Sunday 3 July 2022

Cashless Street

I was sent an interesting article by Niall McCrae, who is a nurse and an officer of Workers of England, an anti-woke trade union. (Trades union have become notoriously PC in the last few years. This even started over thirty years ago when I joined Unison, see: He describes a visit to Kings Road, an upmarket part of Chelsea in London. Everywhere; pubs, cafes, grocers and restaurants no longer accept cash as payment. Cashless commerce has been advanced a long way during the Covid lockdown on the pretext that it stopped the virus from spreading on notes and coins; but now that lockdown is over, none of these businesses seem to be in a hurry to restart their cash service. McCrae understands many of the same problems I have with cashlessness, see the background links below. Source:
There are numerous news commentary articles about this issue, but most of them are concerned purely with the practical difficulties of introducing a cashless society. They have titles like: "Is Britain ready to go cashless?" or "Britain is sleepwalking into a cashless society before it's fully prepared." It is more difficult to find a mainstream pundit questioning whether cashless finance is desirable at all. I'm dismayed at how few people comprehend the danger looming ahead if we were to lose the ability to make economic transactions in cash. The banking system will govern every single penny we turn. It will be able to monitor our entire financial footprint and, if necessary, control it. In the science fiction comedy novel Better Than Life by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, one of the characters is a very rich and politically influential man who punishes another man who had an affair with his wife by arranging it so that he can no longer buy Heinz baked beans. From thereon the cuckolder will have no choice but to suffice with cheap substandard supermarket own-brands. It's a joke of course, and a very funny one; but many a true word is spoken is jest. In a cashless society just such a punishment would be possible. What's more, it could be dished out for a far lesser misdemeanour than bonking a billionaire's consort. A simple low social credit score could be enough. You might argue that social credit is a policy unique to China. That's technically true... at the moment, but China has a huge population; in fact almost a quarter of the people in the world live in China. It's also the world's dominant economic superpower, having surpassed the United States some time ago. What happens in China will inevitably influence the rest of the world, especially in a global community where greater authoritarianism and internationalism is the tidal set. I agree with the solution proposed in the Country Squire article; "no cash, no custom", and I personally never shop in any retailer that does not accept cash. However, the public demand required doesn't exist at the moment. Most people do not care that they are forced to go cashless, even people who ought to know better. At Gareth Davies' wake, the bar could only accept cash because their card reader had broken down. I watched as the mourners all bundled out into the street to search desperately for an ATM. I walked calmly to the bar with a smug grin on my face, see: People like me who insist on always using cash are beginning to come across more and more as stubborn obscurantists. This means the challenge for us is not just to assert our own right to make cash transactions, but to educate others about the hazards of a cashless society and encourage them to make the same stand, and so send a message to retailers that preserving cash is good for business.
See here for background:

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