David Aaronovitch in The Times questions the moral tut tutting of the churches against spending by the working classes, which he sees as language showing concern about the corrupting effects of "luxury", which in the past was used to damn department stores, hire purchase, mail order and credit cards.
Presumably those who damned consumerism of the past should be basking in the joy of the recession with "I told you so". Buy Nothing Day this year should be a breeze for far too many.
Hugo Rifkind delightfully pokes fun at Malia and Sasha Obama in the Times (hmmm how many will find this offensive then) with "Our Week" (hey last week he did George Bush). Wonderful stuff like:
"We’ve been unpacking, and watching the video from last week’s Children’s Inaugural Ball. We met the Jonas Brothers, who are our favourite pop group. They promised that they would dedicate a song to both of us.“You’d better,” we said, “or else we’ll have you sent to Guantánamo Bay.” The Jonas Brothers started laughing at this, but we kept staring at them until they stopped laughing again. We need a bit of practice at this, but Mom told us that she was very proud. Friday Daddy has closed Guantánamo Bay. Mom said he had to, so we’re trying not to be cross."
Mark Henderson in The Times reports on trials of stem cell therapy to treat age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. It looks most likely that this can be carried out by President Barack Obama laying his palm on the forehead of the afflicted (yes ok maybe not).
Patrick Hosking in The Times reports "The Case Against Brown" arguing that the British PM is far innocent from blame for the current recession (which this week saw a 1.8% annualised decline in the UK economy to December 2008). As he points at bankers constantly, blame can be attributed towards Labour's monetary policy fueling the housing bubble, the almost constant budget deficits through the "good years" and how he made hiring people more difficult and less attractive.
Andrew Porter in the Daily Telegraph reports on proposals for the UK government to impose a tax on broadband users to compensate the film and music industry for breach of copyright. In other words, the entertainment sector can't be arsed taking its own steps against thieves.
James Kirkup in the Daily Telegraph reports, disapprovingly of course, that in the UK only 53% of convicted illegal drug sellers get custodial sentences, the remainder get fined or a caution. Now that's not legalisation, but it is hardly surprising that for most in this retail sector the legal risks are low compared to the financial benefits.
Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph reports on the filthy collusion between the banks and the government, crony capitalism as he calls it, and the nightmare of the creeping bank nationalisation in the UK.