I started boycotting Tesco’s in 2005 for selling the blasphemous Jerry Springer, the Opera DVD. Since then, they have continued to dismay and disgust the nation with just about everything from their immoral means of acquiring new property to selling pole dancing kits for young girls to its involvement with the Workfare programme:
This is the company that rips off suppliers, workers and customers alike. The company whose aggressive expansion policy has ripped the heart out of communities resulting in over 450 local campaigns against them according to Tescopoly. Tesco ensure any local resistance to their presence is bulldozed away, sometimes literally, as in the destruction of popular local beauty spot Titnore Woods.
So let’s not pretend Tesco are in the midst of some grand humanitarian crusade. Tesco don’t do ethics, they do profit. Should that change their shareholders might well have something to say about it.
Funnily enough, when I link to my post about the Bilderberg Group on the social media, I am often accused of being a “tinfoil hat wearer” (and the other usual Pavlovian responses from those people who have been trained always to link the word “conspiracy” with the word “theory”).
But, as this Tesco story (one of hundreds, apparently) demonstrates, the World runs on conspiracy facts. Many people cannot cope with the idea that things ain’t what they seem – that such things as conspiracies, secret societies and nepotism have such a huge effect on their lives which they want to believe are free, uncomplicated and predictable. It’s known as cognitive dissonance.
This devilish Tesco skulduggery involves the deliberate degeneration of an entire town centre, made possible through property companies set up by Tesco directors and agents as fronts in order to secure the land and drive out the tenants of the former shops, which resulted in the town centre of Linwood, near Glasgow (and most famous as Scotland’s car manufacturing capital until 1981), earning the Carbuncle of the Year Award in 2011 .
But nobody in Linwood was aware of that. Tesco had come to town and was rescuing their shopping centre from the blight of Balmore. Locals worked enthusiastically with Tesco to develop their plans. Some even appeared in their promotional videos.
Then in 2010, the folk of Linwood discovered the truth about what had been going on. Dallas Rhodes’ company Balmore Properties was not an independent retail property company.
It was set up as a front on behalf of Tesco.
Rhodes was approached by Tesco to acquire the lease on the company’s behalf. “It is common for Tesco to use and agent and secure land,” a spokesperson for Tesco said at the time. “Balmore was an agent for Tesco at that time.”
Some commercial property sources will happily claim that this is normal practice, that if owners get wind that a major supermarket chain is sniffing around, the value of the property will double or triple.
That’s why I find the likes of their “vouchers for schools” so offensive. While they tear the heart out of some communities, they give the illusion that they care about your area. And I have noticed how politicians love getting in on the act. They make sure we lose nigh on half our earnings in one tax or another (supposedly to pay for such things as schools) then praise this retail behemoth for giving a miniscule amount of their enormous profit to buy a relatively tiny amount of equipment for schools.
The Labour MP for Bradford South, Gerry Sutcliffe, thinks this is just great.
The scheme itself is celebrating 21 years. Fifty two schools in Bradford South collected over 400,000 vouchers worth £12,000 in equipment in the last year. Gerry was delighted to be asked again to present “goodie boxes” to the twelve schools which collected the most vouchers. He visited the Great Horton, Buttershaw and Queensbury stores to meet pupils and teachers. The children were excited with their boxes and had many ideas of what resources they would like their schools to purchase.
Gerry said “I have been presenting these awards for the last four years and it has become an enjoyable tradition. I would like to thank Tesco’s for their commitment to the local community in this and other schemes which benefit local schools”.
Yeah. Right. So that works out at an average of £230.77 per school. One car boot sale in each school car park could have raised more. A jumble sale in the assembly hall with pupils selling cakes and other homemade goods – no horse meat in sight (I had to mention that one too) – could have raised many times this amount.
Wisbech Grammar School raised £1,900 a couple of weeks ago when their hall was transformed into a Spring fayre comprising 38 stalls, where “stylish wares and home baked goodies” raised a big chunk of the money they need to sponsor a guide dog for the blind.
Obviously, their concern for others in their community is more important to them than buying “equipment” for their own use.
Incidentally, Tesco’s give out a voucher for every £10 spent, so those 400,000 vouchers collected in Bradford South cost customers at least four million pounds. All to raise twelve grand for schools. That equates to no more than 0.3% of sales from the people who collected the vouchers during the weeks the scheme runs, so each voucher is worth less than 3p to schools.
Just to show that Tory MPs are just as daft, here’s one (Charlie Elphicke) benefitting from the photo opportunity of handing out some of Tesco’s “boxes of goodies”. What sort of “equipment” are they giving away in such small boxes? I was imagining sports equipment, but I expect it is IT-related gadgets which Tesco imports for next to nothing and so perhaps grossly inflates their perceived generosity of 3p per voucher.
And here’s a Lib Dem (Vince Cable) making the most of it too.
If you still aren’t boycotting Tesco’s, next time, you might want to tell them to keep their almost worthless vouchers and support events at your local schools instead.
According to the Blairgowrie Advertiser, this school in Perthshire now has some “equipment” that the national £80 billion expenditure, at the time, on what passes for education, could not stretch to,
The staff and pupils of Glenisla Primary School thank everyone who kindly donated Tesco vouchers for schools, with an especially big thank you to Mr Rule and his friends at Blairgowrie Probus Club who donated a total of 2500 vouchers.
This year a total of 10,580 vouchers were collected. A total of 21,462 vouchers were banked in previous years, giving a final total of 32,042. The school now has enough for a computer.
Thanks to the locals spending a third of a million pounds in Tesco’s!
But after their utterly outrageous behaviour in towns like Linwood, how can you enjoy your food bought from this parasitical corporation?