BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 16 November 2005

It’s a Rip-off!


The Office of Fair Trading was set up to ensure that big business conducts itself honestly.   The O.F.T. has been flexing its muscles of late.


If true, the allegations against the Public Schools, the supermarkets and the electronics manufacturers represent unfair trading practices.  At bottom, they are accused of maximising profits at the expense of consumers, of putting greed before fair play.


It’s been said for a long time that Britain is a rip-off society.  Car prices are still higher in Britain than they are in the rest of Europe.  A survey this week shows that in Europe, Britain’s weekly grocery bill is higher than anyone else’s.  But, as some joker once said, despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?


We’re just entering into the annual feeding frenzy of Christmas shopping.  I had an invitation to a shop’s Christmas preview earlier this week, and I went along, saved myself 20% on a few presents, and got a free box of chocolates thrown in for good measure.  But I noticed how one or two shoppers spent huge sums on dozens of purchases.  And all charged up onto a little rectangle of plastic, we call a credit card.  Actually, it’s got entirely the wrong name.  Because far from giving users credit, the card is in reality a receptacle of debt. 


I bet you’re expecting me, as a Christian speaker, to inveigh against the commercialisation of Christmas.  And it certainly gets out of hand for some, like the people I saw in that store on preview day.  But Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of mankind, and Jesus had nothing against a party.  Just so long as our cry is Glory in the highest[1], not “Glory in the High Street”.


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[1] Luke 19:38 NIV, KJV