Some of the main UK supermarkets have been accused of fixing the price of many dairy products. The Office of Fair Trading is looking into claims that whilst the price paid to the farmer stayed the same and even fell over a 6 year period the price the consumer paid in the supermarket went up.
In 2001 the supermarkets paid the farmgate 18.47pence for a litre of milk and charged 42.7p whereas in 2007 the supermarkets paid the farmgate 18.08p a litre but charged 56.3p.
The Office of Fair Trading, the government fair trade watchdog, estimates that consumers have paid around £270 million more than they should have done for many dairy products.
Supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda are to examine the report whilst the farmers processors, Dairy Crest, Arla, Lactalis McLelland, The Cheese Company – part of Milk Link – and Wiseman also are implicated in an agreement to fix prices. Morrisons may have inherited a policy that Safeway undertook prior to being bought by Morrisons.
Some think that the dairy processors may have colluded with the supermarkets in an attempt to raise the falling price being paid at the farmgate. Source
Richard Branson has sold Virgin’s 125 UK and Irish record stores which will be re branded under the name Zavvi via a current management buyout. Earlier this year Branson had sold his US record stores. The current and presumably now future management of the soon to be former Virgin record stores say they are upbeat about the viability of the stores in a market that is feeling the continued impact of the decline of CD sales.
In the UK many supermarkets have signalled they will no longer stock CD singles whilst Music Zone, MVC and Fopp had already disappeared from the UK high street leaving only HMV and some smaller specialist stores remaining in the diminishing physical record store market.
The demise of the high street record store seemed inevitable much like the decline of milk floats and milk deliveries, film cameras, TV and video rental stores and public phones boxes which are all increasingly becoming consigned to being just a memory for people of a certain age.
As people say, a week is a long time in politics and in a few weeks time we could even find ourselves in the midst of election fever if Gordon Brown decides to light the blue touch paper and signal a general election. The opinion polls don’t show such a decisive gap between Labour and the Tories but the Conservatives still seem riddled with in fighting and the old party pull that wants yet another new leader to lurch to the right.
Maybe Gordon won’t take the chance but he does still seem to be bouncing at the moment and if he thinks that David Cameron’s conservatives are not behind their leader 100% (will they really start playing the anti Europe card yet again?) then pressing home the advantage whilst pursuing his own mandate with the British people may prompt him to plump for an October election.
A water buffalo named William Shakespeare escaped from a field in Cumbria and ran into the path of cars on a nearby road on Tuesday, police reported. The buffalo was sadly killed in the accident and fire fighters had to cut a 19 year old driver from the wreck of his fiat punto that collided with the animal. The driver was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Two other drivers collided with each other as they attempted to swerve and avoid the accident on the A590 near Dalton-in-Furness. The driver and passenger of one vehicle was taken to hospital with whiplash injuries.
Darling you’ve got to let me know
Statistics (that eternal partner of those damn lies) from the Office For National Statistics (funnily enough) has got the various media outlets worked up over the number up people leaving Britain for good. The media likes to paint it black (The Times irresponsibly shoutsRecord high in stampede out of the UK) but the statistics bear a little more examination.
Always tease tease tease
Records pertaining to people leaving this country only started in 1991 and of the recorded 385,000 who left in the first 6 months of 2006 many of them were long term migrants and not British citizens and according to the Migration Research Unit at University College in London it is these non-Britons that have increased the numbers of those leaving the UK.
Come on and let me know
I’ve been one of those leaving the UK (I had presumed for good) in the past. I was pretty down on this country in the late 90′s (the social class system and Britain’s chronic petty minded xenophobia ironically) and following love to Australia appealed with the attraction of ‘a new career in a new town’ whilst being with my partner was very appealing. It turned out that Australia wasn’t really my cup of tea long term and my partner was keen to give the UK a try and despite my present misgivings about some aspects of this country now, my partner is a confirmed Anglophile.
She was greatly amused by another ex-pat Australian who phoned a London radio phone in recently to join her own dislike of some aspects of Sydney. It made me laugh too as the guy really goes off on one.
It just goes to prove that the grass is not always greener.It depends what you’re looking for too.
I like a nice cup of tea though am guilty of many a stewed disappointment and enjoyed reading SilverTiger’s recent thoughts on the great cuppa tradition.
I’d read earlier about another tea lover, Malcolm Watt who is part way through his mission to enjoy cups of tea in each county of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout a two year period. He started in his home city of Bristol and has set himself the task of only travelling by public transport and must avoid taking tea from within tea-shop chains.
“Well, I did start thinking about beer and alcohol, and I thought it’s kind of… narrowing down who you’ll be socialising with…”
“I think that tea is much more sociable, and it’s a British drink,”
Whilst parousing that stirrer of controversy The Daily Mail online (you’ve got to keep up with how middle England is thinking haven’t you) I was amused to see their slant on a Conservative party sourced item regarding a rumour that following the outcries over weekly bin collections councils may change tack by reducing the size of our bins in order to promote an increase in recycling and a reduction of household waste.
Hit me baby one more time
If this were to come to pass (and here’s the bit where The Mail stirs up the emotions of its core readers) then families (and in particular Daily Mail reading families) would not be allowed to keep the existing sized bins because this would then cause an outbreak of ‘bin envy’ amongst the neighbours (and thus the family is undermined by New Labour yet again, would seem to be the subtext). The piece then then continues with the usual ingredients for a thick soup of middle England discontent including a statement of mock outrage from Conservative party local government spokesperson Eric Pickles (great name but I’m finding it hard to take it seriously) and then slides into the potential for fines levied at waste producing families and the cost of associated quangos who administer these things.
Fighting in the streets?
Forget the arguments over the merits of recycling (The Mail piece isn’t engaged in tackling the broader arguments or offering alternatives) and that the cause of household waste is over packaging by the supermarkets, reliance of pre packaged microwave meals, the throwaway consumer culture we are all encouraged to be part of (not things that the Mail is likely to attack), this piece is a fine exercise in using FUD to whip up discontent in the readership and crowbar in a ‘family under attack’ subtext. It’s a classic Daily Mail piece that panders to the usual fears and anxieties. The core readership must be foaming at the mouth after finishing their morning paper with sheer indignation and outrage.Daily Mail reading families must be preparing for war in the streets as the rest of us envy their bin sizes, muttering in our lounge rooms at the unfairness of it all. And I guess that’s what the Daily Mail wants.