Resist the supermarkets

When supermarkets come to town, they wreck local businesses, set up a flow of money out of the community, increase traffic, and generally act like bullies who think they’re too big to fall. They make use of workfare labourers to save themselves hiring temp workers in rush periods, they override planning permission, and once they’ve shut down all the local “competition”, you can’t even boycott them, because where else can you shop?

When was the last time you read something really radical in the Guardian?

What is to be done? Oddly enough, perhaps one mad answer lies in the other Tesco-related story of the week. Just possibly – and obviously entirely unwittingly – shoplifting chef Antony Worrall Thompson has suggested an act of civil disobedience. If a critical mass of shoppers were to decide to do a Wozza for moral reasons, then the robotic scanners would become less economically viable than human checkout workers. Pilfering from Tesco would become a political act. – Marina Hyde in the Guardian

*sings* You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Because: You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends, they may think it’s a movement.

Except in honour of the man who inspired it all perhaps it ought to be You can get anything you want at AWT’s Restaurant.

After all, since Tesco had approved Bob Robbins, head of Tesco’s UK stores, making £47,450 by selling Tesco shares when he had insider information that their value was going to drop, you’d have to steal an awful lot of cheap cheese to even approach the kind of shady dealing that Tesco’s chief executive, Philip Clarke, says was just fine: Robbins sold 50,000 shares for £202,250 just 3 days before they dropped so substantially in value, for “necessary family expenditure”, and haven’t we all had Christmases like that?

Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer:

It’s probably not a good idea to break the law and helping yourself to items from Tesco’s deli counter isn’t to be recommended. But when the chief operating officer sells his shares eight days before last week’s profits warning, netting himself £200,000, isn’t that a bit obvious and offensive too? The company has defended Bob Robbins’s actions. Of course. But there are some who say pocketing £200,000 is a greater offence than taking a tub of reduced-for-quick-sale coleslaw. That Phil Clarke’s multimillion pound bonus somewhat overshadows the price of a packet of cheese.

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