Tesco Invades England’s Smallest Town

October 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

The Independent:

On the one side is Tesco, Britain’s pre-eminent supermarket chain where a 270,000 strong workforce gleans an annual profit of some £2bn from its 2,000 stores each year. On the other is Manningtree, England’s smallest town, home to 700 souls and one of East Anglia’s best preserved Georgian shopping streets.

But, if campaigners are to be believed, the arrival of a new Tesco store, the 12th within a 10-mile radius of the town, is about to deliver a hammer blow to the character of this former wool and brewing centre where Matthew Hopkins, the 17th-century Witchfinder General, began his career.

But this post isn’t specifically about Manningtree, or Tesco, it’s just to highlight a couple of things.

For the veteran food campaigner Lady Caroline Cranbrook, who fought a successful battle against plans to open a Tesco in nearby Saxmundham, Suffolk, the scrapping of the needs test threatens to undermine local powers.

“My huge concern is that they want to get rid of the requirement to establish a need before a supermarket goes up,” she said. “With small district councils there is very little they have to protect themselves other than this test.”

Anything that makes life harder for these companies is not a good thing. I’m all for the proper planning process, but these companies are masters at abusing it why shouldn’t the planning process be weighted in favour of the ordinary citizen, to help protect small business? Especially when this new store will be “the 12th within a 10-mile radius of the town”.
Ever heard of ‘saturation point’?

The other point is:

A Tesco spokesman, Michael Kissman, insisted only a minority opposed the store. “The vast majority of people support it and the majority of traders do too,” he said. “The reality of Manningtree is that people are driving to do their shopping somewhere else.”

I do not know how many oppose this new store, but, the people in favour, if asked whether there should be a new Tesco store are of the ‘don’t mind’ or ‘why not’ or yeah, I suppose’ variety rather than the ‘Yes. We need a Tesco here. The sooner the better’ type. After all, how many people not connected with one of these supermarkets do you see campaigning to have one in there home town…?
Which brings me onto the most absurd statement outside of Westminster for, ooh, ages. That bit there “…and the majority of traders do too”.
Sorry Michael, could you repeat that. I could’ve sworn you just said the majority of traders actually want a Tesco in their town.
I find that really fucking hard to believe. So these shopkeepers want a fucking huge company that already has 11 other shops in the very local area to open another one that will sell all sorts of goods in direct competition with everyone.
I might’ve believed it if this was ten years ago and Tesco were still only selling food and bog roll and the electrical shop and the clothes shop were going to be unaffected, but now with Tesco and the other supermarkets selling white goods, insurance & financial services, toys, clothes, mobile phones, computers, books, videos, video rentals, pharmacy, opticians, photo processing just name a, er, few.
All it needs is for them to start selling property and electricity and they have the whole shebang!!



Another Diana ‘Revelation’

October 24th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t normally do Diana stuff, but was glancing across at the BBC news site again and this headline jumped out at me:

Now, that's an understatement!
The link target has now changed


UK-Eire Travel Restrictions

October 24th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

The BBC:

Travellers between the Irish Republic and Britain will need a passport when schemes launched by the two governments come into force.
Irish officials have been asked to work on ending an agreement permitting free movement between the two jurisdictions.

The move by the governments will mean the end of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain which has existed since the foundation of the Republic.

The system is being put in place to track terrorist suspects, criminals and illegal immigrants.

Why now do we need to end this lovely freedom? Why not thirty years ago, during ‘The Troubles’, when the the people fighting the British were Irish?
Oh sorry, I forgot the world has changed since then, hasn’t it?



October 24th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

I was reading a post on Iain Dales site (I know, but I was getting some background on one of Tim’s posts)where in the comments a ‘discussion’ arose about Iain moderation policy and Iain says:

…Tim Ireland is banned on this blog. And I am certainly not going to allow comments through which provide links to his blog which slag me off.

I thought it was a little amusing because whoever Iain is getting his adverts from thought it appropriate to hawk Tim’s book:
How inappropriate?

Labels: Blogging

Credit Card Security

October 23rd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

I just used my signature for a Dominos’ Pizza delivery paid for with my wifes’ bank card.

