Friday, 6 March 2015

Taste The Difference

The flapping and squawking over election TV debates between the leaders of parties is of little interest.

The last party political broadcast we attempted to watch was by George Brown, the excitable, often tired and emotional senior Labour man, I think in 1970.  Enough was enough.  The news bulletin snatches etc. tell us we have not missed much.

As a way to make any judgement about the persons, policies or their abilities to do the job it is a very bad one, a lot less reliable than buying an expensive device from a cold caller or door knocker.

There are times when it is good to know you are not alone and indeed there are others out there who have the same disquiet about what we do and how we do it in terms of governance and all its ramifications.

This article by Jenny Manson today in Open Democracy via the Camden New Journal on "What's Wrong With HMRC" explains in a terse and direct short item why so much is going badly wrong.  She cites the recent work done by "Private Eye" in this field which for some time has been trying to chart the murky waters of tax, government and associated business interests.

In short it is about the madness of the managerial fixations that have been applied across the board in so many entities and organisations for which they are entirely wrong and too often damaging and harmful.

A very different issue which may seem well removed from this is the latest Joanna Blythman book on what is in our foods and how and why it is put there. This article is a rather longer and fuller item which needs reading through, especially if you might have a wind problem.

We have the book and on the cover flap it says:


The paramount goal of the modern food processing industry isn't giving us healthy life sustaining food, but manufacturing lucrative products at the lowest possible production cost, using every trick in the book. It is aided and abetted in this mission by powerful supermarkets that have more to gain from selling us complex multi-ingredient foods than honest to goodness whole foods.


Joanna sticks to her quality of food brief and gives sources.  But there are other drivers in this business.  There is the globalisation of food supply and trade; sharply rising population and above all the creation of mega financial companies who own and run the show.

For the UK and a number of European countries we have major deficits between home demand and supply of food which entail a reliance on foreign and other sources.  The USA may soon follow.  What that might do to pricing is an interesting question.

How these companies etc. are run is now what matters, not what they are run for.  What defines what is important is financial performance, profit and funding other monetary related activity, which may or may not have much to do with food.

In the present election campaign there is a lot of debate and taking up positions on tax and the spending that is being promised so easily and freely.  But the question of food supply, the problems pending in the future and how it is run are all ignored.

We could soon find that leaving it to the managers and money men and their ideas about what they are for will leave us both hungry and broke and there will be little tax to be had to do anything.

1 comment:

  1. If it wasn't for the humour I'd give up on Private Eye as too depressing.