Sainsbury the supermarket are in the news boasting Huge Stonking Great Profits today, and their spokesman is stoutly proclaiming that even in these straightened times Sainsbury are creating jobs! Their workers are paying taxes! This is presented as if it were some kind of laudable effort where in reality it illustrates how badly Britain’s doing. Paying taxes Sainsbury as a whole may be but how much of it will be in Britain, going to our Chancellor to be redsitributed here and how much will be shuffled discreetly off to anonymous tax-havens? What good does this do Britain? If the supermarkets are doing well, they’re doing it by putting local companies out of business together with their advertising oulets, local accountants and vehicle servicers, etc. Huge, huge knock on effects all bad for the country. They act like giant wealth siphons on any area where they’re allowed to settle, sucking the wealth out of it and away to foreign parts, never to be seen by this country again. Consumers commute to work in other areas and return to their domicile to spend their earnings, but when they go to a local supermarket those earnings don’t go towards enriching the locality as they otherwise might. Supermarket prosperity is thus very bad news for the rest of us. Oddly, this aspect isn’t highlighted, or even mentioned, in the conventional media, all of which, we must remember, is corporate-owned – just like supermarkets – and is unlikely to be presenting a point of view sympathetic to the interests of the consumer. Instead, we read about the ready availability of cheap food. I don’t think this is cheap. I think we pay a terrible price as wealth earned and bought in by the residents of a community is promptly sucked out of it, not redistributed locally as it could be thus enriching communities. I can’t see any place in a community-oriented culture for supermarkets at all. Probably worth mentioning in this context that the Grand Poobah of Tesco and so all supermarkets by association is Sir Terry Leahy, who was plain old Terry Leahy till he was knighted by Tony Blair. When you understand the damage that supermarkets actually do, when you begin to grasp the deleterious effect they have on communities and see the praise they get from those elected to represent the interests of those communities you realise that neither politicians nor corporations are really on our side in anything at all.


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