Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Knationalised knickers

Peter Black quotes Dr Molly Scott Cato, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, who uses her difficulties in buying a decent pair of knickers as an argument against globalisation:

"Nonclassical economics would suggest that there is a market opportunity here for somebody who produced a decent pair of underwear. I would certainly pay a premium price. But instead, all suppliers of these items are competing on price, outsourcing production to Vietnam or the Philippines, using only the cheapest materials, so that knickers are see-through and fall apart within months. This is the way the best profits are made, and the best knickers are no longer of any concern."
Lord Bonkers writes exclusively for Liberal England:
Dr Molly Scott Cato (what a splendid name!) complains about the free market in knickers, but our experience with state planning was not a happy one. Knickers were nationalised by Attlee's Government in 1947 as part of the formation of the British Underwear Corporation (or BUC, as it was universally known).

Unfortunately, this organisation was notorious for its inefficiency and poor labour relations - who can forget the String Vest Strike of 1958? - and later the young Anthony Wedgwood Benn was to waste millions in an attempt to produce Anglo-French underwear.

To be frank, when Mrs Thatcher privatised BUC it was a blessed relief. As a matter of fact I bought some of the shares myself and did rather well with them.
Susanne Lamido has some observations of her own.

3 comments:

Joe Otten said...

Yeah the name Cato was adopted by Molly Scott and her fellah Chris Busby as a political statement I think of some sort.

Probably something to do with this Cato.

The name is also used by a US libertarian (and pro free market) group.

Pity he was portrayed as such a whiner in the recent BBC Rome series.

James said...

That Cato fellah isn't wearing any knickers at all. Bloody hypocrite.

Molly said...

Ok, I've had enough of this news in brief. Time to get to the bottom of it, says I. Don't ask me about the Cato, but I rather like the three-name thing. Incidentally, the point about poor quality and rip-off profits is more important than the knickers. Just to make it clear that I am a serious economist.