Thursday 4 March 2010

Closing down Britain.

Pubs are closing because of the smoking ban. I don't care what nonsense the child-sex-obsessed at ASH spout, I don't care about CAMRA's collaboration with the enemy in a misguided attempt to try to deflect attention from alcohol (you were always on the list, you know) and I default to 'it's a lie' when any politician speaks now. Pubs are closing at a rate of around 50 a week and it's down to the vicious legislation imposed by the twisted freaks who run the country.

I thought it was a side-effect. An effect of putting monkeys in charge of the zoo. They enact one piece of law and bugger up something else in the process. It's happened so many times now that it's easy to believe that every Government Monster must have had a frontal lobotomy on taking office. They certainly act like it.

You'd think they would notice when they make the same mistakes again and again. Forcing small shops to fork out thousands for the new Secret Smoker shutters, driving their profit margins to the floor in the process. Boosting the price of booze, allegedly to annoy the supermarkets who will simply absorb the extra and put the price onto other products instead. What about those corner shops where they can't absorb the costs? The booze-price differential between small shops and supermarkets is already pretty big. Soon it will be huge.

The government don't like small businesses. Anyone running a small business will have noticed that. They like big businesses because big business means corporate control. Big enough, and they can get the police to enforce the purchase of their products and confiscate competitor's products. Tinfoil hattery? Never happen? Already has.

The supermarkets cannot stock only low-fat, no-salt tasteless crap because if they did, we'd just go to the local bakery and buy our pies and cakes there. The supermarkets cannot control how much tobacco and booze we buy because if they tried, we'd just go around the corner to the little off-licence and buy it there. The supermarkets cannot control which newspapers we have access to because if they did, we'd go to the local newsagent who stocks everything from Stoat Fondler's Gazette to unlikely titles like the Daily Sport. As a tool of government/big business control, the supermarkets are useless. As long as the small shops exist, that is.

Ambush Predator has news of the War On Chips. They are too thin, apparently. Thin chips make you fat (yes, yes, I know it makes no sense but that's because you haven't been practising your doublethink). If they were thicker they'd have less surface area to absorb fat and would be healthier. How much difference will this really make to the customer's daily intake? None at all. Big chips take longer to cook so they are in the fat for longer.

How much difference will it make to the chip shop's business - who will be selling virtually entire deep-fried potatoes by the time the Righteous crank up the minimum size? Chips nobody wants to buy, cooked for longer because they are bigger, so the turnover is slowed, customers have to wait longer, the shop profits fall because they are taking too long to cook chips nobody wants and bingo, another whole sector of local business fails.

Fish and chips contains a lot of fat. When I get hold of it, it also contains a lot of salt. It contains fish, batter, potato and fat. No preservatives. No nasty little chemicals with names you can't pronounce and side-effects nobody can predict. I've been eating fish and chips for decades and I'm not obese. It's simple - I don't eat it every day. Obesity is not caused by fat. It's caused by being too damn lazy to cook and eating chips and burgers every single day. Messing with the food won't change that.

What it will change is that it will remove another of those meeting places where people talk. It also removes an alternative to big business's microwave ready meals and corporate standard burgers.

Whether you like them or not, cigarettes and booze are big income generators for small shops. They can't compete on bread and jam prices. They make a lot of money from folk who only want a packet of biscuits, a pack of smokes or a couple of cans and are willing to pay a little extra for the convenience of not having to trek to Big Shop at the edge of town. Their main income generators are being taken from them. So another of those meeting places where people talk is about to vanish.

We had a fishmonger in town for a while. As soon as it opened, both supermarkets opened fresh fish counters. The fishmonger is gone now. Both now have fresh meat counters. The butcher's is suffering.

We used to have a decorator's shop. One supermarket stocked a wide range of paints at prices the little shop couldn't match. The paint shop is gone and the supermarket has cut back to a few tins of white and magnolia. They didn't really want that paint shop's business.

A local hardware store died because the supermarket stocked tools, sandpaper etc - all the basic stuff. Once the shop was gone, the tool section of the supermarket cut right back. They didn't really want that business either. They did, however, clear the way for a new Homebase. The independent book shop is gone. Clothes shops are struggling. The supermarket now stocks horse-riding equipment! That will hit a particular local shop.

