Monday, September 7, 2009
In the Blogosphere, well on our little corner of it anyway, we focus our attention on the government and attack them for every step they take against us. We shout from the roof tops to anyone that will listen, and quite rightly so. We all know that they are a worthy target of our contempt.
Perhaps we are devoting to much of our attention against the one, very obvious, target. Now, don't misunderstand me, they are a totally deserving of our collective derision and long may we continue. But is it the full picture?
An example of the point I am meandering towards is the growing domination of big corporate business in our lives.
Take Tesco. A hugely successful business, no doubt about that. Largest retailer in the UK and third largest in the world (after Wal-Mart and Carrefour). They know how to run a business and they do it well. Say 'Tesco' and everyone thinks of groceries. But there is more, much more, to them than that.
It was this story that got me thinking. They clearly think they can do as they please. But, that's business I suppose. It's a cut throat world and that's just the way it is, regardless of ethics. Money makes the world go round.
Now, here is the scary part.
How many people have, pretty much, handed over control of their lives to Tesco? Think about it. It's not just tins of beans and laundry powder I'm talking about. They have the ability to influence nearly everything to do with your existence. Pretty soon, they will call the shots, just like they are doing with their unfortunate suppliers.
Nationwide, they currently have 31% of the UK market. In some areas they are totally dominant and entire towns are nearly reliant on the mighty T. Campaigns have sprung up throughout the country to fight against the all conquering monster.
And that's just the shops. A quick look at the scope of their business and it's obvious that they can easily provide you with everything you need to live your life, (but on their terms), from health insurance to internet services.
Add this together with the clubcard they conveniently 'offer' us, which records every detail of what we buy and when. Tesco sell this data to others and I wouldn't be surprised if the government and other agencies buy this data too. It all adds up to 'scary shit' if you ask me.
Every little helps, indeed.