Up yours Aspirational Saps! You’re going to lose a lot of money next year. In Northern Ireland, average house prices are around £250k. So Aspirational Saps may lose out to the tune of £17,500.
The City has got some form in this area. So I’m quite sure a glut of London City cannibals, sorry traders, are going to make a mint out of Aspirational Saps as they circle the financial plughole.
Our economy is founded on those shakey twin pillars of housing market and financial services. We all know that housing market growth is built on banks lending to the Aspirational Saps. And we all know that those banks need to generate liquidity by investing in stock, which in turn makes London’s City Chaps happy. Notch one up to the City Chaps.
And now that bank lending is tightening up, apparently a mint is to be made by now betting against the housing market. Notch another one up for the City Chaps. Aspirational Saps are yet to score.
The financial services industry, which is clustered around London, seems well able to take care of itself. City chaps will do okay, they always do. But how do regional economies survive a credit crunch and depressed housing market?
Our economy isn’t in good shape. Lots of bollocks is spouted about our mixed economy. That mix looks to me like administrative and low-grade service sector work for indigenous workers, and production line drudgery for migrant labour. Where are the high-end jobs in the value-add bracket we were promised?
Victoria Square adds to the problem. Retail employs a lot of people here. Multiples and SMEs employ large numbers of people; they pay workers wages, then relieve workers of wages as customers. Nothing wrong with that, except it’s another cannabilising industry gorging on itself. The grandeur of Victoria Square should not be mistaken for anything more than a multi-million pound mausoleum for the local economy.
We have a stunning array of service sector outlets that are attempting to find new ways to relieve comparatively poorly paid NI workers of what little cash they have left after the mortgage lender, HSBC-type creditor and Tick Man have been at them.
We’re in trouble. We do not have a significant wealth-generating sector. Sadly, I suspect the DFP thinks that this desperately needed wealth-creating sector must be tourism. Not very inspiring.
Staff at Bobballs firmly believe that 2008 will not be a good year for the local economy. What about all that knowledge-led economy guff? Where’s the wealth-creating tax package?
Unfettered capitalism is pretty unpleasant. City Chaps intend to profiteer off housing market misery in the regional economy. Central intervention is needed. But who’s fighting for the Aspirational Saps? Are they valuable only in so far as they absorb price increases? Aspirational Saps beg definition as tough, though disposable, economic Handy Andies – good for every time there’s a messy little price splurge from utilities and food and energy producers.
Tired of getting squeezed? When do we get to notch one up for the good guys?
UPDATE: Bobballs occasionally scoops the big boys. And, yes, even in self-piteous, middle-class angst we scooped the big boys yet again. A full 24 hours after Bobballs felt sorry for himself here, we learn that Mr Average is now £33,000 in debt (The Daily Telegraph); that a housing market crash is on the way (The News Letter); that it’s going to be a really cold Christmas for staff at Bobballs (The Guardian Unlimited). Which was bad enough without this disturbing revelation from the Bridlington Free Press.