It seems that we are not the only ones who have lost patience with Lidl!
Entries from September 2004 ↓
I don’t know if ever I told you that my first ever job was as a junior-trainee-photocopying-kid in the library of the Labour Party. It doesn’t have one now of course but in those days (the mid-eighties) it was still quite a big affair. Anyway, I still have a great affection for the Dewey System and musty books.
This morning I spent time at the library in West Bromwich as part of the largest coffee morning in the world. We had a hoot. Firstly, we were entertained by Alfie, one of our famous Black Country poets.
Then I met Richard Neath. Talented man. He was made redundant last November and has since completed his first novel and published it himself. I read the first few chapters whilst in the library and can recommend it.
Former blogger Jackie D. emails to point me in the direction of a new e-government blog, Ideal Government. Love the mastehead.
Political blogging will never be the same again as the most charming opponent an MP could want has got himself a blog.
Sometime ago I voiced great frustration at the behaviour of the pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap retailer, Lidl. They had refused to answer any of my letters. I’d started moaning about them on the blog with the effect that the comments moved up the rankings in google. The company suddenly became very attentive and acted on the complaints of my constituents. The effect of the mini-campaign was very instructive. I began to receive regular emails from angry customers around the UK who had not had their complaints listened to. Finally, I received a call from a journalist in Norway. Lidl were trying to buy a chain of stores there. He’d done a google search and found my comments. I still get compaints, so many in fact, that I blogged that the campaign was formally over. Sometime during the middle of the campaign though, I began to receive peculiar emails that were very similar. They were strangely angry that I could single out poor old Lidl for complaint. They told me about how Lidl were excellent at finding value for their customers. They read like an extract from a company brochure.
“When managers start sending out long emails to protestors, it also sends out a loud and clear message that our campaigns are having an effect. Our email messages are being received, counted and read.” Quite so.
The house is debating and the protestors are more or less peacefully demonstrating. It’s funny to see the images on Sky News that make it look like there’s a huge riot. It’s certainly not feeling like that from where we are.
UPDATE: well mostly peaceful, at least!
A number or rudimentary things have had to be learnt this week. Amongst them:
1. Finally working out how to use a pager.
2. Understanding the difference between new clauses, clause stand parts and amendments.
3. Why debates on committees are taken in the way they are ie in no particular order relating to the sequence of clauses in a Bill. Confused?
Best letter of congratulations and no, I won’t reveal the name of the author:
You’re a jammy devil and I burn with rage and envy……well done, comrade. A promotion well-deserved and proof, if it were ever needed, that I was right to suck up to you since the election….”
Who said that MPs don’t have a sense of humour?
I knew that if I didn’t post the promotion to the most junior position in government on the site quickly, some wag would do it for me! Anyway, blogging and being a whip, I’ll have to think about. My instincts are that it’ll be ok though. I’ll just have to be a little less cruel to those very nice people in the Liberal Democrats
To the regular readers who have been kind enough to email – many thanks, it means a lot.
Maybe because they know I need cheering up before the 6.29am trek to the capital tomorrow, I’ve been sent some really, really great links this week. I don’t usually stick them all on this site being an MP and all, but why not:
1. Fatty Arbuckle’s mug shot
2. Document of the month page from the national security archive in the States. See the playlist they used in ‘operation just cause’ against Norieaga or the top secret Farsi phrases that were issued in the emergency kits for the Iran hostage rescue mission.
3. The converter for all of the world’s 180 currencies.
4. Wanna make the world a better place? Geek? You need Geekcorps.
5.”All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power” and other one liners.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that I’m a former deputy treasurer of the all party parliamentary music group (long story for another time). I’ve pondered on the music industry for years now. It struck me that the industry just didn’t have an adequate response to the chasmic leaps in technology that confronted it. Rather like the vain attempts of the French to keep their language frozen in time, the music industry couldn’t deal with file sharing and all that clever stuff. They had a problem. I mean we can not allow the old-napster-style-sites to drive our talented artists into starvation. For every Bono there are a thousand artists trying to pay the bills at the end of the month after all. So what did the industry do? King Canute like, they tried to pretend nothing was happening and started arresting their customers – not a particularly productive exercise in the long run. What they lacked was a new business plan; one that accepted that the online revolution wasn’t going away.
I might be wrong but Radio Paradise might just be the plan they need. I might also be way behind the times here. But an online radio station, with a varied playlist, that allows you to download the music by the artists playing on the site and gives you helpful info on each track, is a new and welcome development, to me at least. Surely this is the way the industry should be configuring itself? One last thing – this kind of model will probably only work if the music is cheaper than at present. That’s a bit of a leap for the industry to make but I have a hunch that we’ll all spend the same amount on more varied choices of music – music our peers recommend to us, not the marketing people.
Now, shoot me down in flames for being a; wrong and/or b; way behind the times.
“Never Give a Sucker an Even Break went the title of a W.C. Fields comedy. Never give a public figure the benefit of the doubt is the credo I’ve come to accept. Case in point. Laura Bush……”
Latest journo turned blogger James Woolcot is going to get a big following if his early posts are anything to go by.
If there was a vote to ban hunting with dogs in the next three months, how would you vote? I’m interested in what the blogosphere thinks on this. All I’m looking for is a “ban” or a “don’t ban” in the comments section but feel free to add more if you would like too. If I get a decent turnout of blogging views, I might try and mention them in the debate. Can you also mention whether you live in the UK or not.