Saturday, 6 October 2007

Down with

We have just found out that Tesco wants to build a new superstore in Poynton. The residents are furious because we don't actually need or want another supermarket. We have four already, and who needs another supermarket when we have NETTO!!! (This week I saw the most amazing thing in Netto - a violin! Yes, an actual violin in a case for £29.99. Hurry while stocks last). There are all sorts of other considerations as well, like traffic generation, slave labour, etc. but it's our little shops that will come under the hammer.

We have Cheeky Norman the greengrocer, Berky the deli, Dave the cobler, Glenis the health foodshop, Moina the bookshop, a couple of little sweet shops, a freezer shop, two flower shops, Steve the baker, a couple of chemists and Nick the video.

My friend Meg phoned me up and told me about a meeting this morning outside the Civic Hall. I phoned June and Peter (of chicken fame) and a DEMONSTRATION was born! I haven't been to a good demonstration for years!

Well, first thing we went to Parklands Home for the Elderly and hyjacked a few old ladies and wheeled them over. The lady on the right is Madge, one of my Mum's old mates. I got into trouble once for buying Madge fags which she then smoked in her bedroom. Oh dear. Bit of a fire risk, our Madge.

I rather think that the old ladies had been told they were going out for the day. One of them said she wasn't sure what she was doing there. "I come from Edinburgh" she said. "My son is a conservative councillor". We wheeled her back.

June was on telly!

This is June and this is

Peter taking a photo of June on telly. Here are some other demonstrators:

All ages came to demonstrate.

This is our nice policeman and crowd controller.
I asked him what I would have to do to be arrested. He suggested I dragged the Tesco representative out from his hiding place in the Civic Hall, threw him to the ground and jumped on him. That would be an affray, he told me wisely.

The Tesco rep. He left unscathed, incidentally. Doesn't he look like Piers Morgan? I felt quite sorry for him when the normally gentle and mild June gave him a right tongue lashing.

I should have brought Badger along. This is Jess, a very friendly greyhound and I think she could have done with some company. She had an incredible howl, and if she was left alone for more than two seconds, she started up the baying.

One old gentleman started arguing the toss with some council members who were lurking shiftily near the doors of the Civic Hall ready to scarper if any trouble broke out. He got carried away by the occasion and when he called the council members "Tory bastards" the policeman escorted him away. Afterall, there were children present.

Peter ... and ...


At noon Mr Tesco man sneaked away looking embarrased. We decided enough was enough. We had loads of signatures, we have a council meeting to crash on Monday night and Mr Winterton, our MP will be inundated with emails. (

Our honourable friend. What a jovial fellow!

Right, it's off to Berky's for coffee and cakes. He was rushed off his feet with demonstrators. "Pleeeze, you 'ave demonstrations every days?'


tut-tut said...

Hooray for saving the shops! Great photo essay. Who can say no to an old lady in a wheelchair?

We have the same issues here with Wal-Mart--an odious enterprise if ever there was one.

Raelha said...

I love what's written on Madge's demo card.

Is old Nick still MP there? My mum used to vote for him before she left Macc, I'm ashamed to say. I remember being at our school summer fair taking part in a computer game competion. I was busy building up my score when someone behind me made some unctuous comment as to how well I was doing, 't**t' I thought (see, I let you know what my rude words are), and upon glancing round quickly a few second later I saw it was Mr. Winterton, obviously trying to woo the voters while they were young and impressionable and failing miserably.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I agree with everything you have written. There are too many 'big box' retailers taking over the world. Their service and product knowledge is crap. All the little retailers, who used to carry a variety of quality things people actually needed, can't survive, and close down. We have just lost a wonderful outdoor store in town, not able to compete with the big sales held by a chain that has installed itself. Now I need to go on the internet to find some things I used to be able to buy locally.

Ted M. Gossard said...

It's nice to know you folks are real people (I enlarged the photos, and it does look real, not fabricated) with real problems like we have over here.

People go to the cheapest chain stores here to pinch their pennies. Then the private small business owners lose out or really struggle afterwards. Seems almost an inevitable problem everywhere here. And I go to places like Walmart too. I don't even know alternatives. We're just used to shopping where you get the best deals. Tough world.

