More Amazing Tesco Dirty Tricks Revealed

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.

Which brings me onto the inspiration for writing this: this post from Andy Wightman that I discovered because Subrosa recommended it at the weekend (along with one of mine).

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.

cognitive dissonance cartoon

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 .

Tesco propety fronts destroying the shopping centre

Due to property fronts acting on behalf of Tesco's destroying the shopping centre, "The chemist and the optician opted to relocate to portacabins."

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?

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13 Responses to More Amazing Tesco Dirty Tricks Revealed

  1. I dislike big supermarket chains for many reasons, Stewart. I dislike them because they put rural grocery shops and petrol stations out of business – though I do realise that most of the blame lies with the individuals who fail to support their local shops.

    But, like you, what I find really offensive is the cynical public relations gimmickry of big corporations pretending to be caring – of which “vouchers for schools” is just one example. The money is a pittance, and it comes out of the pockets, not of the Tesco directors, but of shoppers, employees and shareholders.

    I’ve only been boycotting Tesco for about 18 months, myself – and that was over one of their brilliant wheezes for generously handing over some of their corporate profits to a (cough, choke, splutter) good cause. I’m sure you know which one.

  2. Stewart Cowan says:

    I’d completely forgotten they did that as well. I see you’re blogging again. I’ll try and tune in, although I don’t have much time these days.

  3. Yes, I’m blogging a little. We’ll see how long it lasts!

  4. JJ says:

    They also sell foie gras in Hungary and live turtles in China, no supermarket in the UK would dare to support these cruel practices.

    Go to Sainsburys instead.

  5. Stewart Cowan says:

    Unfortunately, Sainsbury’s has followed the other supermarkets, other than Waitrose, in allowing its poultry suppliers to use GM feed.

  6. Zaphod says:

    I find capitalism an unattractive but very effective way of delivering value.
    Like Music, Art, and Sport; it pays its major players whatever ridiculous amounts that it needs to. Too much, or too little causes it to lose out to its competitors.

    I understand completely that business is entirely driven by profit, and that it will pretend to care only for the sake of PR. Does anybody really think otherwise? Those businesses who don’t play PR are not successful.

    I don’t expect a capitalist entity to espouse any values other than those which serve its profit and survival.
    I have no objection to GM.
    I’m also a vegetarian, (for 40 years), but I have no problem with others eating what they choose.
    And any player in the property market has to play hardball or they’re out of the game.
    Blasphemy means nothing to me.
    I have no problem with the sale of pole dancing kits.

    I have never accepted Tesco’s vouchers, but I shop there because it offers good value and my local chooses its staff well.

    What system (other than capitalism) do you prefer? Has it ever been tried, and survived?

    If campaigns against Tesco are successful, I shall not grieve. I don’t care about Tesco any more than they care about me. But I hope we don’t go back to the inefficiency of just small shops.

    Don’t blame Tesco, blame me and all the other customers.

  7. Stewart Cowan says:

    Thanks for your comments. I suppose that ultimately it is shoppers with either no knowledge of Tesco’s wickedness or no scruples (or no choice) who continue to shop there.

    I’m all for capitalism because the alternative is far worse, but it doesn’t need to be done Tesco-style.

    If you don’t mind pole dancing kits for six year-olds, I would suggest that you do have a problem.

  8. Zaphod says:

    Knowledge of “Tesco’s wickedness” is widespread.
    Most people have a choice of shops.
    Your theory requires that I, and millions of others, have no scruples?

    Capitalism works like natural selection. Design is not necessary, just random mutation and selection by the prevailing environment. “Need” doesn’t come into it.

    If you don’t like Tesco, blame the customers.

    Personally, I wouldn’t buy a pole dancing kit for a six year old. I don’t feel any need to prevent others doing so. If there is no demand, they will not sell. I try not to impose my values on others.

    Confession, Stewart. Your values annoy me.
    Religion as a source of morality is irrevocably fading, and people must find a replacement.
    Respect, nevertheless.

  9. Stewart Cowan says:

    Most people have no scruples when it comes to shopping. I tell people about Nestle’s dastardly deeds, but I don’t think I have convinced anybody that dead African babies are worth worth to them than KitKats or Nescafe.

    If you think others ought to buy six year-old girls pole dancing kits then I would say you still have a problem and it’s a problem that’s aiding the downfall of our country and that is confusion over right and wrong, fully engineered, of course.

    There is no source of morality outside of religion. We have seen throughout history what happens when man’s ‘value’ system is applied. And the Inquisition was based on man’s ideas, before you say.

    My values increasingly annoy people because the further the country slides into the abyss, the less people want to hear the truth.

  10. Zaphod says:

    “If you think others ought to buy six year-old girls pole dancing kits…”

    You’re not listening, are you?

