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When Do The Bread Riots Start?

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A more than usually speculative post …

Last week, the price of petrol went up noticeably (~3%), but for me even more significant were increases in the prices of milk at Tesco (5.5%), and – highly symbolic – the brown bread we favour (12.5%). 

Historically, British bread riots were when the price of a loaf went up from, like, 4d to 5d.  So we’re halfway to that kind of increase.  In France, received wisdom is that Les Gilets Jaunes kicked off as fuel-price rioters.  There’s nothing I can see that will do anything to reverse the current inflationary trend – in fact, quite the opposite.

When does modern British man/woman hit the streets over the cost-of-living?  And – will it be before or after the ‘personal’ costs of Net Zero Carbon hit home in a really visible way?

I put it that way because this week saw the launch of the fat government document purporting to be its Net Zero Strategy (alongside a distinctly, nay frostily skeptical Treasury document on the same theme).  Ordinarily, as part of our service to readers I undertake to review these things systematically; but this time there’s no point.  The main strategy doc is so full of numerical nonsense and indeed internally contradictory numbers, it’s an outright embarrassment – are there any Civil Servants left with an ounce of pride? – and can only be taken as something for Boris to wave at COP26.  (He’d have done better to stay with the highly complimentary assessment of the UK in a review from “Climate Transparency“  [one of those proliferating green NGOs] which has us as by far the best performer of the G20 nations – out on our own in a category of one.)  However, one thing is really clear: big costs are on their way.

In one very obvious scenario, COP26 could be a PR disaster.  It took a lot of effort to prevent the same outcome at Paris ’21, when host-nation France was putting in 120% diplomatic effort and had a lot of other big nations onside anyway.  Doesn’t look particularly auspicious for Boris right now, although Kerry, the EC (if not all euro-nations) and the UN apparatus will be more than a little helpful to his cause.  Crazy promises of cash might be forthcoming to work the trick.  On the other hand, stay-away Xi might put in a dramatic appearance and engineer himself into the position of being 100% pivotal: “either acknowledge me as the saviour of the world, or I pull the plug“.  Who could be surprised if COP26 ends in fiasco, with the ‘developing’ nations stomping out due to their pockets not being adequately lined with gold; then Xi summons the developing world leaders to Beijing for an early Xmas present?

Anyhow, unless Boris engineers a half-triumph for himself, I reckon he’s gone before Easter.  Then Rishi can announce the resumption of fracking, etc etc …  Oh, and deal with those bread riots.  What a good job there’s currently no Leader of the Opposition.

Have a great weekend!

ND



Source: http://www.cityunslicker.co.uk/2021/10/when-do-bread-riots-start.html


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