We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Dear Sir – Am I alone in thinking that the quality of KitKats has deteriorated in recent months? My wife and I are finding an increasing number of instances of a wafer inadequately covered in chocolate. I put it down to quantitative easing.

– John Triffin, Reighton, North Yorkshire. Quoted on page 65 of this hilarious collection of unpublished letters sent to the Daily Telegraph, called “I could go on”. Edited by Iain Hollingshead

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • PaulM

    Unpublished letters, no sir, they are published in a book are they not?

  • Vlad (the impaler)

    REMINDS me of the books written by Mr Root some 20 + years ago which were even more hilarious because of the responses by the recipients of his letters.

  • Sometimes unpublished/ignored letters are funny – until they aren’t. Does this book have any of that sort?

  • Gareth

    The inadequate quantity of chocolate in some KitKats is handsomely offset by the ones that turn out to be solid chocolate.

  • My all-time favorite letter was (from memory) this polite suggestion to the Editor of the Telegraph, sometime during the late 1950s:

    “Dear Sir, I believe that the recent loss of form by the England Rugby XV is because of the lack of Cambridge men in the side.”


  • Paul Marks

    Actually there is a serious point being made – one way of keeping the price the same whilst covering higher costs, is to reduce quality.

    Whether it is not doing repair work on rides in an amusement park – so that wrist band prices can remain the same (whilst some rides do not work, and the rides that do injure the children in accidents), or providing less sweets in a bag of sweets(or whatever) so that the price can remain the same.

    This sort of thing is normally associated with government price controls – where companies have to find some way to pass on increased costs.

    However, with QE government is increasing the money supply (or at least maintaining the existing credit bubble) whilst insisting there is no “inflation” (so customers do not expect prices to rise – because they are constantly told there is no inflation), well something has to give.

  • Regional

    Kim du Toit,
    Cambridge chaps would have been more poignant.

  • Nuge

    I find the chocolate coating to no longer taste like chocolate. They replaced it with that bad discount Easter candy generic sugary brown colored stuff.

  • Jake Haye

    What sprang to mind on reading this was the point Paul Marks made.

    Something I’ve noticed recently is that chocolate bars that used to be sold in packs of 4 or 8 are now sold in packs of 3 or 7, at about the same price.

  • Made in Poland to save costs, maybe?

  • Richard Thomas

    Nuge: Sounds like what they use on Kit Kats in the US. Perhaps they homogenized their recipes.

  • nemesis

    Think I read ages ago that the Retail Price Index was going to of the fact reflect that many people had swapped to buying the cheaper supermarket own brand products but it was not going to account for lower quantity or quality.

  • Laird

    Paul and Jake: that is certainly nothing new. When sugar prices rose in the US, candy manufacturers shrank the size of the product (generally keeping the wrapper the same size, though, and pumping air into it to give the appearance of consistent size). Coffee used to be sold in 1 pound cans but is now routinely in 13 ounce packages. Ice cream was formerly sold in half gallon containers which are now 1 quart and 1 pint. The list goes on. The public is generally aware of this but there is nothing to be done about it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    My god Laird! ” ShrAnk ” ??? !!!!

    Be still my heart! Nothing, NOTHING is too good for a man who can still conjugate -ink and (I hope) -ing verbs!!


    . . .

    The heck of it is the number of people who think they’re being cheated because the packages are smaller. I say, “They’re not cheating you. The size is right there on the label, and it’s correct.” They say the companies have some nerve offering less of the product but not at a lower price. I say, “Their costs have gone up like everyone else’s, because of inflation/QE/etc. They have two choices: Same amount of the product at a higher price, or a lesser amount of the product for the old price.”

    Often enough, what I get comes down to, “I know, but it’s still cheating.”