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February 29th, 2012

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03:03 pm - Boycotts work
I am not a very effective boycotter. My bank account is still with Nat West, though I know I should swap to the Co-op. I'm too lazy to get off my arse and fill in the forms. My only real boycotts are I don't buy Nestlé, and I don't give money to the Murdochs. Though now I think about it there's The Simpsons, Firefly, and various films from Fox that I have watched, so even these boycotts turn out to be pretty feeble. Also Golden Grahams are quite tasty when you are in the mood.

While we were in the Peak District a week ago I sat down with H and said I thought we should cut up our Tesco cards and send them back, saying we would not shop they until they replaced unpaid labour with proper jobs for unemployed people. I think the last straw for me was the revelation that they were expecting people to work 'permanently' for no money, and that some were working night shifts. My son worked nights in a shop a couple of years back, and it's tough to do it week after week. It's hard to work 10pm-6am for enhanced pay, compelling people to do it for pennies an hour is disgusting. Particularly when it's me paying those meagre wages, rather than Tesco, who are a sight richer than I am.

Anyway (calm down dear) I shall stop ranting, because of course before I got back from my long weekend Tesco had already backed down, and all the other employers have followed since or soon will. I am thinking - though I do not know - that if I (the laziest and least effective boycotter ever) had been driven to scissoring up my Tesco card, there were many many people who got there ahead of me. We will never know I guess. In any case, we won, we got our way.

Conclusion - boycotting and embarrassing companies is one of our few remaining powers, and we should probably use it more.

ETA just seen on the BBC site, appeared while I was typing the above, Ministers have dropped sanctions against the unemployed - they will no longer lose benefits if they refuse to work for free at Poundland. A couple of hours ago Cameron described people who didn't agree with this as 'Trotskyites' and Clegg has said we have 'messed up priorities'. Now they have both backed down.

However the Govt will still be (effectively) giving money to Poundland, instead of putting it into the NHS or whatever, so all is not well by any means.

NB That BBC report I've linked to says that the schemes involve the unemployed working for up to 8 weeks, but I remember that in mid-February Tesco protested that people were forced to work without pay for 'no more than six months' (they said that web sites advertising permanent compulsory unpaid work were 'an IT error').

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 29th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
The amount of pressure exerted by social media is pretty exciting. Unfortunately, before people get too comfy, these sanctions still apply to older people, and to ill and disabled people in the 'work related activity' group of ESA claimants (ie people not well enough to work who might theoretically be able to work after intensive support, though even one of the companies contracted to 'support' claimants complained that they are being sent people who are not well enough.) Currently there is no limit on the time people in the WRAG can be made to take part in these placements, so the fight is not over.
[User Picture]
Date:February 29th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, I totally agree with you. The thought that people on chemotherapy (for example) or lacking sight or hearing are to be forced to work for free for an indefinite period: it beggars belief.
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2012 07:31 am (UTC)
I don't buy Nestlé

You're a better man than I. Those babyraping moonchromers own ALL the most delicious junkfoods. >:-|
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2012 09:08 am (UTC)
I think it's easier to avoid Nestle in this country. I notice when I go abroad they are more omnipresent. In France virtually everything in the shops is Nestle.

(PS and I succumb to be fair)

Edited at 2012-03-02 09:08 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
I think it's easier to avoid Nestle in this country.

Must be nice. This town is my town. This town is so glamorous. :-p

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