DISTRACTION, INACTION & DECEPTION: another normal day in Neoliberaland


Tim 0 Einstein 1, Taittinger 1 Newcastle Brown 0, Nurofen 1 Consumer 0

British astronaut Tim Peake (I can’t help thinking of him as Twin Peaks) seems a nice enough chap, but he is such an obvious distraction from the bad news at the moment, it’s beginning to get irritating. Tim’s Diary made Mrs Dale seem like a hoody tearaway, and Tim’s explanations of US space jargon (a spacesuit is now an Extra Vehicular Unit) were on an interest level with CNN telling me the sea temperature off Singapore. The lady on Radio 4 yesterday explaining why Tim wasn’t just another astronaut left my mouth open with disbelief, and this morning Twitter is full of more Timtweeting, incuding David Cameron telling us how TP was about to have his breakfast. BBC on Sunday had a ten minute sequence about having a poo in zero gravity.


We are not physically moving out and boldly going anywhere important in Space because that is clearly impossible – as the brilliant BBC4 repeat of the Einsteinian physics revolution explained so elegantly last night. Dan Dare was part of the 1950s, and Britain has been a bystander in the exploration of Extra Earth Space ever since blue streak nakedly affirmed that we were light years behind everyone else.

But right now, Camerlot would rather anything was on the news – just so long as it doesn’t involve UK banking reality and the real economic outlook. Hence the 24/7 distraction of Tim Peake pilot of the future. Sadly, the reality is still there as today’s deflation, producer price index (PPI) and core inflation data showed. Sun headline: everything’s going in the wrong direction.

The YOY and MOM figures show that overall deflation is accelerating, and the PPI is catching the Treasury unawares. It’s just a further sign along with the junk bonds slump, commodities collapse and Beijing headless panic that we are indeed turning the corner from Skid Row….straight into the Gobi Desert.

For more detail, catch up with yesterdays Slogpost on Crash2 and credit.


Major French  Champagne grower Taittinger has apparently bought 47 hectares of growing land in Kent (prime hop-growing terrain) in a move that makes one wonder about things ranging from climate change to whether any bit of Britain will, in the end, remain out of the hands of foreigners. This isn’t an outburst of warmism or xenophobia on my part, but rather a sort of vaguely amused look at how English producers could turn the tables.
For example, a decade ago I gave a French chum here a bottle of Newcastle Brown ale. His reaction was to ask how he could get further supplies. It was, he insisted, far superior to the copycat French product, Pelforth Brun. But thus far, Newky’s owners have not made any land purchases over here.
There are vast areas of north west France to the south of Normandy and the north of  the Loire where brown ale would grow in profusion. And there are millions of French, Belgians and Germans who would pay a premium for it.
But financially blinkered Camerlot doesn’t get this kind of real export marketing insight….and Labour doesn’t get either version of capitalism. Even more worrying, Corbynist Labour thinks the answer is a command economy that ignores social anthropology entirely. It’s all rather depressing.



Nurofen has – after what must be the best part of thirty years – been caught out in the Australian pharmacy trade and convicted of segmenting its pain relief products when they are in fact, um, one product. So the migraine and period pain variants cost twice the price of the ‘original’ product, but were exactly the same formulation. This was the profoundly muddled and amoral statement put out by the company after being found guilty:
‘We accept that what we did was illegal, but there was never at any time an intention on the part of the company to mislead the public….our sole aim was to help consumers navigate their way through a complex product offer, and find the right product for them…we want to make it clear that this anomaly does not exist in other markets.”
It’s enough to make one weep for a more innocent, honest Age. It particularly makes an ex adman like me cry buckets, because “in my day” (cue yawns as old fart rewrites history, allegedly) there is no way I would’ve wanted a client on board pulling a Carny coconut-shy stunt like this one.
The truly sad part of this story (the outcome of which I  applaud wildly) is that even at the death, Nurofen’s owners were still lying their brainless heads off. So much so that – were I a pharmco regulator in the EU – I’d be analysing Nurofen ‘variant’ formulations in double-quick marching time.


 Yesterday at The Slog: Cameron and the re thing in renegotiation

12 thoughts on “DISTRACTION, INACTION & DECEPTION: another normal day in Neoliberaland

  1. Can someone explain to me why prices not going up is nowadays considered a bad thing. It always used to be a good thing, the only reaso why people on wages which don’t go up can still afford to buy stuff.


  2. My daughter was telling me that she has been promoted to a board position within a listed company, effective January next year. As Operations Director, she was told in blunt language by the retiring CEO – ” the law now requires that we promote the female gender. I’m handing you the keys to the car, and I don’t want to hear you ever say honey I crashed the company”.


  3. You will never be an old fart in my eyes MagicMouse.

    Perhaps a Trumper on a Calendar but never a Blue Arsed Fart . Far too vulgar.


  4. @nwf
    Inflation is required by the Treasury so that it can reduce its debt obligations. ie; turn your money into Mickey Mouse currency.
    Inflation is surreptious theft on the workers paypacket, as your money buys less.


  5. Have you noticed the ‘Lord Lucan’ stories re-emerging? Always a classic sign of major discomfiture amongst the Establishment. I mean, is the fate of a gambling alcoholic who disappeared 40 years ago after probably topping his nanny instead of his wife really of any interest to anyone?

    Did he run off with our nuclear submarine access codes? Was he really Osama bin Laden??

    Good to see Willie Walsh getting into the boxing ring with the Old Etonian cabal over Heathrow – whether you agree with Davies or not, the key issue is the way the gormless British spend billions of pounds to simply ensure that major infrastructural decisions never get taken in under 20 years. a hub airport – arguments going on for 45 years and counting; HS2 – a lawyer’s delight.

    I really don’t understand why old Zac doesn’t wheel out Boris to say: ‘Oy you brainless Londoners – that trumped up socialist oik Khan was all against Heathrow expansion when it suited his slippery and devious purposes, now he’s trying to nail my mate from Richmond for being consistently against it. At least you can trust old Zac, even if you disagree with him about Heathrow. As for Khan: he’ll say anything to get elected, won’t he?? VOTE ZAC, GET GOLDMAN SACHS!!’

    They clearly must have calculated that most Tories will say anything to get elected, so finding a credible mouthpiece for this argument is proving rather difficult……


  6. Inflation also ensures that only those with an inside track preserve their capital on the rigged stock markets, the 1%s.
    Everyone else runs like a hamster on a wheel to preserve the value of their invested money.


  7. Oh, the pure magic of distraction. It must bring so much joy to all those who are saying “How did they do that!” They can just sit there in open mouthed wonder. Was it like that with Mrs T with the disappearing milk bottles trick, I can’t remember? Maybe that was mass hypnosis. Well I did ask “why” instead of “how”.

    I know all here, Under Johns are dedicated to finding sense, in order to root out misdirected & somewhat conservative truths, but something keeps niggling at the edge of my conciousness. Are all these people bright enough to construct these Machiavellian plots, & then negotiate them through the traversal of, not the equivalent of one grand chess master opposing them but a brace or more. I don’t consider myself exceptionally bright, but when I first asked myself this question I started to laugh. I think a lot of what I see as motive, is less than competent expediency. Although I am rather impressed with Black Adders manipulation of the UK electoral system. Worthy of any Borgias sycophant.

    I’d just like to say,IMHO, all those brilliant minds on Madison Avenue had nothing to do with fin & rocket exhaust bedecked auto-mobiles… It was all our own faults for wanting to be “Dan Dare”. I suppose it is all relative.

    p.s. Due to “The future” becoming to obvious & short, it has now been superseded by “The Going Forward”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s