Rubbish

The rubbish wars are escalating here in Jericho. About ten days ago The News of the World van was spotted driving around with a chap dressed up as Robin from Batman (pretty similar, anyway), and now Channel Four’s Dispatches tell me they’d like to have two weeks’ worth of my rubbish, and have given us an enormous yellow wheelie bin to put it in. I dread to think what’s coming next.

0 thoughts on “Rubbish”

  1. Were you living in Oxford during the Bus Wars? They were a street pageant in the absurd destructiveness of Thatcherism. Rival companies were allowed to fight for passengers wherever they found them and, along the most popular routes, they did so literally.

    The proverbial three buses would indeed come along at the same time, except they’d be jostling for position at the stop, their drivers swearing at each other and their potential passengers milling around in confusion.

    In the end Stagecoach won of course. Being national and having a huge war chest, they could undercut the local opposition until it was broke—then ramp up their own fares when the competition was gone.

    “Markets”, dontcha love ’em?

  2. It’s this idea that all you have to do is remove barriers and markets will be free. Of course they turn out nothing of the sort: firms are just as capable of governments of strangling competition, and many situations don’t lend themselves particularly easily to anything like free competition, without a very good regulatory framework… This was just the sort of grand scale mess-everything-up-for-everyone experiment that demonstrated the point by failing.

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