Dominos: My wife says thanx for not making her get off the sofa.

Last Chance Kids

October 23rd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

As part of Channel 4’s ‘Lost For Words’ series, tonight 9pm:

Monteagle: Eradicating illiteracy

“This section looks at Monteagle’s year-long mission to eradicate illiteracy in their school…”

I thought that’s what schools were supposed to do all the time.



Is There a Method to Bush’s Middle East Madness?

October 22nd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

From Counterpunch:

Over the past several weeks, the United States has gone out of its way to offend, irk and otherwise provoke a select group of leaders and nations. Through a series of deliberate and calculated actions intended to purposefully estrange those most likely to succeed at diplomacy with Iran, its failure has been ordained and the stage for military action set. For those who think the upcoming war will be another Bush-Cheney folly (as they believe Iraq to be), the collusion of the Democrats in the process again belies that assumption.

Rest of article here.


A Random Thought…

October 18th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Talking about not being fired for being crap/misconduct, why is it, if you’re a director/chief exec/MP or similar, why are you asked to resign if you’re rubbish and run the company/country into the ground and get a golden handshake, while the worker if he’s not up to the job gets the boot?

Labels: Odds and Sods

ITV Phone Scandal Report

October 18th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

They took about £7.8 million fraudulently.
No one has been fired.

“In some instances there has been disciplinary action, but I don’t intend to take a couple of token scalps in expiation. That would not solve the problem.”

Well. OK, then. But wouldn’t obtaining money by deception be a crime? And seeing as it is a crime that has involved the company be considered gross misconduct?
In all companies I have worked for, gross misconduct is a sackable offence.
Not exactly ‘token’ scalps then.

The broadcaster may face further Ofcom fines once the regulator has digested the Deloitte report.

Ofcom? Ofcom? Of-fucking-com? If I’d defrauded people out £7.8 million Dixon of Dock Green would soon be feeling my collar!

Mr Grade lambasted the company he joined earlier this year, saying: “My overall conclusion from the review is that there was a serious cultural failure within ITV.”


As part of a package of measures to tighten procedures among staff, Mr Grade added that all production employees will receive “broad compliance training” and will be required to attend “refresher” training on a regular basis.

Well, Mr Grade. If you’re staff need training in the right and wrongs of closing a competition or phone vote, but not telling the viewers, then you must have some stupid fucking monkeys working for you.

“It was not understood that when the audience is invited to make choices within programmes, the producer is effectively ceding part of his/her sovereignty over editorial decisions,” Mr Grade said.


I just lurve this quote:

However, he added that that the failings unearthed by Deloitte were not “venal”. “In all cases individuals were motivated by their professional instinct to produce the best show, but they failed to understand that this could come at the expense of keeping faith with participating viewers,” he said.

What Grade is saying there is that his staff wanted to produce the best shows, and but had to defraud the audience to do it.

Says a lot for the shows, doesn’t it.

An Interesting Approach to Drug Rehab

October 18th, 2007 § 2 comments § permalink


Heroin and cocaine addicts on the government’s treatment programme are being given drugs as a reward for clean urine samples, the BBC has learned.
The National Treatment Agency (NTA), which runs the £500m-a-year scheme, admits the practice is “unethical”.

Its own survey of almost 200 clinics in England found users were being offered extra methadone, a heroin substitute, or anti-depressants for good behaviour.

Good behaviour? What is this? Prison?
Either the addict wants to get off the junk or not. If not, fuck ’em off out of the programme because they are just wasting everyones’ time and effort.
If an addict really wants to beat their addiction (and it’s not a habit, ffs) then being clean is reward enough in itself.

More needs to be done for addicts that genuinely want to get clean, including getting their head sorted about it.

The classic case of a drunk. You’re always a recovering alcoholic.
No you’re not. Stop counting the days that you’ve been ‘dry’ and get on with your life. Stop waiting to have the drink that you don’t want. Waiting for something that isn’t going to happen. Going 400 days, or whatever, without a drink/hit. If after that time you still want a drink/hit, then the programme hasn’t worked, cos it’s sure not a physical addiction after that time is it.


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