The technique seems to be designed not to replace those small specialist shops, but to drive them out of business. Once that's done, the supermarket has no further need to compete with them so no longer stocks the products. Why?

They can't compete directly with the chip shop so the Righteous have to make that business unworkable. These chip rules won't apply to the big-chain burger bars. Only to the small businesses who, as the Predator notes, have missed the point. Instead of complaining 'they should have to do it too', they should be saying 'NO'. It is not to combat obesity. It is to shut those shops down.

No pubs, no chippies, no local shops. Everything you get, you get at the supermarket and if they don't stock it, you can't have it. They will sell what you are allowed to buy and it will be easy to monitor how much you're buying. Reached your weekly allowance of Victory gin? No more until next week. It's for your own good. The accumulated fat/salt total in your shopping basket reached the limit? You're on a diet for the rest of the week. It's for your own good.

Fancy moaning about it? Where? There's nowhere to meet anyone other than work or the supermarket and you have to watch your allotted hours of BBC indoctrination in between those times. You can't dodge it because you never know when TV might be watching you.

Some of you are shaking their heads, but any Lefties reading this are drooling at the prospect. Total control of every aspect of your life. It's the clear goal of the current government and all of their Righteous charities and quangos. Never happen? Ten years ago, how many would have said that about a total smoking ban on private as well as public premises, even in members-only private clubs? Ten years ago, who would have said that about the use of anti-terrorist legislation to harass photographers? It's not 'likely to happen'. It's happening.

This is not the result of incompetence or stupidity. As Whoops says:

The death of the pub is the feature, not a bug in their programme.

Pubs were just the start. Nowhere to meet. One source for any kind of shopping. The illusion of choice maintained by a different brand name above the store. Absolute control.

Tell me you don't think the Gorgon and his Ban Street Kids are likely to be heading for that Socialist wet dream. Would you put it past them?

I wouldn't.


TheFatBigot said...

The Stoat Fondlers Gazette is right up there with Mr Holborn's Celebrity Pig Wanking. Wonderful stuff.

I do, however, disagree about one point. I doubt that supermarkets stock, for example, paint in order to drive-out the local paint shop but because they see a local paint shop and deduce that there is demand for paint. I don't see a conspiratorial board of directors saying "which of our non-competitors can we destroy today in order to keep the government happy?"

Anonymous said...

@ TFB. No, they might not say that, but they do manage to work hand in hand with current government "initiatives".

Where else is there a law that says you can buy alcohol from age 18, but supermarkets refuse to sell it to you if you "look" under 21, and now, under 24, and can even refuse to sell it to an adult if they are accompanied by somebody younger.

Where else will a shop refuse to sell you Christmas Crackers in case you use them to make a bomb? Where else are you 'checked' before buying plastic cutlery?

When all that's left are supermarkets they will gold-plate government advisory policies and turn them into their own marketing laws - to keep us safe and to protect us from ourselves. They can easily control what we can eat and drink, and what we put in our homes, by restricting choice. They already know who the smokers and drinkers are, and where they live, from their "loyalty" cards.

Once the bookshops and newsagents have gone they will control what we can read. How long will it be before Tesco opens it's first PFI school?

Leg-iron said...

FB - I don't see the supermarket directors doing it. There's no logic in it from their point of view.

I could believe the Gorgon would do it and that he would strong-arm the supermarkets into agreeing.

It's based on what I see happening here. Neither of the supermarkets sold fresh fish until the fishmonger opened. The cheap paint supply lasted until the paint shop closed, likewise the comprehensive range of DIY stuff and the wide range of books. Once the respective shops were gone, the supermarkets stopped bothering. I don't know if this sort of thing is happening everywhere.

There's no point taking over a market if you don't actually want it so it makes no sense for the supermarkets to be driving this.

However, 'do it or we'll take a much closer interest in your tax affairs' is exactly the sort of line this government would be likely to use.

John Pickworth said...

Actually the supermarkets/big retailers DO behave in this way.

