change a winning formula. You know it makes sense.