Monday, January 22, 2018

Market forces



This morning I'm going to Glasgow. 6 carriages pull in to Edinburgh Waverley but it turns out only 3 are pulling out. It's the first off peak train of the day which means it's busier than most. Which means there's a scramble for seats and it ends up overcrowded. The train back, on the other hand, is leaving at a quiet time; has six carriages; and is almost empty.

When I get back I need to leave by the Market St. exit It's difficult these days because the escalator has been taken down. There's evidence of work of all kinds in the spot where the escalator used to be; but no sign of anything being done to replace the escalator. Or of any actual building activity at all. This puzzles me a moment, until I see the name of the builder on a notice board: Carrillion.

My journey home is complicated by the fact that I have to pick up a parcel from a grocer's shop in an out of my way street. I'd ordered something on line that was being delivered by a private delivery firm that doesn't deliver to your home any more. Only to delivery points. And I'd somehow chosen the wrong delivery point. And then, because the the delivery firm is a US based multi-national, been unable to communicate with them to get it changed.

The delivery point is a grocery store that obviously can't make a living just selling food. It's not equipped to be a parcel depot, either, and packages are in disorganised heaps. Luckily, I'm able to spot my parcel. And remember that we used to have a pretty good state run delivery service. It was called the Post Office.

It's a pity the grocery shop can't make enough of a living selling groceries. Given that we all need them. There's no sign of any fruit or veg there, though we need them too. Presumably it's because the Market doesn't allow the store owner to make enough of a profit out of fresh food, and it's getting harder and harder to get hold of. Though we all need it.

On the journey I've been reading the testimonies of people whose lives have been ruined by addiction to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Of course they're everywhere. And often open twenty four hours day. Although we absolutely don't need them.

I've also been reading a report about income inequality. It turns out that in Scotland the richest 1% owns more than the bottom 50 percent combined. I remember the year the 7:84 Theatre Company was founded. It took its title from the fact that then 7% of the population of Scotland owned 84% of the country's wealth.

And how cross we all were about that...

But 1% owning more than the bottom 50 percent combined? Can you even put a percentage on that?

And this is where the Market is taking us. I wonder if and when we will ever say:

Enough.



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