    I don’t “think others ought to”.
    I said that I don’t feel any need to prevent them.
    Surely you see the difference?

    “There is no source of morality outside of religion.”

    Here is where you and I are truly polarized. I am utterly without religion, (other than traces of background childhood brainwashing.) And yet I have a very strong moral code which overrides my self-interest.

    My morality does not seek to suppress anybody’s sexuality, nor does it recognize any arbitrary authority. Therefore it is incompatible with any religion which I know of.

    The Old Testament is full of examples of your god’s “value” system. I reject that system utterly. It is indefensible. Rotten to the core. There is nothing good in it. Seriously, (I mean no offence), it is appalling.

  11. Stewart Cowan says:

    I am listening. If you don’t feel the need to prevent such perviness then you are surely going along with it, wouldn’t you say?

    Your ‘moral code’ comes from two places, I believe. The way the Creator has made you and the society in which you were brought up. If you like, you have been brainwashed to be a better person than had you grown up without any Judeo-Christian influence.

    On sexuality, there are sound reasons why no society ever at any point in history in any place, prior to the past few years of ‘PC gone mad’, has gone as far as homosexual ‘marriage’. Yuri Bezmenov explains the equality hoax (from about 26 mins in).

    The Almighty’s ways sometimes look incredibly cruel, but I’m sure He knows what he is doing. Christ changed the ‘eye for an eye’ attitude to one of forgiveness, so you’ve not told the whole story.

  12. Zaphod says:

    On the question of buying children toys which mimic adult behaviour, you presuppose that I agree with your implied principle, “Everything is either forbidden or mandatory”?

    Rules and taboos about personal sexuality were based on the needs of pre-industrial society. Many of those needs have changed, and the relevant rules are redundant.

    God’s moral code is far worse than “an eye for an eye”. All the way through tho OT.

    Christianity effectively abolished all (?) of the old rules, but it still respects and fears that god.

    The only two good things your god lays claim to, are creating the universe, and then handing it all over to Jesus, (or so it claims in Jesus’ book). Pretty much everything else this god ever did, is completely unacceptable to me.

    I’m not even descended from his chosen race! My lot were probably living in the “promised land” before we got summarily evicted for his lot to move in! If he exists, I owe him nothing.
    And I don’t respect him either. He exhibits every fault that humans are ever guilty of, with omnipotence thrown in. The most callous, spiteful, genocidal bloodthirsty dictator in history.

    A good marketing team would recommend that Christianity formally disowns him. Just follow the hippy. I’m not aware of Jesus doing anything I disapprove of, apart from insisting that we should love God.

    As you can probably tell, I feel very strongly about this. Sorry to invade your space. You can have the last word, if you don’t give me an open goal. :-)

  13. Stewart Cowan says:

    Sorry for delay in replying. No, you’re wrong. I don’t agree that everything should be either forbidden or mandatory, like drinking, smoking, playing poker, having a blog – well that should be mandatory.

    But successful societies have hard and fast rules on morality. When they go, so does the society, as we see happening in the West recently, so it makes sense that if you want to continue to live in a relatively civilised country that you rail against those who try to pervert youngsters.

    As morals are impossible without religion and you claim to be an atheist, you have absolutely no basis to claim that whatever God has done is right or wrong.

    If you remember, God’s created world was perfect until man sinned against Him and allowed Satan a place on earth, so why not blame him? Ah, because blaming God helps you in your reasoning to remain atheistic.

    Belief in Christ enters you into the club of the chosen, regardless of whether you are a son of Jacob, Esau or anyone else. The renewed world will be given to whoever is worthy: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”.

    How many atheists are meek? Most of the ones I used to try to get any sense out of on Dawkins’ blog before being banned and on other fora were proud and boastful of what I consider to be gross ignorance. Even though I was there to talk about science, they wanted to slag off myself and my faith, because very few atheists know anything about the Theory of Evolution and the creation of the universe, so they slag off people like me and misquote scripture because they have no arguments about red blood vessels found in dinosaur bones or ample proof of a global flood or a hundred other matters.

    The Christ came to direct us to the Father. Whatever happened in the past did so for a very good reason.

    As a follower of Christ, I cannot argue with His words.

    As an ‘atheist’ you have no means of knowing between right and wrong, because if we are descended from pond slime via an impossibly fortunate series of random genetic mutations by way of ‘survival of the fittest’ then morals should have no place in our lives, just cold hard survival tactics. Why feed the starving of Africa? You should want them to starve as they aren’t fit to feed themselves. The old and infirm are a drain on the rest of us, so why bother keeping them alive artificially, whether by mechanical or medicinal means? They hurt the chances of survival of those of us who are able to be productive and keep the human hive producing enough honey for the ones who need it most.

    Don’t you agree this should be your point of view, were there no Creator who gave you a conscience?

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