The other day I was, strangely enough, required to stand in Wembley Park train station for about 15 minutes.
Now on this particular day the popular beat combo Blue happened to be playing at the stadium. While I was standing in the station a number of fans passed through the ticket barriers., And right outside the station they were being exposed to the raw capitalist market at work.
There were four people selling whistles and luminous dummies. Now clearly there were two groups of two sellers and these two groups were competing with each other.
They both had the same types of whistles for sale for £1. But the dummies were a different situation. One had all the dummies hanging off of his arm flashing away and was selling them for 31. But the other group had them in their original “hygienic” packaging. These dummies were for sale at £2.
The question I had was twofold. 1) would the more hygienic dummy be worth the extra £1 – Answer: No, they reduced their price pretty swiftly. 2) Would their patter about hygiene harm sales of the whistles. Neither group were selling whistles in packaging despite also having to put them in your mouth – Answer: No – Clearly None of these people cared about hygiene at all.
Moreover I was struck by this point. How many of the customers cared about the music if they were happy to make their own noise the whole way through?