Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Welsh Government’s Foam Flecked Idiocy

The No. 5 blast furnace at Corus’ Port Talbot Works, South Wales. The furnace was rebuilt in eight months in 2002 at a cost of £75m. It produces around 1.5 million tonnes of liquid iron a year and is designed to operate continuously for a minimum of 15 years. Credit:NewsCast www.newscast.co.uk +44 (0) 20 7608 1000

The omniscient who make up the Welsh government find themselves having to shout ever louder that they really do know best. To the point that the population finds itself foam flecked with the sputum of their volume and sincerity.

The issue is this idea that the Welsh may only buy “essentials” during this two weeks lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The problem on the surface being that what said government defined a non-essential others thought might be quite essential, thank you. Male voice choirs deciding that tampons aren’t essential is even a funny joke, at least until they get home.

So, after meditation and mediation that list of what is essential has changed:

From now on, ministers say the following products can be sold:

Food and drink
Products ancillary to the sale of food and drink, primarily disposable items used for the preparation and storage of food (such as kitchen foil, food bags and cling film) but also basic products necessary to prepare and eat food and drink
Products for washing clothes and for cleaning and maintaining the home, including batteries, light bulbs and fuel
Toiletries and cosmetic products, including toilet rolls and sanitary products
Pharmaceutical products
Baby products including equipment, clothes and nappies
Newspapers and magazines
Stationery and greetings cards
Pet food and other pet supplies
Products for the maintenance of bicycles and cars

Note that a Bible, as a book, may not be sold. But Razzle – if it still exists – may be. You can’t go buy a coffin either which might be a useful purchase in the middle of a pandemic.

The actual mistake being is this spittle flecked insistence:

However, we cannot move away from the central principle that retailers must restrict the sale of non-essential goods for the duration of the firebreak.

The accurate translation of which is “We know better than thou, Boyo.” The truth being that no, they don’t. As is proven by the manner in which they cocked up the first time around. As is proven at a deeper level by the basic economic truism that utility is always defined personally. What is useful, desirable, valuable, essential, for me is not so, necessarily, for you. That is, the central bureaucracy simply cannot define what is essential because they don;t know the utility functions of each individual in the country.

Their claim, their insistence, it’s impossible that it’s true.

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Nila24
Nila24
5 months ago

Who in their right mind even read newspapers and magazines?
Broken PSU for internet router though…

Spike
Spike
5 months ago

Of course “essential” vs “non-essential” presupposes a value system, and that of bureaucrats is not going to be the same as that of every citizen. The citizen’s values might not include minimizing Covid “cases” at all, as most now involve virus traces on non-oldsters, most of whom will never feel it. There is no “public-policy” criterion for making this distinction, but businessmen will pay to sit at the table with those authoring this huge crackdown on the healthy.

The Mole
The Mole
5 months ago

So you still can’t buy thick jumpers and coats and blankets to cope with the fact you are stuck at home in the start of winter and unable to afford heating as your wages have been cut (or your boilers broken). Nope still not thought through.

The best part of this seems to be that (one) of the motivations was to protect other shops from supermarkets taking their sales… yet there are no restrictions on what you can order online so amazon can take all the sales instead.

Tim the Coder
Tim the Coder
5 months ago

Is rope, or piano wire considered essential yet?
🙂

john77
john77
5 months ago

Since when were cosmetics essential?

Mrveryangry
Mrveryangry
5 months ago
Reply to  john77

Ho! Ask my wife and four daughters. I dare you.

john77
john77
5 months ago
Reply to  Mrveryangry

Are they good at throwing javelins or the discus? At social distancing of > or = 2 metres I should be reasonably safe.

Your comment demonstrates how much it is a lie that men create the demand for women to use cosmetics: I don’t ask my wife to use cosmetics and it seems you don’t either.

Esteban
Esteban
5 months ago

Could be sillier – in Michigan they outlawed buying seeds to grow food but lottery tickets were OK.

Spike
Spike
5 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Not silly at all; follow the money – in the case of the monopoly lottery, back to the State of Michigan. See also the effort to restrain medical procedures during lockdown to those that are “life-sustaining” (this to include abortion clinics).

Swannypol
Swannypol
5 months ago

So you can maintain your car but not buy fuel or insurance for it?
Can I top up my electricity meter card, it reads as no.
I’ll wait shivering in the dark for next week’s revision I guess.

Peter
Peter
5 months ago

Its not an original thought, of course – but “pity the satirist” – when the reality is this absurd, who can satirise?

jgh
jgh
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter

I am repeatedly surprised, but Tom Lehrer is still alive.

Jim
Jim
5 months ago

What about electrical goods then? Cookers, fridges, washing machines, telephones etc. All of which are very essential, and if yours has just broken what are you supposed to do? I don’t fancy your average politician’s chances if he stands in the way of a woman with 3 kids replacing her broken washing machine.

Esteban
Esteban
5 months ago

From memory – many years ago the Greens in Washington State decided to do something about the product that was public enemy #1 when it comes to not recycling – disposable diapers. They went to the State house with a proposed bill and lots of scientific documentation of the tons of waste that could be saved…

Then the angry women showed up in protest waving sh*tty diapers. It turns out some things are more important than Gaia.

Cosmetics are probably the same thing.

rhoda klapp
rhoda klapp
5 months ago

Again, it is not the daftness of the rule, that isn’t even disputable. The question is where did they get the right to impose it, daft or not. It can’t be a devolved power because the westminster parliament also does not have the right to do it and therefore not to devolve it either.

I’m glad to see that Lord Sumption has also come round to my opinion although he uses published legal reasons whereas I base my opinion on outrage.

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