Apollo Greed – Published: 15 Sep 2006

1. One for your web-heads to kick off…
http://emptybottle.org/bullshit/

2. We all know Tesco is an evil monopolistic greed machine, but after reading this news about them taking on Argos, I did feel just a slight sympathy for them.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/supermarkets/story/0,,1861699,00.html

Basically they’ll move into someone else’s patch (as they do, relentlessly) by launching Tesco Direct, a home shopping service which will have (slightly) better home delivery options (i.e. they’ll deliver when you are actually at home – who knew anyone wanted that?) than Argos – thus beating them!

If it were anyone other than Argos you might care. But, frankly, Argos deserve to be wiped of the face of the shoddily inferior self-assembly home furnishings planet. http://www.tescopoly.org/

3. On the subject of rampant greed… Anyone seen what they are doing to the Brunswick Centre? I went there recently to visit SKOOB – a good secondhand bookshop – only to find the urban planners were re-modelling the place. SKOOB is no more.
http://www.thebrunswickproject.co.uk/

This is what the planners say they have done: They have created “…a fresh dialogue between the architecture of The Brunswick Centre, the local community and the general public.” Presumably that ‘fresh dialogue’ involves people spending all their money in bunch of chain stores.

Look. If you are an urban planner, why don’t you just kill yourself now? We need a cull. Then we need to start again. Everything you stand for is wrong. 

If you don know this area, it’s another quirky corner of London that’s about to have all the living quirk kicked out of it. The quirk (second hand bookshops, camera shops, independent restaurants etc.) is being be replaced by cleaned up ‘space’ home to a giant Waitrose, Starbucks, Specsavers and on and on.

It’s being turned into yet another High Street Anywhere.

_________________

Worth Waiting For

The definition of democracy is, or should be, this: the choice between two middle-aged, middleclass white men with similar views.

Democracy is worth fighting for, we are reminded quite often. We have one. And we must preserve it!

We seemingly bombed Iraq into being a democracy. They can now vote. The choice will now be two or three similar men in suits, they get to put one of them in charge.

Of course the word democratic should imply a representation of what most of us want, at any given moment.

I live in a democracy, yet I don’t see the majority of people getting their way on anything.

We got Jedi registered as a official religion, thanks to some curious census data. That seems pretty democratic. Trying to be devil’s advocate here, but can’t think of another example.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_census_phenomenon

The Tories admit they made some bad decisions when they privatised the rail network, way back when. Public transport in this country is broken. And forever. Most of us, presumably, voted for them. But did we vote for them to do that? Who can we vote for to undo it? Michael Palin? (if only). 

They made changes that no one voted for. Now the choo-choos are broken. Mmmm, democracy. I’d vote for it to be mended.

I didn’t vote for the Post Office to be privatised. I was happy with it the way it was. I suspect 56 million other people felt roughly the same in the UK. Yet, for the benefit of a few share holders, they privatised it and now it’s broken.

You now have a 60-40 chance of your letter actually arriving. The kind of odds you can reasonably work with?

It’s the same with gas, with electricity, with telephones, with water, our town centres, with traffic calming, our roads, our buses, our airports, cameras watching us (we’re the most watched-by-cameras nation in the whole world).

Did any of you vote fot that?

They keep selling bits of things to private greedsters, for some short term win. I’d vote against that, if they’d let me.

It’s easier than it ever was to be democratic in the digital age. You could send a democratic text. Send ‘build no’ or ‘build yes’ to the Can Tesco Build Another Hypermarket in the middle of your Town and Restructure Your Road Network Vote. Calls cost nothing because it’s democratic.

Just an example.

We should vote on more things, since we can. Anyway. here’s something…

http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Democratic_20dictionary

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