But I wish you the best on your demos to keep your small town and identity intact.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Well, I should say if you dig you can find alternatives.

In an indeal world we would try to patronize area small businesses. I plead guilty to mostly not doing so.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I agree, I agree, I agree. But it didn't stop our town council giving the go-ahead for WALMART! YUK! And now what's going to happen to all the small stores that are on Main St? Most of them are already dead, and those that are still alive are barely breathing. It's all dentists and hairdressers and lawyers etc.... oh was I ranting? Sorry.

Ju's little sister said...

I do quite like "tesco chainstore massacre," that's brilliant!!

I think the only thing we've won on in Auckland is this - when it became legal for supermarkets to sell wine and beer, the waitakere council did not agree, and so in waitakere people still have to buy beer and alcohol from liquor stores who give a percentage of their profits back to the community.

Everything else is just more chains taking over.

You've done a lot more than most.

Plumpy said...

They are some interesting photos Lorenzo!

I couldn't see any greyhounds though - only a black hound. If she'd started baying around me I would have sorted her out. Dogs need discipline.

Ju's little sister said...

Oooh I voted for you for your piscivorous definition on word imp. After my vote you help 100%

YES 100% !!!!

of the votes.

( total votes, 1 )

The Lone Beader said...

Speaking of that, I boycott Walmart. That corporation is the downfall of our country's economy.

Magdalene said...

Well done for trying. I'm all for a little anarchy, but I somehow feel it'll sadly be in vain. The Tesco monster is unfortunately here to stay until eventually it gorges itself on one local tradesman too many, and finally bursts its grossly overstuffed corpulencence and drowns in its own semi-digested wealth. A bit like the famous Mr Creosote scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. 'Tesco's wafer thin, chocolate mint anybody?'

Lizzy said...

Oh No, Poynton is so lovely, I have fond memories of it in my younger years. Hope Tesco get the hint.

Raelha said...

Magdalene, what a lovely picture you paint. Does this mean we should encourage Tesco to 'eat' more and more in the hope of getting it to the '"waffer" thin mint' stage?!

Tortoiseshell said...

Here's my contribution to your campaign - get in touch with these people, they are the national anti-Tesco mvt.

Merisi said...

You sure it would be a nice move if I sent a mail to that nice fellow? ;-)

(Those ladies on wheels really got an outing today. Careful, you might have to repeat this over and over!)

backpakker said...

Congrats and three cheers ...i hope people here join hands and do something like that as well..all the small guys are being wiped out here as and let live

Merisi said...

I moved to Vienna two years ago (hence the title "Vienna for Beginners" *g*).
Have a nice evening,

Sonia said...

Great reportage! Sounds you live in a nice city!

I found you through Merisi. I am glad I did!

Regards from Sonia, São Paulo, Brazil.

Martin Stickland said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are taking over the world and crushing Farmers and Village Communities
in their path!!

Madge with the fags (love that little story)

Sorry hut my PC has been knackered hence I have not visited you.

Hope you are swell!



Hyde DP said...

Good luck with the fight but I expect it will be an uphill struggle -- they've certainly ruined things in Stalybridge.

Thesaurus Rex said...

Hands up everybody that has NEVER shopped in a Tesco....... Yep, thought as much. It is a major shame that they have taken over the world of food, some clothing, bits and bobs alongside Asda(walmart) and Sainsbury's and Morrisson. I think if it were possible to legislate so that profits above a certain amount were taxed locally and the proceeds used to fund the beautification of areas around such supermarkets, especially the bags flying on the breeze and trolleys in rivers bit, it would be easier on the eye and the pocket. I must agree they are a pain in the arse to some farmers, they should pay their workers at shop floor level considerably more etc. But many small businesses also expoit their workers. I should know, I work in a 7 person organisation knocking out food all day. I live in a big city, there are still lots of little shops selling allsorts of stuff. Some geographical models will suggest that supermarkets in populated ares bring people to them and surrounding businesses. It's a huge and complex argument, fuelled by greed on one hand and service, nostalgia, diversity on the other, to name but a few. My main problem with them is exploitation of markets and workers in this country and more importantly other poorer countries where decent employment choices can be more limited and all the other dodgy as f enterprizes such as tesco dip their grubby fingers into. So much to say, so little space. The war goes on, but fair play to you and the mature cohorts for "'avin' a go" Somebody should.

