Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Why don't we, the people, go on strike?

Wandering around the supermarket recently, I discovered something not earth shattering but just fucking annoying. Razor blades cost more than the razors. Or rather, the razor blades for MY razor cost more than my razor, a Quattro. This is very annoying because it is forcing me to rethink once again my strategy on shaving. Don't get me wrong, I'm not considering a beard, or half a beard so I can offer the world two different profiles, but it might mean switching back to disposable razors, which are not very good when it comes to achieving the perfect shave.

To be fair to the disposable razor, I've been using them for some time and they're cheap, but I never get a smooth shave and my face always feels rough afterwards – you get what you pay for, never forget that. 

Whatever happened to those razors with the double-edged blades? You know the ones, they used to open up like a trap door in Thunderbirds and you simply placed the Wilkinson Sword or Gillette razor blade in the razor and then screwed it back up again. My dad always had a razor like that and a shaving brush and Ingram shaving 'lather', none of that foam rubbish you get these days. I think dad switched to disposables too.

It's weird having a situation where the razor blades are more expensive than the razor, like if bullets were more expensive than the gun. Perhaps they are, but it all comes down to something the media call 'shrinkflation' – basically the fact that these days we often get less for more. It's been publicised a lot recently, with crisp (potato chip) manufacturers putting less in a bag and then charging the same price or more. Famously, Toblerone increased the size of the gap between the triangular blocks of chocolate, something that doesn't bother me because I don't like Toblerone, although many people do; it's become a big 'international' brand, seen at most airports around the world. But what about Cadbury's Creme Eggs? No longer Cadbury, of course, they're now owned by an American company who, it is reported in the media, are using inferior quality chocolate but, again, still charging either the same money or more. I think Chocolate Orange is the same: either there's less segments or inferior quality chocolate or both.

Never mind 'no trains', how about no customers?
Everything is shrinking in size but costing us more and it's a result of pure greed. What always annoys me is that people simply accept it, nobody says they're not going to buy the products anymore, they just keep paying the money, pandering to the capitalists when all they have to do – en masse – is no longer buy the products the media tells us are shrinking. Just stop buying them!

I'm all for bringing these people to their knees. If we could all simply agree, millions of us, to simply stop shopping, if you like we could go on strike and, say, stop shopping for just one day, all of us, stop consuming, stop going to work by train or bus or anything that means paying a capitalist money – it would be fantastic. I wonder when they would start pleading with us, reducing their prices, putting back the value for money they've taken out?

How would we work it? Perhaps more than one day is needed and regularly. How about some kind of commercial fasting? Let's say the first weekend of every month, nobody uses public transport, nobody visits any shop or pays for any service. Imagine that! Every month for one year and why not step it up, perhaps two weekends. We don't drink in pubs, we don't eat in restaurants, we don't take trains, visit supermarkets, anywhere. In short we give them a dose of their own medicine. We announce the days like ASLEF and Southern Railway announce their strikes and then, after a year we review our success. I think this would have to be a long-term project, we'd need the time to recruit people to the cause, but gradually it might start to work and sooner or later, as I said earlier, they, the capitalists,  the clothes retailers, people like Philip Green, would get very worried. Prices would come down, quality would go up and we would be the winners.

There is, of course, a problem: gullibility. We're all too accepting of what is put in front of us; yes, we'll moan for a bit, but we all now accept inferior quality chocolate, less potato chips in a bag, fewer segments of Chocolate Orange and so forth. When the price of a Lotto ticket rose by 100% to £2 per line, I stopped doing the lottery. Who was I kidding? I wasn't going to be a millionaire, the chances were something like 14 million to one, but sadly there are desperate, gullible people willing to stump up the cash.

Gullibility is the issue and 'they' know it. If everybody stop being so gullible, the world would be a better place.

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