Saturday, March 08, 2008
Hiding Behind Nanny's Petticoats
There is one thing worse than Nanny...
Really? I hear you ejaculate (can I say ejaculate here?)
Yes, there really is one thing worse than Nanny!
What's that then Ken?
People, or organisations, who hide behind Nanny's petticoats and use her policies/warped ideas to further their own commercial/political ends.
Ladies and Gentleman...a roll on the drums please...
They have recently publicly demanded that Nanny introduce new laws to ban the sale of cut-price alcohol.
Tesco claims that this is in response to the public concern over the level of drink-fuelled crime and disorder.
Tesco claim that legislation is required to "ensure responsible pricing on alcohol".
Now the more intelligent amongst you may well ask, why doesn't Tesco simply put their prices up?
Oh dear oh dear, how little you understand the dilemma that Tesco finds itself in.
You see, if it were to do that people would simply shop elsewhere; and we couldn't have that now, could we?
You see, what Tesco actually wants to do is to use Nanny to pass laws that will enable it and its rivals to fix the prices (to the detriment of the consumers) which is of course illegal at the moment.
Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco's chief executive, has already been pushing Gordown Brown to discuss measures, including price controls, to tackle anti-social and under-age drinking.
In case you have forgotten, despite these "valiant" claims to be a "responsible" corporate citizen and "concerned" about cheap booze, Tesco has been happily selling cans of lager for less than the price of bottled water (mind you that says more about the extortionate price of water - real consumer rip off - than the price of booze).
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, an executive director at Tesco, recently said:
"We accept that we have a role to play in addressing the problem of anti-social drinking.
Competition law prevents businesses discussing anything to do with price with each other and imposes severe penalties for breaches.
The only safe solution is for the Government to initiate and lead those discussions and to bring forward legislative proposals which Tesco and others in our industry can support.
Such proposals would have to apply to all retailers of alcohol otherwise they would be ineffective, as those looking for cheap alcohol would simply shop with lower-priced operators not covered by the legislation, undermining our business and achieving nothing."
It's a price fixing scheme from start to finish, designed to stifle competition (most notably the smaller corner shops).
It is unpleasant to see a commercial organisation hiding behind Nanny's petticoats in this manner, organisations should not support/encourage restrictive state practices to further their own commercial ends. This can lead us all down a very unpleasant road indeed.
Tesco should be reminded that other organisations, who in the past supported "assertive" state control, have some very ugly history that they have had to hang their heads in shame over - eg Krupp.