Neil Clark really is an ass

It\’s extremely unlikely that such a song would be released in the uber-capitalist Britain of today, let alone get to No 1. But in the progressive, left-leaning mid-1970s, it was always likely to be a hit.

Thanks to the glories of the \”market economy\”, many things which were free, or at least very cheap, 35 years ago, cost a small fortune today. In 1976 you didn\’t have to book up months in advance to find a reasonable train fare from London to Liverpool, you just turned up on the day. Utility bills were not something to be feared in the days when publicly-owned bodies and not profit-hungry private companies provided your electricity, gas and water.

Hmm.

From the comments there:

I don\’t know about Liverpool but in 1976 it cost £5 to go from London to Bristol on the newly introduced Intercity 125–the equivalent of £34.55 in today\’s money (according to This is Money\’s infltion calculator).

You can go there today (and by today I mean this very day, Friday 10th of June) for £34, or £28 if you want to specify which train you\’ll be on.

If you\’re prepared to book \”months in advance\” you can do it for a tenner

(Note that it will be lower than that as a portion of average wages.)

And from Hansard:

Gas and Electricity Prices
HC Deb 22 March 1976 vol 908 cc11-3 11

§ 9. Mr. Peter Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the percentage increase in the cost of electricity since 28th February 1974.

§ Mr. Eadie

I am informed by the Electricity Council that it is about 86 per cent. overall in England and Wales.

What worries is that this ignorant buffoon, Clark, is actually a tutor in economics.

14 comments on “Neil Clark really is an ass

  1. Hang on, Tim, the song he’s talking about is ‘No Charge’ ???

    The ‘Grandma, we love you’ of country music?

    One of the most cloying, soulless, humourless pieces of sentimental slop to ever infest the charts?

    A song which almost single-handedly destroyed every single shred of credibility that C&W had built up on the back of the magisterial works of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash for an entire generation?

    That fucking ‘No charge’?

    Clark’s not just an ass, he’s complete and utter fucking phillistine as well.

  2. The YouTube comments for this song are a delight…

    So bad it’s good. Actually….?

    34 years later? I still want to hit this person…

    Oh look, it’s David Cameron reading out the national budget.?

  3. Many things may have been ‘free’, but only because the state plundered money from citizens to subsidise it at enormous cost.

  4. It’s GBP28 for a weekday daytime turn-up-and-go single from London to Bristol, or at least it was when I turned-up-and-went last week.

  5. This is yet another example of one of the many Neil Clark pieces that look back to the Golden Past. He is 43 going on 83 in mindset – a reactionary nostalgist who cannot seem to come to terms with the last 30 years

  6. I don’t usually agree with Unity, but in describing that ghastly song as the ‘Grandma, we love you’ of country music, he’s spot on…

  7. Neil Clark was alive during the ’70’s, surely? And he looks back on then with nostalgia? Good God. I recall then with shuddering horror. This is the sort of highly-enriched stupid that make the Grauniad such a risible fish-wrap.

  8. Not to mention that the two industries he chooses to highlight the failures of the free market are two of the most regulated industries in the UK.

    Surely if one sincerely expected a monotonic progression in free-ness, the most deregulated industries in the UK: electronics, say, would show the poorest performance.

    (full disclosure: electronics has been one of the only things to consistently deflate over the past thirty-five years)

  9. A whiny bitch of a work colleague baulked at paying £40 for a DVD player last week. My first DVD player cost me £329. And that was eleven years ago.

    God I fucking hate the fucking people of this arrogant greedy little fucking country.

  10. Hey as you can see my name is Neil Clark but I have nothing to do with the guy who the song is about I was just wondering if anyone could send me a link to this song as I find my friend would have a great time playing it to me

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