This morning I went to Argos to pick up our new BBQ. Its an American one which means it is made in China and will probably fall apart quite soon. I am scared of taking it out of the box as I know something will be bent, some parts will be missing, and the assembly instructions will be in Chinese.
One wonders why nothing is made here anymore. I have been trying to buy a new galvanised hand shovel for the garden because my 25 year old one is getting a bit sad but it seems no one in Britain can make such a simple product anymore. The Chinese, however, produce millions of very crude smaller painted wonky metal ones (available in all garden centres and ironmongers) but I am not so desperate yet. But it is difficult these days to avoid buying a good amount of Chinese crap because there is no alternative. I recently bought a Roberts DAB radio thinking it was made in Yorkshire and would work – but it broke just after the guarantee ran out. It turns out that although it is a British company, 54 out of their 60 models are made in China.
You may have noticed that a lot of respected companies renowned for high end, top quality products are now importing trash from China and putting their logo on it. I think there’s something wrong when British companies have used use local expertise and craftsmanship to build a company name and then export that name to China so that Chinese workers can produce an inferior cheaper product for peanuts, or rather rice or pennies.
So, I have a problem with Chinese business values, the British Government for allowing China to dump cheap crap on us, British companies who are no longer interested in quality or have given up trying to make things, the likes of Amazon and on-line retailers who profit on the sale of this tat, and the British public for being easily hoodwinked and who quite frankly get what they deserve by not complaining.
Complaining I accept, is not without its problems though. You can’t ring or email many on-line retailers, so you must spend hours scrolling through the FAQ’s to be advised to use the ‘live chat’. You can spend hours waiting a computer to ‘chat’ its solution to refer to the FAQs, or if you’re lucky, you’ll get a text message from a halfwit who doesn’t understand your issue and who tells you a customer service supervisor will ring or email you in the next century. And that is why we just dispose of our cheap tat to landfill sites and go and buy some more.
In view of all this, I am now ‘Being more Alert’ when choosing products online and I have decided to practise more Social and Economic Distancing from Chinese products although I doubt I will ever be more than a metre away from one.
We are being asked to rush out and buy, buy, buy to boost the economy and to keep businesses afloat. Having spent very little during lockdown, now the shops are open, I am trying my best! However, lockdown has taught me that I can cope quite well without buying tat I don’t need.