What is Christianity, anyway?

Tesco share price dropped by 15% today. Tesco blames the recession – not enough shoppers over Christmas to make up for the “Big Price Drop” they were advertising from September onwards.

Of course much of the “Big Price Drop” was misleading advertising:

In September, Tesco announced the ‘Big Price Drop’, promising savings worth £500million a year. It said this represented a change in strategy which would deliver permanently low prices to struggling families.
Asda retaliated with its own Rollback deal, claiming prices had been slashed across 3,000 essentials.
It later emerged that many of the products involved in the promotions had seen prices rise in the weeks before they were cut.
Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: ‘Supermarkets must do more to help people in tough times by offering real deals, not fake price cuts, and by making it easier to compare prices.’ – Covingtons

I haven’t bought anything from Tesco in a long time. I can’t say I never do, because sometimes there’s literally no alternative – but if I just have to walk a bit further or pay a bit more to shop somewhere else, that’s what I’ll do.

From the This is Money report: Sainsbury’s reported a 2.1 per cent increase in like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) over the Christmas shopping period (14 weeks to 7th January 2012), but analysts estimated sales would have been flat – no increase at all – if VAT was taken out of the figures. But Kantar research figures reveal that Tesco’s market share for the 12 weeks ending on Christmas Day dropped from 30.5 per cent a year ago to 30.1 per cent. (I notice this is not exactly the same time period. A lot of people do shop in the week or two after Christmas when suddenly a lot of unsold Christmas luxuries are for sale at half-price.)

Tesco is part of Grayling’s Workfare scheme:

A spokesperson for the Boycott Workfare campaign, which encourages companies not to take people on this type of unpaid work placement, said: “Huge companies making billions are profiting from people being made to work without pay while in fear of losing everything. These companies can afford to hire and pay staff yet perversely they are increasingly reliant on a workforce subsidised by taxpayers. Councils are replacing paid positions with Workfare and charities are replacing paid and voluntary vacancies with unpaid mandatory workers. Workfare as a policy doesn’t make sense in this economic climate. We want to see a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” Ethical Consumer

Could this drop in profits be related to the Boycott Workfare campaign?

Christian Voice doesn’t think so:

The news follows a Christian Voice campaign of prayer for confusion in the Tesco boardroom, backed up by emails to directors complaining at the ‘Gay Pride’ decision and leafleting at Tesco stores. Just before Christmas a panic-stricken Tesco announced that the 2012 ‘Gay Pride’ donation would be its last. Hours later, in the face of a homosexual backlash, it had to clarify that gays and lesbians were really important and promise that it would support its homosexual contact group ‘Out at Tesco’ in other ways in 2013, which only made matters worse.

A few weeks after the news broke that Tesco was making use of people living on £53 a week as free labour, even the pittance per week paid by the taxpayer, Francis Phillips wrote in the Catholic Herald that she was concerned that Tesco was throwing

its enormous weight behind a marginal group (but which also has a determined and sinister political agenda) that does not in the least reflect the huge majority of its customers – why?

She didn’t mean the Tory party, though. She meant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. People who are transgendered, especially, are more likely to be stuck in long-term unemployment (ref Gires – PDF) and vulnerable to workfare. But workfare doesn’t seem to intrinsically bother Phillips. She’s being a Christian. Poverty isn’t what bothers her. Or unfair treatment of people who already have so little. She’s worried about how “Western civilisation was crumbling before our eyes” because of the Gay Agenda.

Remind me. What is this “Christianity” thing anyway?

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Filed under About Food, Benefits, Poverty, Religion

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