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Coronavirus: Price Gouging In the UK Adding To Mounting Panic

by Neil Bamforth

The late great British actor, Clive Dunn, played a character called Corporal Jones in the classic British sitcom ‘Dad’s Army’. His catchphrase was to shout “Don’t panic!” whenever something untoward occurred to the platoon of Home Guard soldiers he was a member of. This cry was invariably accompanied by Corporal Jones severely panicking.

When the equally late great author, Douglas Adams, published his first book in his extraordinary ‘Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy’ series, the front cover had ‘Don’t Panic!’ on it.

Well, it seems to matter not how many times anybody, from those in authority to ordinary people say “Don’t panic” regarding this Coronavirus epidemic, panic is the order of the day.

There was a time when a crisis would bring out the best in most people. During WWII, for example, orderly queues would form to obtain rationed food. There would be no arguments, just good-natured banter from those in the queue.

Certainly, there was those who were intent on profiteering via ‘the black market’, but they were very much a minority.

Today, in 2020, however, it now seems that an alarming number of human beings, quite frankly, could not care less about their fellow human beings.

Panic buying of such household essentials as hand sanitizer and toilet rolls has left supermarkets – I think America call them shopping malls? – empty of such things.

Social media is awash with pictures of people, I personally consider to be sub-human scum, with shopping trolleys overloaded with items like this that everybody needs.

The next pictures social media then becomes awash with is of corner shops, amazingly well stocked with the aforementioned items, selling them for ludicrously inflated prices.

My only personal involvement, to date, with these shenanigans, was in a corner shop close to my home. I wandered in to see if they had any baked beans. I wasn’t overly bothered, but I do like the occasional snack of beans on toast, and the supermarkets were completely out.

Given the old story that eating too many baked beans makes you fart a lot, not to mention use the toilet more frequently – I have no idea whether this is true – I considered the possibility that the morons who bought all the toilet roll were planning ahead for living entirely on canned baked beans.

Anyway. Said corner shop had a pack of toilet rolls containing six rolls marked up at ten pounds. Ten pounds? For six toilet rolls???

I also happened to know, as I do a lot of the shopping for us since retiring, that this particular brand should cost around three pounds in a corner shop. Even less in a supermarket.

An elderly lady at the counter was clearly upset because she needed to buy a pack of these now rare beasties and only had five pounds in her purse.

The shopkeeper was adamant. They were ten pounds.

I think not.

I went and got a pack, gave them to the lady and said: “Off you go, love, I’ll sort it”. She said “Thank you” and left with her precious cargo.

I slapped five pounds on the counter and said: “That’s all you’re getting pal”.

He was not happy. He threatened to call the police. Actually, initially, he seemed like he was going to come out from behind his counter and ‘have a go’ at me. I waved my walking stick in his general direction and he thought better of it.

“Crack on” I replied, “profiteering is a criminal offence. I’ll wait for them to arrive then shall I?”

Suffice to say he did not call the police, and I left without any tinned baked beans. Such, as they say, is life.

Another kind of picture social media is currently awash with are pictures of elderly shoppers staring bemusedly at empty supermarket shelves. Shelves emptied by locust-like humans stocking up for staying at home while this damn virus goes away.

Locust like humans who couldn’t give a damn about anybody else but themselves and, sadly, while I sincerely hope they are very much a minority, it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are a significant minority at best.

It has to be said, even though I will, no doubt, be criticized for saying the truth, that the majority of corner shop owners currently profiteering from this crisis are British Asian. Perhaps not exclusively, but, as it happens, British Asians are the ones that have kept Great Britain ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ as we were once described by Napoleon.

I am absolutely certain that all races, creeds, and colors in Britain have members who are guilty of binge shopping, taking more than they need, but I still await pictures depicting them in the act.

In the meantime, poor old Mrs. Mahmood from two doors down, emerged from her home the other day. I was in my driveway.