Magdalene said...

All commenters now in stunned silence in the face of a ranting Rex. How does he manage it?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Wow. When you do a post, LtL, you go all out. All the pics. All the info. So succinct. So clear. So good. So compelling. So everything that's good.

Heh. I just realized I left a comment on this already. Man, these posts are so complex that it's like I never read it before now. Okay. Yes. Get into the 21st century. The rest of the world is catching up, and it's going to be somewhat at our expense. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.......

Raelha said...

Tesco et al are another symptom of what's wrong with life nowadays. Of course most people will have been in one, it's just too convenient not too. We spend so much of our time running around from work to school to home and back again we have no time to amble to our corner shop, saying hello to Doris and Arthur and Phil and the kids on the way, maybe popping into the local deli/caf on the way back for a cup of coffee, or going for a stroll around the park. No, it's much easier to hop in the car, drive across town, wait 15 minutes on the traffic jam outside the superstore before parking and filling up the trolley with food for the next two weeks. One fell swoop and it's done. All you have to worry about after that is going back to work to earn enough money to pay off the modern day ball and chain (as Matt calls mortgages), the brand new car you needed to get so you could go to Tesco in the first place and all the other consumer items that one simply must have.

I think I'll stay up here on my mountain.

Anonymous said...

For letters of objection send them to your local parish council-Poynton or Adlington and also to Macclesfield Borough Council with a copy to our dear Sir Nick.

simon said...

I read the old blokes sign as "Life Sucks"

I laughed my head off thinking "Geez its taken you that long to work it out!" hahahahah

Maalie said...

Hmmm. Will they sell petrol? I will be able to get a lot of Tesco's points on my card when I come to visit you!

Merisi said...

One thing I love about living in my corner of Vienna: All sorts of "corner stores", I do my shopping when walking the dog. I can live without a car. I don't even know if there's a megastore somewhere out there in the boondocks. :-))

Martin Stickland said...

Are you there? Or are you in the slammer, you little rebel you!

My PC is acting silly, can I have yours?

Whilst you are at Tescos can you get those things on my shopping list for me?


Ted M. Gossard said...

This phenomena of chain stores with WalMart being at the forefront of it, though not so much where we live (it's Meijer here) does make it hard on the little guy. I know from what my relatives in Ohio say who own a grocery store in a small town, but are having a hard time because of a chain store that has moved in to a small city near there.

All you can do is what you're doing. It is hard for families that are struggling not to go to the WalMarts of the world to get better deals. Or sometimes those big superstores are convenient because you have nearly everything you're going to buy packed in one store.

So it's an uphill battle.

I would just as soon dispense of cars, get bicycles (or public transportation, or a bunch of small cars) and live as Meresi notes above. I'm a European at heart in a number of ways. Especially when it comes to good beer. Though we have some here as well. But the slower pace and less frenetic work, too.

Martin Stickland said...

Glad you are still speaking to me lorenzybum, do not worry, will will always bother you!

Ju's little sister said...

will will??? Computer glitch?

Barbara said...

Lets know the outcome.

Merisi said...

this blog post of yours is doing double duty: every time something upsets me, I open your blog. And there it's writen, white on black: "Down with". I fill in the rest. Ah, peace at last.
Please warn me before you change your headline. ;-)

Thesaurus Rex said...

Have just been on Mags blog and have realised you've pledged support for her wordimperfect definitions in the event of a vote.
"You get my vote anytime"

I draw your attention to a comment you left on my blog sept 7th. "I always vote for you now on word imperfect no matter how crap the explanation is"

Clearly your loyalty knows so few bounds, it's worth giving everybody a bit.

Anyway, enjoy Craggy, sorry, Holy Island. Do the monks have a sort of Mrs. Doyle and if so I wonder what her name would be?