While a small retailer is taking say £2000 out of the local economy its in the supermarket's interests to compete - even if its not profitable. Its not just about the cash though, its primarily about footfall. Potential customers shopping elsewhere, anywhere but the supermarket. They don't like that at all.

However, once the competition has ceased to exist; the supermarket will judge the continuation of that product line purely on a profit/loss basis. If flogging fresh fish is deemed unprofitable (after costs/wages etc) then its closed and say another 12 feet of freezer is added to the Birds Eye section as a sop.

As for the retailers asking for ID from the Under 25's... Some Tesco Express stores are targeting Under 30s (and have been for some time).

banned said...

There is no longer any doubt that the smoking ban was designed to kill two birds with one stone, tobacco and alcohol. The Righteous must have been beyond themselves to see the extent that we all curled up in compliance with that ban to the extent of not even bothering to go out to the pub (unless it is sunny).

Some however will have been deeply unhappy at not neing able to launch the anti-smoking terror Stasi upon us since we were so compliant; they will be the ones who have launched prosecutions not against those who have wilfully aloowed smoking on their premises but merely for not putting up the required signs.

As for the supermarkets, they certainly stopped selling proper light bulbs many months before they had to though I have found a number of small outlets that got in a good stock which they sell 'under the counter' to those in the know, so it's not all bad.

John Pickworth said...

Sorry to interject again...

"Fish and chips contains a lot of fat. When I get hold of it, it also contains a lot of salt."

Not for much longer ;-)

Your tax dollars at work folks.

Vote Lab/Con.
You know it makes no-sense

Leg-iron said...

Banned - those small outlets are hard to police, so they'll have to go.

JP - that's no problem. I'm a modelmaker. I have lots of tiny drills.

Snakey said...

They already know who the smokers and drinkers are, and where they live, from their "loyalty" cards.

Tobacco isn't 'counted' for the Sainsburys' Nectar loyalty card. Nectar states that they do not 'reward' people for buying tobacco, so Leg Iron is correct when he states that supermarkets try to control what we buy and I would go so far as to say they punish us for buying the 'wrong' products.

As for already knowing who the smokers and drinkers are, well...if tobacco isn't given reward points and that particular purchase only shows up on the store receipt then it goes to follow that said purchase isn't logged in Nectar's 'reward' database.

vote UKIP said...


The tobacco will be logged on the database. It's far too important not to be. The info will be useful and will make them money - selling to various organisations such as private healthcare, tobacco companies like nicorette etc. All info like this is gold dust and is why I don't use a loyalty card. The small savings aren't worth the loss of privacy.

I've been amazed at how assertive the SNP in Scotland have been against alcohol, tobacco and food. With a minority government they've really turned the screws on it's citizens. Imagine the carnage they would cause if they had a large majority and their nanny state became unstoppable.

microdave said...

@ John Pickworth - I discussed this with my local chippie, and the proprietor just laughed and pointed out that the new salt shakers had larger holes than the old ones, so pretty much the same amount of salt comes out....

Gareth said...

This is the corporatisation of Britain.

It's understandable too when you look at it from the limited perspective of politics: Corporations collect revenue through income tax and VAT and the like. They also provide employment. They also provide a compliant means to shape the populace. They are a far more concentrated, far easier to deal with lump of apparent authority than the public are.

In league with that lobby groups, quangos and other 'stakeholders' provide the Government with ideas on how to spend the money and justification for increasing the revenue to be collected from us. Taxpayers are never involved in these discussions.

If they took money from us directly I think we would be far more involved in our political processes and more careful about who we vote for. That is the last thing they want.

Anonymous said...

"it will remove another of those meeting places where people talk"

And that, to me, is why the Righteous are smug, watching the pubs close. And why they're so desperate to control the internet. It's the last place we can gather and get along without interference.

They'll be happy to see us confined to our homes, afraid of the tourists and violent binge-drinkers, our only leisure options council-run, cctv-monitored Diversity Centres.

I used to be an optimist.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time we grew our own vegetables and made our own everything?

Do you need all that cr@p you buy?

If we all made/grew our own, they could not hold us to ransom. They'd be out of business PDQ.

Hell, just a 10% drop in sales should send them a message.

The Treasury would suffer as a result.

What are you waiting for?

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