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Power to the People!

Last year I brought you all a couple of items about the anti Tesco riots in Stokes Croft Bristol. These were, in this Olympic year of ours, the pre-lims, the qualifiers if you like, for the main events that kicked off in London and elsewhere later in the year. It worked in Bristol, It’ll work here, evil little scotes of all persuasions thought, and they were right.

Ostensibly the riots and protests were against the nasty filthy capitalists Tesco who would destroy the very fabric and character of a struggling but noble neighbourhood. In fact the neighbourhood has been a broken toothed affront to the City Of Bristol since the sixties or even longer. Full of winos and junkies and ladies who were no better than they aught to be, offering their company for a bag of chips and a swig of Scrumpy. And when the Anarcho Hippies turned up and squatted the place in the 80s, it just got worse.

When our Paul Marks came to stay with me for a few days last year, he was shocked at the state of the road (and he lives in Northampton! not a reasonably elegant place of wealth and taste that Bristol promotes itself as being), I had barely noticed after all the time I have lived here. Well you get used to shit around you don’t you? It just doesn’t register after a while.

Ah but the opposition to Tesco wasn’t just negative, it was …like dig them positive vibes man! we can do it just like they can, but cheaper and sustainable and… Heh de heh, no they couldn’t.

“A ‘people’s supermarket’ set up in Stokes Croft as an alternative to the controversial Tesco store is to close down after organisers admitted they could not compete.”

My parents owned a corner shop/general stores just as the original supermarkets were taking off in the early sixties. We couldn’t compete on price, so we made a bloody good living on listening to our customers wants and needs and , and innovation. These clowns were probably debating whether fish fingers were, like ethical man…

Go read and laugh. Capitalism and common sense rules ok!


  1. Laird says:

    A really funny article. Those people are irredemably clueless, aren’t they? I loved this quote: “Setting up any kind of business requires a clear formula, a unique selling point in the community, and dedicated leaders to enact it. After a frank discussion we decided that Bristol People’s Supermarket has none of these.” No business plan, no defined market niche, and no leadership; what could possibly go wrong? But they missed one more key ingredient: competent management. (And having an ounce of brains among them wouldn’t have hurt, either, but that’s probably asking too much.)

  2. bilbaoboy says:

    What a wonderful start to the day.

    They spin from an impossible position. The true wishful thinkers. We can’t get people to pay over the odds for something they don’t need (i.e. knobbly and impossible to peel carrots).

    They do a great line in self-justification. I always thought that the success of these things was ‘inevitable’ but it was not the time, not the place, not the people (their own admission) and yet they still don’t get it.

    A race to the bottom? Making food cheaper in times of declining incomes. What bastards these chains are. Let them eat cake.

  3. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    There are a few of these type deals in my locality, or perhaps I should say, there were.

    I don’t rejoice in anyone’s failure and feel no Schadenfreude, but I do rather hope it makes them question their core beliefs.

    I wonder how much they enjoyed business rates?

  4. JuliaM says:

    One shouldn’t laugh at misfortune, yes. But this wasn’t misfortune.

    This was karma!

  5. Edward Lud says:

    In the linked article, I couldn’t decide whether the following comment from the improbably named Salsy Jenks was ironic:

    “Fingers crossed one day the Peoples Supermarket’s time will come when the odds aren’t so stacked in favour of unsustainable businesses”.

  6. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “when the odds aren’t so stacked in favour of unsustainable businesses”

    presumably he/she means when people no longer care about value or are able to exercise free choice.

  7. Tim Newman says:

    “With finances being squeezed, more and more people are forced to rely on cheap food, and the supermarkets are driving a race to the bottom to fulfil this need.”

    The bastards!!!

  8. RAB says:

    Well I laughed like a drain myself SAOT, and I’m not in the slighetest bit a nasty and malicious person. I would have felt sorry for them if their childlike righteous self certainty that they are on the side of the angels, and any half arsed idea they have is bound to work didn’t obscure their vision of the reality of life.

    As Laird said, they are completely clueless. I have met them and talked to them. I live a mere 5 minutes walk up the hill from them in St Andrews. Their world and mine although just five minutes apart, well it could be a million miles in difference.

    Walking up from Stokes croft via Picton Street and through Montpelier station is like ascending from the Slough of Despond to the hill on which New Jerusalem is built.

    The People’s Supermarket must have looked like a blinding idea at the squat meeting over a few spliffs and strummed guitars… We can take on Tesco no problem!

    Then the reality kicks in… So who’s going to be the one to go down the market at 5am for the fruit and veg? Anyone got a clue how VAT works? Sammy, your dad has a car, would he lend it to us to go down the cash and carry? Tarquin your dad’s an accountant, could he help with the Tax and national insurance? All way too much like hard work, which is what a profitable business is all about. I know, I grew up in one.

  9. Paul Marks says:

    Kettering – RAB, not Northampton (although, yes, Northamptonshire).

    What really shocked me was the old men – or what I, at first thought, were old men.

    I am unfit (a mess) – but I remember seeing old men struggleing along the pavement they were dressed oddly but that (I remember thinking to myself) that is their business.

    Then we passed them on the road – and I got to see their faces. The “old men” were youngsters – druggies. This happened more than once – people half my age (if that) and already with one foot in the grave.

    Liberty yes. “Liberation” no.

    Statism does not work – but the “liberation” revolt against civil society (personal resonsibilty) does not end well.

    As for shopping.

    I see – so according to the left, lower quality food (and so on) at higher prices, is good for the poor. Therefore they must keep out the supermarkets who offer these “evil” lower prices and better quality food (and so on).

    The leftist hive mind is beyond human understandting.

    Statism does not work

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