Plus Ca Change 71

In 1816, in a “Big Bang” liberalisation, the commercial and financial restrictions on trading with India were removed. This account is from John Capper’s 1853 book, The Three Presidencies of India. I just wondered if it reminded you of anything?

The impetus which the Indian trade received on the opening of the ports of the East to all classes was not without its evils; the prospect of rapid fortunes which opened out to many of the newcomers paved the way to a reckless system of trading, and an improvident style of living, hitherto unknown…

In 1830 and the following year commercial affairs reached a crisis in Calcutta. The hollowness of the fabric reared by rash speculators, demonstrated itself with a convulsion which will not easily be forgotten by those who witnessed its effects. Indigo, silk, cotton, sugar, all had been dealt, or rather gambled in, to an extent that was only limited by the impossibility of obtaining any further means for carrying on the game. It mattered little whose funds were jeopardised…

The bubble burst, scattering ruin and desolation amidst the homes of thousands of helpless victims. None were prepared for the catastrophe, and least of all the harmless men who had caused the mischief. They were not moved; few of them had lost much. The storm overtook them steeped in princely luxuries, deep in selfish physical enjoyment. Bankruptcy stared them and their victims in the face, but how different the result! A month or two without their race-horses, their dinner parties, and their ducal establishments, and the Insolvent Court kindly enabled them to make a fresh start, as unabashed as ever; whilst their constituents (i.e. their victims) became pauperised, and dependent upon charity for subsistence.

71 thoughts on “Plus Ca Change

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  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    At least ‘Soap’ has faces to go with names. This is more like ‘What’s my Line” with hidden guests whose profession must be deduced based on available data.

    Dreoilin; I note your loose usage of the word, ‘loose’.

  • Sofia Zabolotna-Habbercake

    9 05am

    Wow! Thanks for the insights into Dad. I love the image of the slightly silly, donnish ivory-tower-dwelling, plus-fours-wearing Oxford academic.

    Dreoilin 1 12pm

    Thanks. I’m I’m happy to have given you a laugh.

    Ben 5.41pm


    I’m a 13 and a half year old girl who, like many others is driven mad by grown-ups, especially this blog’s resident troll who I call Dad. I would love him to behave like a decent human being. I’m a fiction as I suspect he is. And you say YOU’RE confused!

    And believe me, you wouldn’t like my face.

    April 7 12pm
    Thanks. I think I would have liked “Soap” if I’d had a telly.


    Dad! (most of the bloody time on most threads)

    Please regard the grammar errors as my little gifts to help you sleep, secure in the knowledge of your own intellectual superiority.

    Good night all.

  • Jives

    Dreoilin @ 7.22 pm.

    LOL… indeed…”the dansant”

    I’m thinkin some unlucky Berlin fixer circa 1956 a Le Carre.

    Can that be right??


  • KingofWelshNoir

    Wasn’t the tea dance post the one where he mentioned the fact that some attractive young ladies would be attending? And he sounded a mite too pleased with himself? A bit like Little Jack Horner? I had visions of him agonising all morning about which cuff links to wear and which of his many perfumed gentleman’s pomades to slather on his hair.

    I could be wrong though.

  • Komodo

    Wasn’t the tea dance post the one where he mentioned the fact that some attractive young ladies would be attending?

    Just part of the windup, Welsh. Think he (or she) used the expression “Pip-pip”, too. Either he’s 120, or he’s been reading too much Wodehouse, or he has a subscription to Private Eye. Your Billy Nomates theory is probably right, though. But who cares?

  • Komodo

    April Showers (above), comment with letter to BBC re Syria.

    as an aside and sotto voce, briefly saying it could also be due to CS gas. The latter comment was ignored.

    CX (phosgene oxide) is more likely. Observers report development of hives on the skins of persons affected. CX definitely does this, while with CS it is a rare side effect: however this could still be a military munition: principle being that first you fire CX which makes the enemy’s skin more vulnerable, then a nerve agent which is absorbed by the skin. From the scanty details available, I don’t think a nerve agent was involved.

  • KingofWelshNoir


    Yeah, you’re right about ‘Pip-Pip’ and the faux-Wodehouse routine; just an act. But I think Jives is on to something with the string vest.

  • P J Proudhon

    Où sont-ils allés tous?

    C’est le problème avec des vivant. Ils n’ont aucun pouvoir rester.

    J’ai parlé avec George Carlin dans le sauna fin de soirée. Il a des vues accablants sur les banquiers et leurs serviteurs politiques.

    “They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking”

    “….it’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”

    Il ya un peu plus ici

  • resident dissident

    Good to see that Craig may be identifying things other than increases in money supply may contribute to inflation.

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