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February 03, 2018



This is just dumb. You have no reason for thinking that forecasts by economists have any significance. You refuse to engage with non-economic arguments which will ultimately be the major factor in determining outcomes for individuals. You should just delete this post as it makes you look stupid.

Ralph Musgrave

Test post. (Couldn't place comment here the other day, so test is to see if problem is still there).

Ralph Musgrave

Chris could well be right to claim grid girls will not get “as good” jobs when they quit “grid girling”. But isn't that in a sense half the purpose of banning grid girling?

I.e. the purpose (as I understand it) is to curtail the supposedly immoral practice of girls with nice assets flaunting their assets in public. Obviously if a grid girl gets £50 an hour for doing that, and then has to resort to a MacDonalds job, she doesn’t get “as good” a job to use Chris’s phrase. But that, to repeat, is the object of the exercise, isn't it?


«They are over-estimating labour market flexibility and under-estimating the difficulty people have in switching jobs.»

My impression is that tory economists don't underestimate that at all: they seem to argue rather that people never have difficulty finding jobs of value commensurate to their market value, not of value similar to their previous job.

Therefore those miners/steelworkers/shipbuilders who found new good jobs were people of good value, and those who did not were "lazy overpaid unmanageable" and thus unemployable, that is the jobs they lost were undeserved taxpayer funded parasitical sinecures they enjoyed only because of trade union bullying and exploitation of their employers.

Their argument is based on the idea that "really existing" markets reveal value, therefore their subsequent unemployment is an indisputable proof that those mines/steelworks/shipyards had to be closed.


So, Blissex, are you saying you agree with the Tory economists' arguments?

On the original point, I was wondering if this was an early April Fool, lumping together Thatcher's attack on the miners and the desire to get rid of the arms trade.

Bill Posters

The real question here should be why are there no women in the F1 cars driving?

I spend a fair amount of time on the UK motorway network in an old white van. When someone comes past in the third lane ton up in a fancy motor about 50 percent of the time its a woman. Number on the F1 grid zero. Whats going on there?

The other thing to point out is that F1 is very boring to watch. It would make much better TV if the grid girls got in the cars instead of the male drivers. You would say that there would be some terrible accidents. I would counter that this could be fixed with technology. The girls go into the cars with minimal training and its up to the pit crews some AI and fail safe computer controls to get them to the end of the race alive.

Anyone got Bernie Ecclestone's number.


Like Doug, I'm wondering how arms traders got in there with Margaret Thatcher's decimation of organized labor. Should I start buying cocaine in large quantities to keep my local drug dealer in poached pet tigers? This is a very odd argument, and I'm wondering if it's classic obtuse British humor and I'm too American to get it.

I also have no idea why feminists concern themselves with things like this, stuff that doesn't have any real bearing on structural sexism and mostly just serves to irritate people. I mean, it's tacky and regressive and everything, but you can't control the behavior of adults just because it's objectionable. If these girls were forced out on the track in their sausage wrappings and patent-leather hooves against their will it might be one thing; but they're willing participants, and in my opinion there's no clear line delineating who's exploiting who. Do they just stand there for $75 an hour, or are the drivers allowed to assault them or something? You might as well outlaw trophy wives, or movies based on creepy 'Twilight' fanfiction.

Feminism is a weird and fraught philosophy, and the subculture is mostly filled with groups of women who hate and Highlander each other. The only group of people who are worse are Marxists; I recently saw one guy online who said he was a Marxist, and his position was, "when the Marxists win there will be no products on store shelves and all forms of production will cease to exist" and then within five clicks I saw a different person who said he was a Marxist whose position was, "when the Marxists win goods will be cheaper and more freely available because the means of production will be owned by workers." Haha!

How do you know that all these "grid girls" are working-class, anyway? Staggering around for hours in platform hooves without breaking an ankle is definitely a display of skilled labor.

Mr. Posters knows what he's talking about. I would watch that, and I'm not even into cars.


I've a friend who used to do some 'grid girl' work on occasion back in the early 00s. She said that as best she could tell, they're mostly middle-class students wanting to make a bit of cash at the weekend. Her take on it was that it was desperately boring, but that she was less likely to be harassed doing that than working at a bar - as she put it, everyone on the grid was only really interested in the cars.


Can someone please enlighten a dumb old bloke like me what philosophical or political barrier lies between banning grid girls and compulsory burqas? Once you've decided that women looking decorative is outlawed surely the only option is for all women to be completely non-decorative and not to flaunt any aspect of themselves in public?

Igor Belanov

I'm sure your attitude makes sense if the only purpose of life is to create more and more work by any means necessary.

The point is that, however you look at it, these type of activities are intensely sexist. People are there to watch sporting events, and as most sports feel it unnecessary to hire models to lead out the participants, the presence of these women at F1 and darts is completely gratuitous. In many ways the sheer lack of necessity makes it worse than prostitution or pornography, because at least these are generally activities that have to be deliberately sought out and which take place in private.

Some women can make a living doing this, but in doing so they reinforce the idea of women as second-class citizens who are there to be seen and not heard, and that what really counts for a woman is to be regarded as attractive to men.

The logical conclusion of your argument is that all sports and activities should need to be compulsorily adorned by the presence of models in order that more work be created!


As far as I can tell, grid girls have not been banned any more than coal mining is illegal.

Noah Carl

"And in both cases the losses are borne by working class people so that posh people can feel better."

Didn't the vast majority of working-class people vote Leave?


I wonder how many people go to sporting events and go away thinking 'Thank goodness they had good looking women hanging about with fixed smiles. The build up would have been really boring otherwise.'

Speaking as someone who has attended countless football matches down the years, it didn't need cheerleaders or anything else to get you in the mood - the occasion actually does that already!

Gina Hale

It isn't very often that I think the OP is simply being ignorant, but when I do, I always find the word 'posh' in the article. I find his economic analysis much sounder than his class based bravado. Working class economist indeed.


This post makes no sense, because you're comparing the potential decision of the government to tear up existing trading agreements (and thus have new regulations/tariffs be imposed on imports and exports) with the decision of private businesses to no longer employ certain people. Demand in the economy hasn't reduced, neither has the supply potential, so unless you can prove 'grid girls' have some macroeconomic impact like housing or a mining monopoly in a local economy, then this decision has zero effect on the number or quality of jobs available in the economy. Unlike tariffs on exports, no-one is stopping another company rehiring these women if the market demands their employment.


@Dipper, firstly 'grid girls' have not been banned; instead, private businesses have made a private decision not to employ them. As for what the problem was that differentiates this from the mentality behind the burka, the problem is that there was no 'grid boys'! Few feminists would have a problem if scantily clad figures of both sexes were a big part of sport, but when it's just one sex (women) and they're chaperoning these famous male players, it begins to look sleazy. Now the women themselves may feel okay with this job (who am I to judge them for their choices?), but seems weird to market F1/darts/etc as only "for men" which is what only having 'grid girls' implies. Feminism has always been about making sure men and women get to access culture on similar terms - logically this means either hiring 'grid boys' too, or (as was decided) getting rid of 'grid girls'.

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