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post 11-09-01 economy (uk perspective) p.s. re: misdirected anger

updated fri 21 sep 01


Janet Kaiser on fri 21 sep 01

Thank you Wendy R., for your report on the economic
situation of gallery/craft trading in the USA. Even
though my heart asks "who gives a damn right now?" I
suppose this is one way of thinking of something
else... A distraction. And life must go on... Eckhard
is always telling me it is interesting to compare
economic trends, so I will try...

Here in the UK, the downturn in the economy was being
held buoyant by so-called "High street spending",
before the dreadful events of September 11th. That
seems to have changed in the week since. Consumer
spending has decreased drastically and although the
rate of interest has reached its lowest since 1964, the
economists who have been speaking on BBC radio do not
seem very optimistic in the short to medium term.

Here in rural Wales, we came to the end of the high
season at the end of August. Tourists are mostly in the
50 plus age range at this time of year. As a group they
are hurting financially as the value of their unit
trusts, stocks and shares fall... They are staying home
and those who are on holiday are not spending. Hotels
and restaurants both here and throughout the UK are
apparently well down on previous years too.

We have sold nothing but greetings cards for the past
week and today, we had just six people visit all day
long... Our turnover for the day was £5.20 which means
we are working at a deficit in September, when that
should only start in November and continue through to
March 2002. This is naturally a terrific blow following
the fuel crisis last September and the disaster
foot-and-mouth was/is to the rural economy in the UK
this year. We were working at a loss from September
2000 right through to April 2001... So the break-even
profit of four months (June through August) will have
to keep us going for the next seven months... A
complete economic disaster. As the tax man and the bank
manager say... We are indulging a hobby, not a real

And it is not rocket science to predict that many will
go out of business this winter, because the costs
remain without the expected/projected income to meet
them for the second year in a row. Galleries, artists
and craftspeople are particularly vulnerable, because
they are already at the lower end of the income
spectrum. In an area where all its micro businesses (no
industry or large companies here) are totally reliant
on tourism, we are amongst those directly affected by
the downward spending spiral and decrease in the income
tourism usually generates. There are many more who are
indirectly affected... We will all have to just hang on
in there or go get a real job!

Janet Kaiser
The Chapel of Art . Capel Celfyddyd
Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales Tel: (01766) 523570

P.S. I understand what Arnold was trying to say,
however ineptly he put it...

The Reichskristallnacht was when all the synagogues
(not shops - they were too valuable and were
"re-allocated" to Aryan owners along with all other
businesses) were burned down in Germany. As Arnold
wanted to point out, it was done by Germans to Germans.
Yes, it was the ruling National Socialist party who
orchestrated and condoned the action, but it was done
by Germans to their fellow countrymen: those who
followed a different religion. They were German
citizens living peacefully and completely integrated in
all levels of society. Their religion set them apart...
as Jews they were collectively blamed for the situation
in Germany following the Treaty of Versailles. The Nazi
"Endlösung" was incidentally happily adopted in several
countries outside Germany, who have yet to do some
serious soul searching about their own part in the
Holocaust. As Britain, the USA and other countries
refused refuge to many thousands seeking escape from
fascist Europe, we cannot cast the first stone.

Now sixty years down the line, people of the Muslim
faith are being attacked, by their fellow countrymen
and women. Not just in the USA, but in other countries
too. It is to my shame that a young Afghan refugee, a
student working as a taxi driver was brutally attacked
and paralysed from the neck down in the UK this week. I
hear the situation is far more critical for Muslims in
the USA, due to the hysteria being whipped up by the

But I cannot express my views on Clay Art any more,
because people like Patrick L. take any comment or
criticism as either a personal insult or an attack on
the USA. So be it. Much as the world grieves, we are
excluded from expressing our concerns here and many
other forum.