"Bloody foreign onions, coming over here, taking our shelves …"

Tesco logo

“I, for one, wasn’t put on this earth to make life easy for British farmers, who are a reactionary and misanthropic lot as a rule – gaily destroying wildlife, backing blood sports, feeding animals the remains of their relatives and driving them mad. The EU has done enough to feather their nests; I don’t need to add to their nest eggs when I go shopping. This sort of backward thinking, taken to its logical conclusion, would also see the return of morris dancing, inbreeding and operations without benefit of anaesthetic.”

It’s enough to make you go out and buy The Guardian – Madeleine Fucking Bunting ‘n’ all.

It seems “The Greatest Living Bristolian'”(Hint to da kids: she left town fast at seventeen), Julie Burchill, has come out of retirement (again) and taken time out from her theology degree to slam the middle class useless brigade, their cloying moralising tendencies around food and their tedious obsession with “small shops”.

Julie instead offers up warm praise for her local Tescos. Enjoy – because it’s not often you’ll find a Bristolian writer nailing their subject:

“That I might go looking for proof of my worth over the wet fish counter seems quite eye-wateringly daft.”

The master at work can be found here.

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13 Responses to "Bloody foreign onions, coming over here, taking our shelves …"

  1. Archie says:

    The Great British Institution, The Guardian, which once I remember standing in a newspaper shop queue with two readers of this trash in front of me and one said to the other “Terrorists have Human Rights too”. Say that to a loved one who has lost a relative to Terrorism. I wont paint a group of people who read this paper with the same brush but really if this passage above is from this “institution” then standards are slipping on Fleet Street, some people really do need to get out of the 80’s with this class war shit, its nearly 2008 for fuck sake.

  2. Toxteth O'Grady says:

    I had to laugh at the first comment from a punter at the bottom that described Tesco food as “tasteless plop”. How very childish, but how very funny.

  3. farty pants says:

    “Say that to a loved one who has lost a relative to Terrorism”

    Yeah, string up everyone who isn’t a Daily Mail reading shitspoon like you! That’ll definitely make the world a better place, if we’re just left with the likes of you and your dumb, cunty ilk.

  4. Archie says:

    Your mistaken Farty Pants, I dont read the Daily Mail, come on, dont paint everyone with the same brush, besides, a friend of my father’s lost his daughter in 7/7 on her way to work, so show some respect for mankind, didnt Jesus teach us to love each other?

  5. Dave says:

    Jesus, the Bristol Blogger endorses Burchill. By contrast, the sane amongst us wish her a slow and painful end for the hatchet-job she did on John Peel.

  6. Jozer says:

    Ahhh Julie. She does like to give the liberal sacred cows a good going over. Sure she talks a lot of crap and all.

    One problem she shares with me is thinking she’s still a kid in the 1960’s. Old people who stood up to Hitler? They’re all pretty much gone now. Do the maths. Today’s 65 year-olds are the baby-boomers who were 25 in the 10960’s. Come on boomers! Get the kaftan out of the attic and give us all a good laugh. Earn your pensions!

  7. Ella says:

    “so show some respect for mankind, didnt Jesus teach us to love each other?”

    Surly respect for mankind involves respecting the inalienability of human rights?

  8. Tesco and other big supermarkets represent a very large amount of power in the hands of a very few. They should be subject to at least the following to avoid the worst injustices and to provide a much more genuine choice to shoppers (see http://www.tescopoly.org/ ).

    *a legally binding code of practice

    *an independent watchdog overseeing the grocery market

    * a block on any new take-overs by Tesco or other major supermarkets.

    *real support for local shops from local authorities and government.

    *internationally-recognized workers’ rights throughout supermarket supply chains.

  9. dave angel says:

    Tesco have a tendancy to be painted as the big bad ogre of supermarket retailing, in my experience this is not the case.

    Like all supermarkets in the UK, they drive a hard bargain with their suppliers, they are obliged to do this to prove to the the authorities that the oligopolistic market is not stifling competition, creating inflationary pressures and giving the consumer a bad deal.

    The supermarkets also enforce a very effective food safety system that a disorganised network of independent grocers would never have the economies of scale to enjoy.

    In turn the supplier gets a reduced margin on the goods they sell the supermarket, but a fantastically efficient distribution network (that probably has a far lower carbon footprint than a load of smoky transit vans rocking up at farmers markets all over the country) and a huge guaranteed market with which they can sell their goods and plan the future growth of their business.

    In short everyone wins, consumers get huge variety of reasonably priced food, suppliers get a big, scaleable, marketplace to sell their goods, albeit at a lower margin and supermarkets make a reasonable profit for workers pension funds.

  10. No Dave Angel, this rosy picture you paint does not accord with the facts. Its far from true to say that ‘everyone wins’. Its very unhealthy to have one business in such a dominant market position (30% of UK grocery market), especially where food supplies are concerned.

    Go to http://www.tescopoly.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=4&Itemid=176 to see Tesco’s impacts on:

    Workers worldwide
    UK Workers
    Food poverty
    Local shops
    Unhealthy food
    Animal Welfare

  11. Just a little sample of the material from the tescopoly site below. You cant say that these people are ‘winners’ due to Tesco.

    Women in Bangladesh making clothes for Tesco and Asda who earn as little as 5p an hour working up to 14 hours a day. Supermarkets’ demands that suppliers cut prices are one reason why the women’s wages were so low they could not afford to feed themselves and their families properly.

    Workers in Costa Rica producing bananas for export to all major UK supermarkets earning 33p an hour – a wage so low that they cannot afford to take an hour off when dangerous pesticides are being sprayed on the crops. Wages have fallen and jobs are more insecure since supermarkets launched their banana price wars in 2002.

    Women in India processing cashew nuts which end up on the shelves of the major UK supermarkets are scarred by the corrosive oil produced by the nuts as they are shelled.

  12. dave angel says:

    Speaking as a supplier to supermarkets, including Tesco, the one thing we are consistently pulled up on our supplier audit is the quality of the rest room for staff not being good enough!!!

    As previously stated, supermarkets have to be a far greener method of food distribution than the numerous poorly maintained vans found at farmers markets.

    The examples you cite above will most likely be three or four stages down the supply chain from the supermarket, so while their audits are stringent and they do send people out, it is not going to pick up the minutiae of goods and services supplied that far down the supply chain.

    Though my experience shows that once they are aware of an issue they act on it.

    An example of how good the system of auditing and traceability in supermarkets is is the Sudan 1 food scare. Because of the auditing the supermarkets insist on, supermarket and suppliers were able to identify individual product batches, where they had gone in the country and recall them.

    In the more disorganised distribution network of catering, the job of tracing and recall was a lot harder, with many wholesalers and distributors having little idea of what customers had received contaminated batches.

    Tesco, I feel, has become a victim of it’s own success and is suffering from ‘tall poppy syndrome’.

  13. Dave Angel, you talk of ‘ numerous poorly maintained vans found at farmers markets’ . This hardly constitutes evidence now does it. Just what do you think is the average food miles travelled by Tesco products compared with Farmers Market products? http://www.fwi.co.uk/gr/foodmiles/facts.html

    Contrary to what you say about auditing and traceability I’m far happier that I know exactly where my food is from, how it was produced etc precisely because I generally dont buy from a major supermarket!

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