Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pulling the Woolworths over our eyes

It's no secret that housos in Balmain are slaves of Woolworths, either as casual workers or shoppers. Without cars to transport our shopping we're a captive market to a store which, according to locals, capitalises on its relative isolation by charging outrageous prices. While DH doesn't know if this is true or not, as she doesnt have the car to zip around Sydney's malls to compare prices, even if it isn't, the place is a thorn in everyone's side. And that's simply for being an eyesore, a blot on a historic landscape by a company that makes huge profits from the local area, and feels no obligation to fit in. This is not helped by Leichhardt Council's pitiful attempt at civic landscaping in the forecourt (Photo following and see below).

Now DH swears that she has never in her life listened to Alan Jones until this week, preferring Auntie for her breakfast shot of political spleen. But maybe she should listen more often.

Woolworths: Unfair Trade Practises and Irresponsible Alcohol Service

Jones has been doing a very worthwhile number on Woolworths: yesterday exposing its pricecutting/ transfer pricing tricks to squeeze out local businesses, and today, revealed that in Moree, while the local pubs conform to a code of responsible alcohol service in an attempt to reduce the devastation of alcoholism, particularly amongst the Aboriginals in the area, Woolworths refuses to come to the party. No excuses given with profit the obvious motive. Woolworths begins selling alcohol at 7am in the morning to the local desperates.

And what's more astonishing, Woolworths owns nearly 300 pubs in Australia, and its gaming profits last year were $1 billion! Better check the figure folks, it seems astounding,

While DH is not yet about to embrace Alan Jones, and suspects he's either in the pay of Coles or the Hotel Industry Lobby, she reckons she's going to do her best to do her shopping elsewhere. DH actually recalls the golden 70's in Balmain, where she lived for 5 years and did all her shopping, along with the rest of the suburb, at the local greengrocers. She only set foot in Woolworths once or twice in that whole time. No one she knew would have been caught dead in it! How times change, and especially when you're poor. No avoiding a mutual pernicious relationship with the chainstores.

Leichhardt Council should focus on infrastructure not fringe groups

Talking about the tragic appearance of the Woolworths Forecourt, the Village Voice recently compared Marrickville, Leichhardt and Canada Bay Councils' attitude to getting involved in global issues. The last time DH was in Concord, she was envious and knocked out by what a great buzz the new Concord Village had acquired in the years since she was last there. Why can't we have that in Balmain, whose grubby, spotty pavements, general air of disrepair, and neglect are getting truly depressing.

DH couldn't help drawing the conclusion that there was an inverse relationship between the cleanliness of a municipalities pavements and the degree of Councils involvement in global politics.

DH has no objection to Leichhardt involving itself in a truly popular political cause that is clearly supported by the overwhelming majority of the community. But the council has thrown way too much time, and therefore money, away, at the behest of the "Friends of Hebron", a fringe group that is not even located in the area, time that would have been better spent on organising a cleanup of the streets. And let's not even mention the worst of the lot for pavements and political meddling, Marrickville.


Anonymous said...

FYI DH, Woolworths is a company that employees thousands of people. At the end of the day you can choose to shop anywhere you like, but the fact remains that the big supermarkets like woolie, coles and franklins keep the prices down due to their huge buying power. Who can afford to shop at the corner store. It is a nice sentiment but not practical. If you are so hard up for cash, why dont you get a job like everyone else.

DH said...

Typical redneck response. Don't read the print, just charge in the direction of the red flag that's waving in your head. Defend "market forces", then reach for the nearest "dole-bludger" to bash to complete the argument. Your assumption that DH is unemployed says more about you than reality.