I’VE lived through a fair few economic crises over the years but I have a sneaking suspicion that the monster heading our way this autumn will be a Defcon 2, planet-killing, extinction-level event.
They say that inflation might hit 13 per cent but anyone in any kind of business knows that it’s gone way beyond that already.
The cost of fertiliser, for example, has shot up from under £200 a ton last year to around £1,000 a ton now.
I’m no mathematician but that doesn’t sound like a 13 per cent rise to me.
Steel, concrete, timber, even feathers used to stuff furniture, have all shot up by a similar amount.
The only consolation is that shoppers won’t be asked to pay for these increases because, thanks to a combination of various things, there will be nothing on the shelves to buy.
Meanwhile, energy prices are going through the roof.
And we can’t solve the problem by fracking our own gas from beneath the Lancashire countryside because an eco-enthusiast called Tarquin has glued himself to a nearby hill.
Still, look on the bright side, because things will get worse when China invades Taiwan.
This will cause the leader of the free world, Joe Biden, to put down his Horlicks and stumble over to a mic, where, after shaking hands with a person who isn’t there and waving to an audience that exists only in his head, he will say “pssstfunuergh dis er um disterble”.
This will be interpreted by Captain Hank J Dieselburger aboard the USS submarine Thunderhawk as an order to start torpedoing various Chinese warships, which will cause what’s left of the world’s economies to go into freefall.
Plus, we will impose sanctions on China which means we won’t be able to buy anything from there.
Which in this day and age, means we won’t be able to buy anything at all, apart from an apple pie from the local farm shop. Which will cost £4,000million.
At this point, things will get really bad.
Going to get hungry
Historically, Russia and Ukraine have produced about 25 per cent of all the world’s grain.
And while a handful of ships are now tiptoeing out of Ukrainian ports loaded with wheat, the fact is that the world has lost a quarter of what it needs to survive.
To make matters worse, farmers elsewhere in the world will not be able to afford to use as much fertiliser as they’d like.
So their yields will be down by about a fifth.
This means that somewhere in the world, people are going to get hungry.
And it won’t be in Guildford or Harrogate. It’ll be in Africa and the Middle East.
Which will cause millions of people to up sticks and move to Europe.
The migration we’ve seen so far is a trickle compared to what’s coming.
It really is problem after problem after problem.
And who will be charged with steering the ship as it’s battered from all sides by the effects of geopolitics and war?
Yes, it’s Liz “Pork Markets” Truss. Give me strength.
Lakes’s lacking a mint
AS there is very little public transport in the Lake District, visitors are forced to go there by car.
Only now, they won’t be able to park anywhere because town hall killjoys have festooned all the local roads with double yellow lines, and announced the wardens will leap from the hedge and issue a £70 fine to anyone who ignores them.
Right. I see. So without tourists, the area will have to rely for an income on what exactly?
The giant factory in Ambleside that makes semiconductors?
Yes, that’s right, there isn’t one. There’s just a shop selling Kendal mint cake to visitors who can’t get there any more.
Locals say the traffic spoils a designated “area of outstanding natural beauty”.
But what’s the point of having an AONB if no one’s allowed to see it?
A money mountain
A MAN called Jean Marc Peillex, who’s the French mayor of a town near Mont Blanc, is so fed up with rambling types falling off cliffs that anyone who sets off on a hike is now being forced to pay a deposit of £12,600 before being given a licence.
This, he says, is to cover the cost of the mountain rescue team that has to recover your body and, chillingly, your funeral expenses.
Paul was a ’fella of unexpected talents
PAUL SORVINO, the actor who played mob boss Paulie in the classic movie Goodfellas, has died.
He was so convincing in the role, I half expected to discover as I read his obituary that in real life, he liked hijacking lorries and doing armed robberies.
But no. It turns out that he was a passionate opera singer with a keen interest in poetry.
It’s the barmy and navy
WOMEN on board the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince Of Wales, say they felt “uncomfortable” when they were summoned to the captain’s office. Diddums.
It’s a warship, for crying out loud. It’s meant to be uncomfortable.
And if they get a bit wobbly-lipped when they are being spoken to by the captain, how are they going to cope when they’re being attacked by a squadron of MiGs?
If I were in charge, I’d keel-haul some sense into them but sadly, I’m not in charge. A wetty is.
Which is why the ship’s former captain, Steve Higham, is under investigation.
Strife on the farm
I’M sure that after the driest July for 200 years, and the inevitable hosepipe ban, your garden is looking a bit singed and wilty.
Plus, it can’t be much fun having to shower with your wife. Unless you’re Peter Crouch.
But it could be worse. You could be a farmer.
One of my pigs died from heat exhaustion, my potatoes look like sultanas, and my springs are drying up, which means that to stay alive I have to suck the moisture out of moss. Or drink beer.
Meanwhile, my cows are so hungry they are prepared to walk through an electric fence every day to look for food.
To get round the problem, I spent half a day building a proper fence with posts sunk deep into the bedrock.
But even this was no deterrent to a starving ton of meat and muscle.
To try to keep them off the road, I’m using bribery, feeding them the hay I cut earlier in the year.
Which means that come the winter, there won’t be enough to go round. I may have to start eating them.