Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Olive oil

For those of you who might have missed it, there's been an announcement that the first Palestinian olive oil has been awarded the fairtrade mark. Very important to the olive growers out there, and will no doubt be welcomed by the people from east Bristol who go out to the West Bank each year to help them pick the olive harvest.


Old Holborn said...

Is this a joke?

Publish figures of how many people from Bristol East go to Palestine to pick fairtrade olives every year, you fruitcake, or I'll speak to my friends in the mainstrean media and really put you on the spot.

Kerry said...

There's a Bristol-Palestine Olive Harvest Group. Small, but very committed. I'm sure Ed will sell you a copy of his DVD if you want it.


I find it hard to believe you have any friends, in the media or at all. You're not a very nice person.

Kerry said...

Old Hormones has replied to say that only ten people from Bristol went out in 2007. And that's Bristol, not east Bristol.

Unfortunately he then added lots of other nasty stuff which meant I couldn't publish his comment.

Did I ever say 'lots of people'? No. I said it 'would please the people from east Bristol who go out there'. And it will.

I'm thinking of four people in particular, including Ed, the film-maker, and M, who came to see me on a parliamentary lobby a few weeks ago.

And this news will make them happy. Like I said.

Old Holborn said...

Hang on, who paid for their flights?

Old Holborn said...

You are truly mental.

Bless you.

Kerry said...

How about trying to saying something sensible about (a) fairtrade or (b) the situation in the Middle East? Or is that beyond you?

Old Holborn said...

wow, an answer.

1. I am an anti Zionist. I believe the people of Palestine deserve their land and that Zionists are murderous thieves and a law unto themselves. Really. I am not anti Jewish, but Zionists are supremacists and I believe we are all born equal. They don't. To them, we (all of us, black, white, yellow, green) are merely "goyim". Google the word. It ain't pretty.

2. Fairtrade is a con. Really. Do some research, Kerry. It is a massive con. It won't lift any poor farmer out of poverty and it won't feed his starving children, no matter what the Co-op says (whilst it adds an extra margin to cover the marketing)

Obnoxio The Clown said...

OK, I'll take Fairtrade for 500: Fairtrade is a commercial organisation which extracts most of the profit from the people under its control. It distorts the market rates for the people it buys from and allows chi-chi idiots to feel a warm, rosy glow while actually doing very little for the people it purports to help and doing a lot for the owners of the Fairtrade brand.

I can see why you like it.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Here's something sensible.

Demented leftie twits like you, through the promotion of the so-called "fairtrade" scheme have caused a distortion of the pricing of commodity goods which leads to overproduction. The certification scheme leads to an insider/outsider arrangement which drives down prices for non-fairtrade producers & stifles innovation, condemning the people in these countries to be permanently economically backward.

But what the hell - it makes the smug prigs of the left feel good.

As for the situation in the middle east... the palestinians are a people who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The Arabs in general should be ashamed of their failure to accomodate the refugees of 1948 (you don't see the Germans keeping the Sudeten Deutsch in a stateless condition, pining for a return to the Alte Heimat, do you?). All they have to do is recognise Israel and they will get land for peace. But it's winner takes all as far as they are concerned and what Lenin once called 'infantile leftists' are happy to support them despite their morally bankrupt suicide bombing campaigns. Israel is a modern democracy (considerably more open & democratic than our society by the way) where Arabs can be & are citizens. Contrast that with the fate of the Jews in countries like Saudi, Yemen or Syria.

Going back to the subject of economics, perhaps you could post on your blog an explanation of why every labour government ends in a recession & devaluation of the currency? Could it possibly be because you people piss money around as efficiently as drunken sailors, until the productive sector of the economy can no longer produce any revenue to support your schemes to turn Britain into a daycare centre for adults?

You've had 11 years. Call an election so we can kick you useless fools out.

Steven_L said...

I don't like the way 'fairtrade' market themselves or the way their minions sometimes do.

They coerce gesture politicans and do-gooder environmentalist/anti-capitalist senior officers of local councils to pay them to obtain 'fairtrade status' (in other words advertise their brand for them).

