Saturday 10 March 2012: We used to make things here
This street sculpture commemorates the strong but largely historic Edinburgh brewing tradition but the line of For Sale and To Let signs arranged along the fence behind it show what dominates the Edinburgh and UK economy these days - property. It was the property fuelled boom that led to the global bust a few years back and it's the price of property that seems to skew everything else in the economy. Why bother making stuff when you can buy property to let, or sell, for others to let? And the prices of property means anything you make or try to sell from a building costs more and more. And it applies to all sorts of things, even theatre. I saw a posting on a web site this week from someone who runs a production company describing the problems of running a venue in Edinburgh during the Fringe. He was commenting on the fact that so many of the production companies are from outside Scotland, and several get assistance from public funds to promote groups from their own area, meaning they win the bids to hire spaces. But the high price of rents is charged by the people who own the spaces means that they are the real winners in the Fringe. Everyone else is working so hard to just minimise their losses, let alone make money.