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Rustbelt Remedy (part 1)

Tony Goddard | 10.09.2003 16:53 | Analysis | Sheffield

The article is an analysis of how the informal economy becomes more
prominent in deindustrialising societies.


Marijuana plantations in business parks compete with the steel industry in South Yorkshire. This is a symptom of an imploding economy.
Following the merger of British Steel with Hoogovens we get Corus whose management are able to close British steel plants easily because successive British governments, both Conservative and Labour, have staunchly resisted any attempts to increase the rights of workers via European Union legislation. The local press regularly reports the seizure of crops worth millions of pounds from business park units in the locality. The street price is about 140 pounds for about 25 grams, or 140*4*10 (5600) per kilo. This makes 178 kilos of marijuana skunkweed a million pounds. A few hundred kilos is millions of euros.
Industrial style growing takes high technology ventilation and lighting systems, but that's no problem for an industrialised area.

British law prohibits the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. Despite prohibition street prices of cannabis resin have fallen while 'skunkweed' appears to be holding its rather excessive price. Hard drugs like heroin and cocaine seem to be getting cheaper and in most areas of the 'rustbelt' there is a flourishing trade in 'junk' style drugs. The alcohol industry is keeping its share of the youth market with attractively priced and packaged alcopops ... essentially vodka pop, or healthy looking fruit flavoured drinks. Many British doctors advocate moderate consumption of alcohol as a remedy against heart disease and the effects of smoking.

British MPs complain that drug abuse is responsible
for the decline of deindustrialised communities especially in the former coal mining areas. Essentially the local ecomomy is imploding, with core production and manufacturing trades shrinking. Beaurocracy, education and health care are the major sources of employment in the white economy while burglary, mugging, tobacco smuggling, theft of contractors' plant and frauds involving meat (ugh!) help to sustain the black economy.

It is easy to confuse tolerance with loss of control. Tolerance may be seen as a british virtue, but when people put up with a victorian railway system, the longest working hours in Europe, an increasing prison population and a government which acts as a recruiting seargeant for American economic wars it seems that the masses are tolerant because they have really lost control. It is no longer adequate to vote for a government which will act in the interests of the people, because the government acts only to further the interests of favoured factions.

South Yorkshire has a population of refugees from Africa and Asia. Most of these refugees have fled persecution from thugs who have furthered British and American interests. Somali's Sayid Barre, drove out many of Somaliland's elite just as Saddam Hussein, Gulbaddin Hekmatiyar, Osama Binladen and Slobodan Milosevich have chased out Kurds, Iraqis Afghanis and Yugoslavs. In the 1970s Britain saw the arrival of citizens from Uganda where they had helped to secure promotion and then power for Idi Amin.

The commercial cultivation of marijuana in business parks is a symptom of the loss of control by the government, a government which wishes to impose its will on a huge area of Iraq. It has already exported it's failed politicians to the Balkans and they have merely played a role in defending a jobs for development and military agencies and thereby helping the traffickers in whores to train and recruit candidates in these quasi protectorates before dispersing them through the richer countries of Europe. Development agency personnel are often good customers for whores: military more or less so according to rates of pay.

The social climate is very bad in much of the region.Youths regularly joy ride in abandoned cars before setting them alight. The local council has tried developing yuppie shopping areas near to the university, but women students are told not to walk alone at night and violent begging including PIN number extortion is commonplace.

Drugs and prostitution are not necessarily violent ways of making money. The upmarket end of drugs and prostitution fades into ordinary white collar crime such as money laundering, gaming machine fraud, and inflated invoices. The latter type of crime flourishes at the highest level. Another failed British politician, Niel Kinnock appears to be close to the center of a web of corruption. Unlike marijuana plantations, inflated invoices have no smell.

It seems that prisons are built by the ruling classes to control downmarket activities whether criminal or existential. Anyone who makes the best effort to survive a regime like the Taliban or even occupation by a foreign power may end up in prison.

British universities are closing down courses in philosophy and foreign languages. Just like whores, the universities need guests. Philosophy and foreign languages are not so popular as law and medicine or even media studies. The universities are being drafted to serve the needs of the job market rather than teaching people to live in a multicultural society. There are dozens of different languages spoken in the rustbelt, but local youngsters are often deprived the opportunity to learn of these rich languages and cultures in an academic setting. It seems a mere excercise in social survival to get more funding for this type of education.

It's said that the first organisms on Earth may have survived by oxidising iron. These organisms could live in rocks and survive meteorite impact and so on. Human blood cells contain iron and the malaria parasite loves the material during a certain phase of its life.
There are debilitating human organisations which rally around blood and iron. Fascist organisations extol the virtues of blood and iron. Any modern military campaign needs armoured bulldozers to clear away the corpses. Sheffield has had its share of blood and iron. Lives were lost in France during 1914-18, and at home during the bombing of 1939-45. The town thrived during these periods.

The men who thrived on blood and iron still call the shots here. The football clubs go for the common blood thing to build up morale amongst supporters, and the football colours of the teams, or other fashions serve as paramilitary garb for street gangs. Music preference can also be used to create paramilitary organisations. The extreme right parties of Europe all have their own bands and merchandising circuits.

Tony Goddard
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  1. thats mor like it.. — need you know?