Balance of power

It would have been more to the point if The National had challenged unionists’ hysterical reaction to suggestions of a Tunnocks boycott on grounds of rationality rather than disparaging those making such suggestions.

The National pretending that this is just about advertising is every bit as fallacious and/or disingenuous as British nationalism’s buckled trumpets pretending that the  wilder and weirder postings on social media are representative of the entire independence movement. The reality is that Boyd Tunnock was quite explicit about the packaging changes being intended for the purpose of promoting a unionist message.

The question that we should be addressing is why it is supposedly OK for business people to use their clout in the service of a particular political agenda, but somehow deplorable if consumers use such power as they have to further their interests.

During the first referendum campaign we saw employers quite openly threatening their workers with the loss of their jobs if they dared to vote Yes. This was deemed by the British establishment to be perfectly acceptable behaviour. But when anybody so much as hinted at the possibility of the workforce and/or the public making a perfectly proportionate counter-threat, the British establishment was provoked to paroxysms of outrage.

We know also that businesses were organised to act collectively in defence of the power, privilege and patronage of the ruling elites of the British state through interventions by, among others, David Cameron.

By what reason or logic is corporate power legitimate but consumer power not? If there is no moral, ethical, or legal impediment to companies using their might for political purposes – either separately or as organised by the Prime Minister of the UK – then how can there be any reasonable objection to consumers using their purchasing power in an identical way – either individually or as organised through Facebook?

Asking, and attempting to answer such questions would have made for the kind of powerful and provocative editorial that this most definitely isn’t.


About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Balance of power

  1. This brainwashing has been going on for some time with the little union flags placed on food packaging even when the commodity is grown or made in Scotland. I have an unerring eye for these and do not buy them but look for a Saltire or nothing on the packaging. Producers are possibly being coerced into this, or they are like Boyd Tulloch.


  2. I agree wholeheartedly Peter A Bell and the fact that he [ Boyd Tunnock could relinquish his heritage so easily…disgusts me. All in the name of greed.. Where was the journalistic scrutiny? Certainly not in the National.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barely one television programme can be seen without a union flag appearing somewhere, as an advertising promotion, or draped across soft furnishings, clothing, plane tails, and ship bows. On a recent holiday numerous guests were brashly sporting t-shirts, swimming trunks and towels with the red, white and blue logo – not small, but large in everyone’s face. No other nationality of guests shouted their country of origin in this way.

    I’m not sure why people are making such a fuss about Tunnocks. Their stuff is poor quality, much better to have some fruit. In supermarkets I now refuse to buy items with union flags on the packaging. My choice, and I have, as Peter says, a right to do it. Nor do I have any problem with others taking such a decision. Business is about markets, and providing what the market wants tin order to be successful. If the market doesn’t want union flags on the goods it buys, then manufactures will get the message and will no longer put them there. Consumers do have power, we just need to use it.


    • Peter A Bell says:

      Good point about consumer power. Look at how Fair Trade goods have become a common sight on supermarket shelves. That was entirely consumer-driven. Big business dreads collective action by consumers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s