I stumbled across an advert on the telly last week for one of our supermarket chains, with the strapline: 'Have a cracking Easter'. Simple and effective, focusing on the link between the holiday and the specialist confectionary which has become synonymous with the period. Most people are aware of the wider symbolism at play.
It made me think about how advertising and marketing have become ingrained in our everyday lives. We buy Coke or Pepsi, as opposed to cola. Same with alcohol and every day food products. Sometimes our choices are driven by economics and we opt for the cheapest, most likely, lesser known brands or varieties of a product. However, the higher spending power we have as individuals, as economic theory dictates, we tend to move toward procuring the recognised brand leaders. Is the unsaid reason for this simple vanity? I recall as a wean it was a status thing, your mum buying branded, rather than CO-OP labelled items.
Well, well, religion and economic theory in the opening two paragraphs. Who would guess that with Easter nearly upon us, we were in the process of experiencing a potential seismic shift in the political tectonic plates in our wee country? Or maybe not. I have been listening intently to the UK political talking heads with their analysis that it is now certain beyond doubt that the current governing party in Scotland are on the retreat and that by definition their political rivals will reap the benefit.
I have even heard some suggesting that Labour would gain as many as 20 seats at the next Westminster election which they might offset against any 'red wall' seats they fail to regain at that point and which would then possibly carry them to victory. This 'woe is them' sentiment is coming from the various UK news outlets, whether they be from the centre or outliers of the right. Arguably, the most prominent of them is the one who according to Ofcom are experiencing an identity crisis in their reason for being. I don't know if you have ever listened to this particular outlet, but I can assure you that the irony klaxon is discharging at a high decibel rate with the words identity
being placed together in relation to their purpose.
The governing classes in the UK do not seem to have any real understanding or knowledge of what makes the bulk of Scots tick. Instead, they prefer, with more than a whiff of old colonialism, to rely on clichés in referring to our stoicism and fighting spirit, and mostly in the context of what we contributed to the glorious days (their words not mine) of Britain's imperialist past. This sense of paternalism appears to be on the up and was it not the current deputy chair of the Tory Party who stated, and I paraphrase: 'the sooner the other nations of the UK realise what is good for England is good for them, the better'?
So what does this have to do with economics? It appears that when things are going well for you the policies being advocated are positive. But when subjugation and othering are the order of the day. What is it they say on the trains again? See it, say it, sort it...
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