Category Archives: Supermarkets

Final Considerations On Polling Day – Essential Matters

The first question you need to ask yourself if you planning not to vote or to vote NO is what sort of country in which you wish to live?

You can live in a country that gets governed by a government it votes for about a third of the time or a country which always gets the government for which it votes. Quite simple that one.

In my memory (I’m 66) Scotland has always been a country with a social conscience, wanting to look after the sick, the disabled, the underprivileged and protect the old and infirm. People in need have always been a priority among the majority of Scottish politicians of all parties. It seems to be in the Scottish nature. We all know that these principles are currently being undermined by a Westminster government which prefers to spend money on English high speed rail lines and Trident while it sends Scottish citizens to the food banks and imposes a bedroom tax on disabled people whose needs mean that they cannot sleep in the same room as their married partners.  The Scottish Government has mitigated this by stealing money from other parts of their Westminster hand-out to compensate those people so that they don’t have to have all the anxiety of moving away from their friends to a smaller property. In fact there are no smaller properties and so they just get the financial penalty.

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You Really Have To Separate The Lies From The Truth

Let’s take them one at a time.

BANKS

Darling said, on national television today that all of the banks have said that they will move business south.

The truth is that NONE of them are moving jobs to England. They are considering the possibility of having to be registered in England instead of Scotland, but a registered office is nothing more than that, “A place where the business is registered.” RBOS actually said there would be no jobs moving south in an official letter. So was Darling lying? Yes he was and it is very scary and some people will believe the scare stories.

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I Wonder Who Would Be Foolish Enough To Think Everyone Carrying Guns Would Make The World A Safer Place?

The insanity of the gun cultureFollowing on from my last post about hand guns, recently a teacher in the UK was killed by a 15 year old pupil carrying a knife.

As my views on gun control are so well known it was only to be expected that I was hit by several comments along the lines, “so what are you going to do now, ban knives?” Continue reading

The world is a poorer place

One of the finest wines to partake with turkey is a good Gewurtztraminer. The Hugel Vendenge Tardive is one of the best. Here you can see a fine example.
Hugel Gewurtztraminer in its distinctive labelled bottle

How long ago it now seems when you could go into Oddbins in Inverness and have lengthy discussions with manager Gary over the wines which were available. I even remember one occasion when he told me I might be able to get the red I wanted, Chateau de Pez, St Estephe at Victoria Wine. Now THAT  is quality retailing and we always came back to him.

It is a sad fact of life that the supermarkets, with their huge purchasing power and ability to loss-lead or discount have pushed most of the dedicated wine merchants out of the High Street.

But, when I went into the new Tesco at Holm Mills they did not have a single Gewurztraminer in stock. This is a traditional wine to take with turkey, although the vendenge tardive might be a little on the sweet side, the classic is not. It should be served only slightly chilled, not ice cold.

So, today, in the large Tesco at Stonyfield I tried again and found one cheap French Gewurtztraminer. No class, just bog standard. These supermarkets have caused quality wine merchants to close their doors. Fine if they took on a range of the classic wines, but no, they find the cheapest bog standard wine they can. I dare say I’d not find a Hugel north of Edinburgh now … does anyone know different? These wines should be in stock year round, but to not have a decent selection at Christmas is bordering on the criminal. How I miss Gary and Oddbins!

While on the subject of wine, they include a bottle of wine at £9.99 in with their meal offer which includes a main course, side dish and desert plus the wine all for a tenner. So we are meant to believe that we are getting a £10 Chardonnay thrown in with that deal. Who is kidding who?

With such practices the world is a much poorer place. Replace the great with the bog standard, do special deals with suppliers which allows massive mark-ups then mark them down as discounted to fool the punter. Is it really necessary?

I headed this “the world is a poorer place” and certainly it is now that the supermarkets have exercised their stranglehold on the specialist shops. Soon they’ll all be gone and we’ll all be the losers of that vital component, REAL quality.