Here's a photo of Glasgow's Buchanan street in December 2006.
At the tail end of the last recession, when I was still a student, I worked in H Samuel over Christmas. Sauchiehall street looked the same back then. I had to fight my way through queues of shoppers every time I tried to go behind the counter after my lunch break.
Realizing that Friday is the last posting date for EU countries Thomas went Christmas shopping straight after work yesterday. All the big shops in town are now open till 8pm for Christmas. The out-of-town malls are open till 11pm or midnight. He went in around 6-15pm and wandered around till 7-45pm. All the shops were full... of goods, not people. He was alone in Waterstones and Tk Maxx.
I guess we should be out there taking advantage of the current prices in shops because let's face it - when we import the next batch of toys, TVs, CDs and everything else, it'll all cost us 25% more given the fall in the value of the pound.
I hear the Tories are clapping their hands that the falling pound will be great for exports. Emmmm???? Pity the UK doesn't really make anything for export any more. Last time I looked my TV, fridge, washing machine, power tools, car, toys, couch, play station etcetcetc were all imports. Oh so they all just went up 25%. Great - a big round of applause for our wonderful ex-chancellor who forgot to join the Euro when the pound was worth something.
It's nice to know the country is in such safe hands, and that the alternative is equally capable. I'd advise my kids to immigrate when they get old enough, if only I thought I'd have enough money to visit them elsewhere. If it wasn't for my current custody agreement, I think I'd be on the lookout for a oneway ticket to the sun too.
I suppose I should look on the bright side. At least this didn't happen a decade ago. There is no way Thomas, or anyone like him, would have come to the UK if the pound had been worth this little then. Like all bright, educated foreigners with something to offer he'd simply have looked for a job in the Eurozone where his salary would have better matched his value, and would not have risked being devalued with a currency.
So we can look forward not only to all the bright young graduates deserting the UK imminently but also the cream of the rest of the world avoiding us like the plague...