Thursday, 5 December 2013

Transition Network - smug folk who want higher prices


There's a particular sort - I call them 'local protectionists' - who think the salvation for poor communities, indeed for our economy, is for prices to be higher. That's right folks - there really are people out there who believe poverty will be resolved, sustainability achieved and resiliance maintained by stuff being more expensive.

I've written about Transition Towns before pointing out that they don't do what they claim at all (assuming 'helping the poor' is part of the point) but actively make life worse for the least well off in the communities they colonise.

Their nonsense - dangerous, divisive, damaging nonsense - is encapsulated in this smug post from Rob Hopkins, the daddy of Transition Towns and ruiner of Totnes. The post catalogues Rob's little adventure closing down his Amazon account:

I've done it.  I've closed my Amazon account.  I now stand before you as an ex-Amazon account-holder.  I feel curiously shaky, but at the same time empowered, excited even.

It's OK, the blog calms down a little as Rob explains all about how evil Amazon is as a business and how he not only wanted to close the account but wanted his reasons ('I don't like how you do business') to be registered. Perhaps even tattooed on Jeff Bezos' backside.

And Rob then concludes with a call for higher prices:

Me, I resolve to buy less, but better. Less, but longer-lasting. Less, but local. The thought of where we will end up in 5 years time, 10 years time, 20 years time, if companies like Amazon continue as they are, really frightens me. It's not good, it's not right. It's not about our needs, it's about the needs of huge investors. I want a different world for my boys. I can't, on my own, do that much about it. I can't insist that the UK government legislate so that, as in Holland, the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is the legal minimum at which any book can be sold, although I think that is grounds for a really timely campaign. 

We used to have price fixing for books. Publishers loved it. And books were more expensive (lots more expensive). This smug bloke wants those prices to be higher - for rules to passed to make this so. And for all of us to be less well off.




Beermatscribbler said...

Can't argue with that - I remember 'my' books being an occasional treat as a kid because they were expensive - mind you we made good use of the library and were none the worse for that. My own kids would have had far fewer books if not for cheap offers from evil vendors like Asda and *gasp* Amazon. I have no problem with Amazon as a concept - far better to find a feasible way of making them pay a reasonable amount of tax on UK sales than attempt to stop them selling cheap books.

Tom M said...

Totnes is full of smug wankers like this guy and many more people who can afford to be 'alternative'. Full of Londoners who can afford to run shops which sell nothing but make them feel pseudo-bohemian, this alternative hippy utopia has constantly had a Tory MP since the 1930s- seriously alternative!