“And where do you think you’re going?” I asked.

“I must go shop. I need things” she replied in her broken English.

At the moment, as far as I can tell, I am virus free. No dry cough, no aching muscles. I currently have none of the recognizable symptoms so, hopefully, I am no threat to old Mrs. Mahmoods health.

I got her in my car and off we went. I went into various shops with instructions on what she wanted. I managed to get everything except – guess – hand sanitizer and toilet rolls.

I drove to the corner shop where I had previously shared an understanding with the shopkeeper. I bought another pack of toilet rolls for Mrs. Mahmood. They were now marked up at twelve pounds. Twelve pounds for six toilet rolls!!!

I slapped four pounds on the counter and walked out. He didn’t say a word. My metal walking stick would be a very effective offensive weapon.

Due to my wife being a retired microbiologist, we’ve always had a decent stock of hand sanitizer in the house, so Mrs. Mahmood was sorted.

An old lady. Frightened and bemused. Frightened, understandably, by the coronavirus, but bemused why she can’t buy something as normal as toilet roll. Well, not unless she pays silly money to some rip off arsehole in a corner shop anyway.

Elderly people throughout Britain can’t buy ordinary items because subhuman scum is emptying supermarket shelves before the elderly even get there – not to mention the risk the elderly are taking in even going there right now.

As a critical care nurse recently said in a video on her mobile, as she sat in her car sobbing after working a 48-hour shift caring for Coronavirus sufferers and, finally managing to get to the supermarket to buy some food but couldn’t buy anything because the shelves were empty.


This isn’t a ‘Don’t Panic’ moment. This is a moment to take all those toilet rolls and hand sanitizer back to customer services, with your receipt, in the supermarket you got them from and say :

“I’m so sorry for being a complete and utter prick. Please put all these back on the shelf for the elderly and vulnerable”

But you won’t will you? Because you are a greedy, self-centered, subhuman scumbag.

I am ashamed of so many of my species.

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Posted by on March 22, 2020. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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4 Responses to Coronavirus: Price Gouging In the UK Adding To Mounting Panic

  1. jess Reply

    March 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    That’s what I am having issues with also. The gouging and people not being nice to each other. I have always had a few weeks worth of food in the house due to lil Hitler always being prepped for an earthquake so I kept her tradition going with food and water and supplies to include toilet paper. Two of my bathrooms have bidets though, so I would rather use those and in a pinch guess what people, wipe your ass with regular cloth and wash said cloth in the machine with bleach, it works for babies it can work for us. We just have bigger asses. I’m not sure I like the violence with the shop guy but good for you for standing up to him, oh we call them supermarkets too. Now I am off to go finish binge watching Wynonna Earp. I might as well be entertained while I am bored af in my now clean home, so I am going through Netflix shows just like Supernatural and I have found some good ones, some not so good and some cheesy as all get out.

  2. Neil Bamforth Reply

    March 23, 2020 at 3:18 am

    Jess : Stay safe, stay well xxx

  3. Glenn Geist Reply

    March 23, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I built my house, so it’s bidet equipped too. The plumbing contractor snickered, but who has the last snicker now?

    14 years ago when I was hit head on by hurricane Frances (and two more shortly thereafter) I noted that such things bring out the best and the worst. Now in Trump’s kingdom of hate, I think the latter prevails. Sure they were gouging back then, but the public response was outrage and people were prosecuted. Facebook seems flooded with ads that deserve punishment as is the internet in general.

    But the good were very good. Restaurants were feeding public safety people and anyone who needed it. I delivered food for the Red Cross and did radio communications for them and the county. Most people pitched in. But what can we do if we have to stay home? It’s very frustrating.

  4. Neil Bamforth Reply

    March 24, 2020 at 3:30 am

    As per midnight last night, we stay home.

    Essential shopping only.

    Essential workers only to travel.

    Police enforcement.

    Maybe even the idiots get it now?

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