Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why salt cell will just make things worse - as socialism always does

When its been freezing for a few days and gritting makes the headlines the govt offers its excuse that its taken national command of the grit and salt supplies - to send it where its most needed.

But like so many other acts of socialism this one is ultimately counter productive.

Local councils have to decide how large salt stocks to carry, and this will relate to their budgets and council tax rates. If they gamble on a warm winter ( a BBQ winter to be cruel to the climate change propaganda office met office ) then they may win votes and thanks, If they lose then the govt helps them out.

But if they buy in diligent stocks then they definitely lose with the BBQ winter, and also lose if the winter is harsh as the salt will be taken from them by govt.

Hence the tactical decision taken for short term headlines is a strategic disaster.

We can see the same mechanism working where the govt punishes people who make provision for themselves in life.


JohnRS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnRS said...

So for next year's "Barbeque Winter" (or whatever the Massage England's Temeratures office decides to call it) no-one anywhere in the UK will have any stock at all to make sure they won't have had to spend money in advance. Why would they when it just gets stolen by central gummint?

Due to the lack of restocking orders through the spring and summer the salt mines in Cheshire will all have cut back and won't have the staff or machinery available to provide supplies at short notice. Despite having massive reserves underground we'll import tons of the stuff from the other side of the planet at some vast cost. Council Tax payers across the UK will be told their charges are going up because of the evil capitalists increasing the price of salt.

A new gummint Salt Distribution Authority will be set up with a staff of 5,000 seat warmers to ensure England, Wales and Ireland have a Salt Strategy, proper planning in each council, co-ordination of supplies across the countries, plus a new set or targets for all aspects Salt Planning and Distribution. This will be housed in a nice new office somewhere in WC2.

Scotland will, of course, have its own independent authority to manage matters north of the border. This will complain the the UK gummint hasnt provided sufficent funds. As a result 30% more money/head will be provided to Scotland than is available across the other three countries.

(Excuse my cynicism)

Mark Wadsworth said...


John R, you are spot on, but you forgot the liaison officers between Dept of Transport, DEFRA and Dept for Local Government who will do a bit of "liaising" (whatever that is). And a few hundred million for a top notch IT system to track all the salt (that goes vastly over-budget and never works).

"This will be housed in a nice new office somewhere in WC2"

They could rent the five storey building formerly occupied by the DCMS, very handy for shopping and so on.

JohnRS said...


Damn, sorry I missed them out. (I'm not really but I was brought up to be polite).

There's always one more set of seat warmers than you expect isn't there? I would imagine by tomorrow there'll be a few more. All sucking on the teat and demanding their slice of the ever decreasing national pie (I dont believe 0.1% growth any more that Darling The Glove Puppet does).

Ideally I'd take the whole lot of them (and other uncivil servants I come across), flay them all and roll them in salt!