THE ‘R’ WORD
When the Money Shot thinks back to its time at school, it tends not to think of the merciless jibes and mild physical cruelty dealt out by ‘Basher’ Barnes and his fifth form cronies, the sweaty-palmed, tongue-twisted embarrassment and subsequent humiliating rejection from the object of our affection we sat next to in double biology when we asked her to the village hop, or the day it was forced to strip down to its Y-fronts and vests and play prop forward on that freezing, wet January afternoon by a sadistic games teacher.
No, it thinks of the tuck shop and its sweet sucrose succour. Well, that and the tracing paper toilet roll we alluded to last week.
Among the sweet treats available at the tuck shop, our favourite was by far and away the Double Dip, from leading confectionary purveyor Swizzles Matlow. Never mind the damage it did to our molars – the tangy, sherbet hit was like manna from heaven for this particularly maladjusted weekly personal finance feature.
This week, an altogether less delicious (but even more damaging) ‘double dip’ reared its ugly head. We are officially back in ‘a recession’.
Contrary to popular belief, Britain was actually in a period of growth, even if it was sluggish at best. But as most folk use the term ‘recession’ as shorthand for ‘general economic fuginess’ it seemed as if it never really went away.
But now, it’s officially back. And it doesn’t so much mean business as threaten to put the kybosh on it altogether. It would appear that George’s Not-So-Marvelous medicine of fast-track deficit reduction doesn’t appear to be working, but it’s difficult to believe that the opposition would be doing anything differently.
In a sequel that’s as likely to be just as long and joyless as The Matrix Reloaded, there’s stormy economic weather on the horizon. You’d best get used to the sound of BBC business correspondent and official ‘Voice of the recession 2008’ Robert Peston pretty soon. We’re going to be hearing a lot more of him over the coming weeks and months.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Olympics Sustainability Legacy: London to be renamed Citius Altiusfortius. Yar, totally, I'm cool with that going forward, yar, blinding.”
BBC Money oracle Paul Lewis, presenter of the consistently informative Moneybox program on Radio 4, on the Olympics.
A SHADY SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION
Ray Ban shades are the essential eyewear choice for the discerning young hepcat about town. While they’re a timeless fashion classic, they don’t come cheap – about £160 for a pair of the classic ‘Wayfarer’ style, since you ask.
So, when a promotion to receive a pair of the American optical bobby dazzlers for free – nothing, nada, gratis – appeared on popular ‘social networking’ website Facebook from myrewardscentre, style-conscious cheapskates everywhere thought they’d get themselves a slice of the action. Because everybody loves free stuff, right?
Well, unsurprisingly, the offer turned out to be nothing more than a massive scam. It required the would-be Wayfarer owner to make a purchase, transfer some cash or make a credit card payment, with the likelihood of the trendy specs arriving being in the same league of internet certainties as the money from that Nigerian prince turning up in your account, those ‘performance enhancing’ pills working, or ‘Joey7Barton’ conducting himself with class and dignity on Twitter. In short, it was spammier than your average Brit’s diet during the dark days of rationing.
As the old adage goes, if it looks too good to be true, chances are that it probably is. Read the small print, check the terms and conditions, and whatever you do, stay vigilant. There are a lot of sharks out there.
NEWS IN BRIEF
The seemingly unstoppable rise in the cost of car insurance, has, er, stopped. The average annual price of a fully-comprehensive policy dropped by 1.1 per cent to £1,132 in the three months to April this year, according to the AA, which said that that insurers were heavily discounting certain premiums to ‘snatch’ new business. "While it is good to hear that car insurance premiums have gone down, no one is going to be celebrating just yet,” mused Gocompare.com’s top car insurance buff, Scott Kelly. “Premiums for many drivers remain close to record high levels. Average car insurance premiums have increased by more than 50 per cent in the last two years, so any slight dip needs to be put into context."
Ever dropped your phone in a glass of fizzy pop or down the pan? You’re in good company – ‘drowned’ phones account for 430,000 claims a year, according to gadget-cover.com.
A lady from Oldham was refused car insurance when she moved address….100 yards down the road. Tesco Insurance told her she’d upped sticks to a ‘crime hotspot.’
ON GOCOMPARE.COM NEWS THIS WEEK
As well as economic storms, there’ve been literal ones this week too. That cold, wet stuff outside is rain, and there’s been rather a lot of it lately. Here’s some tips for driving your car safely in it. You’d do well to take heed..
The multi-million point PPI claimback industry is “too big to be left alone"” warned Which?
Have you lost sleep at night wondering what the European Health Insurance Card entitles you to? Well, fret no more – Kristian Dando has the answers.
A small, unfortunately-named village in the county of Perthshire is attempting to forge links with a similarly unpromisingly-titled location across ‘The Pond’. Dull, in Scotland has ‘reached out’ to the Oregon city of Boring to seek to become ‘a sister community’. The scheme is the brainchild of Perthshire resident Elizabeth Leighton, who passed through the location on a cycling holiday in 2011.
“It might seem like a joke, but this could have real benefits for Dull,” said Marjorie Keddie, possibly whilst looking up from ‘The Big Book of Advanced Accountancy,’ adjusting her beige cardigan and turning down the volume of the Adele album she was listing to. "Everyone has been smiling at the prospect of the very eye-catching road sign this will inevitably require."
Join us next week for another THRILLING installment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not drop the editor an email with your letters? The best ones win a highly-sought after set of Gocompare.com stationery and an autograph from Gio Compario, star of our award-winning* ad campaign. *Marketing magazine’s ‘Most Irritating Advert’ 2009/2010