Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Woolworths and MFI go into administration

Cranmer did not grow up on pick’n’mix, but millions have enjoyed the wonder of Woolworths for nigh on a century. It has been a giant of the High Street; a great retail institution. As they call in the receivers, 800 stores are in peril, along with 30,000 jobs.

MFI might once have been the Ratners of home furnishings, but no matter how much they may have improved, the moment people stop buying and selling houses, they cease wanting new bathrooms and kitchens. And so the ‘credit crunch’ bites. MFI has 110 stores nationwide, and employs around 1000 people.

So another 31,000 people face the harsh reality and utter hopelessness of unemployment; a Christmas of insecurity, worry and woe.

Thank you, Prime Minister. Thank you, Chancellor. You are doing quite a remarkable job of running the economy.

Right into the ground.

But could you please explain to His Grace why incompetent, inefficient banks are worth bailing out, but there are no plans afoot to nationalise Woolworths?

Why is the preservation of pick’n’mix not worth a few paltry millions of taxpayers’ money, when the banks have had hundreds of billions?

Why are the jobs of hundreds of banking executives worth preserving, despite their shoddy business plans, while thousands of humble shop-workers are forced to pay the price for Labour’s economic incompetence?

What is this Socialism that bails out the very wealthy and powerful financial institutions, but leaves the weak retailers to die?

What is this Socialism that sides with the might of Mammon while the poor face penury?

What is this Socialism that feeds the banking fat cats on lean and expensive meat, but leaves the workers to the dog-eat-dog world of the market?

Did Gordon Brown claim to have a moral compass?

It must be broken.

Perhaps Cranmer will buy him a new one for Christmas.

They are bound to be available in some closing-down sale somewhere. Or at least 2.5 per cent cheaper because of the reduction in VAT.

9 Comments:

Anonymous An humble sailor. said...

As any mariner will tell your grace, a compass (moral or otherwise) is of little use unless used in conjunction with a chart (a map to lubbers) and course to steer.

I doubt Mr Brown has a moral or political couse to steer, other than clinging on to power.

26 November 2008 at 19:04  
Blogger Harry Hook said...

This is very sad... especially concerning Woolworths. The cheery ambiance of many a High Street will suffer greatly at its demise. My immediate thought is that my local Woolies is always where the Salvation Army Brass Band congregate to play carols at Christmas time.

26 November 2008 at 19:55  
Anonymous Occasional Lurker said...

"What is this Socialism that bails out the very wealthy and powerful financial institutions, but leaves the weak retailers to die?

What is this Socialism that sides with the might of Mammon while the poor face penury?

What is this Socialism that feeds the banking fat cats on lean and expensive meat, but leaves the workers to the dog-eat-dog world of the market?"

An inspired and eloquent post, your Grace, thank you.

(The word verification is insities, remarkably close to insights.)

26 November 2008 at 22:10  
Blogger Norfolk Blogger said...

I'll miss Woolworths. When I lived in Fakenham (a smallish North Norfolk market town which has excellent taste in its elected politicians) Woolwarths was the best shop in town. Not only was there pick and mix, but computer games, dvds, crockery, paint, in fact, just about anything I needed.

Wollies will be sorely missed in lots of other similar market towns.

26 November 2008 at 22:15  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Wollies will be sorely missed in lots of other similar market towns."

You can say that again. Woolie's is really useful to us. What a tragedy.

But really. Gordon Brown underwrote the shitty banks, the source of credit and for that reason the heart of the economy, to try and keep it all going for a bit longer. How suicidally stupid.

Gordon Brown. He really is the worst politician in living memory.

27 November 2008 at 04:23  
Blogger The Gentleman Loser said...

Why is the preservation of pick’n’mix not worth a few paltry millions of taxpayers’ money, when the banks have had hundreds of billions?

Capitalism survives without Woolworths it does not survive without the banks.

27 November 2008 at 07:09  
Blogger len.allan said...

The banks ,which caused the problem survive(on taxpayers money.) while the retailers go bust.
Surely this system cannot continue much longer?

27 November 2008 at 07:41  
Anonymous bergen said...

It will hit badly the small town High Street where Woolies may still be the biggest store (Tesco et al having moved to out of town retail parks).

Then the few other businesses left in the High Street will close or leave so that there is nothing but charity shops.

Of such is socialism made.

27 November 2008 at 08:26  
Blogger Bill Quango MP said...

The banks were the ones to say "no more" to Woolworths, and pulled the insurance and funding plug.

Sound business sense in normal times but these are not normal times.
Mr Mandelson wanted the banks to not demand their money back, they wanted him to go away.

Gordon had a golden, once in a century,opportunity to get the government owned banks to act in a socially responsible way if he so wished.

Instead, he himself demanded that they repay the governments empty bowls at a faster and more expensive rate than they were struggling with before.

27 November 2008 at 13:09  

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