In order to achieve 'fairtrade status' they have to use ratepayers money to start a program of stamping out all the competition to 'fairtrade'.

This starts in the town hall with petty dictats about the tea clubs and coffee machines. Not long down the line, officers are sent out to whinge at local businesses about selling 'fairtrade' coffee.

It's not fair at all. It all started as a way for some silly pinkos in London town halls to support Marxists in a South American civil war and has now developed into a mainstream anti-coffee market movement, touted by people that don't understand coffee or markets.

I've even heard bureaucrats who promote this stuff basically accuse US multinationals of market abuse based on the evidence in a fictional movie.

I could go on all day about 'fairtrade' but I'll leave a link to the International Coffee Organisation for anyone who is interested.

Search 'fairtrade' on their website and you'll see how much notice they take of it.


Steven_L said...

I will add one more thing.

I heard Anne MacCaig, CEO of Cafe Direct speaking at the Chamber of Commerce Conference earlier this year.

She was on a panel that was asked whether they had ever had any help from regulators.

Rather than admit that her business model relys on 'regulators' (i.e. local authorities) promoting her brand she said that she might have had a little bit of help from Wandsworth Council when she started out but other than that no she hadn't.

There's gratitide for you eh?

Kerry said...

I'm beginning to think you guys live in a parallel universe.

DaveA said...

OH must of got a full refund from charm school, despite making me laugh.

On Palestine and fair trade I rather sit on the fence. It does seem odd that Israel's right to exist is purely because they happened to of lived there 2000 years ago. Saying that the Palestinians show little flair for good government, PR and decent behaviour. In the Gaza Strip when Hamas and Hezboulah started shooting each other dead, they did not strike me as a people who could run a democracy.

Yassar Arafat to me was a two bob terrorist and the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics was an afront to civilisation. In 2001 the Palestinians were offered by Israel their own homeland but negotiations fell down on the numbers of Palestinians were to be re-admited, so my Israeli/Jewish friend said.

When it comes to free trade I have compared prices in the shops and they seem to end up being twice the price than the "exploited" brand. Methinks Tessie SainsTrose is taking the p155.

Kerry, where do the Palestinians export the oil too? I should imagine the French block their import into the EU. Also the obscene subsidies we pay farmers in Europe probably means that the price is only going to appeal to the "right on."

Kerry said...

ActuallY Dave the debate within the EU is about not allowing goods produced by Israel on illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank to benefit from the EU/ Israel free trade agreement.


Kerry said...

PS Sebastian... perhaps you could explain why the Tories are down 7% in the latest poll published, and GB is ahead of Cameron by 11 points as the person most likely to get the economy back on track. He scores 35% against 24% for Cameron.

Bristol Dave said...

perhaps you could explain why the Tories are down 7% in the latest poll published, and GB is ahead of Cameron by 11 points as the person most likely to get the economy back on track. He scores 35% against 24% for Cameron.

1) Because people can be quite stupid and the mainstream media hasn't really been reliable in publishing where Gordon Brown has gone wrong. It's starting to happen but too little too late in my opinion. I could list where he's gone so disasterously wrong but frankly it would take me far too long. I can if you want me to though.

2) David Cameron might be a fairly good representative (better than Michael "I'm not going to eat you" Howard anyway) but he's doing a piss-poor job at pointing out Gordon's failings. I'm not sure what's holding him back, but something is. He could have torn the government to shreds with fiasco upon fiasco that has happened, with shockingly high levels of ineptitude and incompetence, but he hasn't. Therefore a pretty pathetic opposition.

3) People don't really trust George Osborne either.

As I said, my enemy's enemy is not my friend. I hate Labour and all that they've done with a passion, but I don't particularly like the Conservatives either. I just think they're slightly less bad.

Steven_L said...

Labour are digging themselves in a hole.

Although we are all undoubtedbly be in lots of debt to Gordon Brown for saving us from the 'global financial crisis' nothing he is doing is going to stop the perfectly natural correction that is taking place.

When dole queues are approaching 3 million again people will conclude his banking bailout didn't work.

"I might not have saved you from unemployment and negative equity but I saved your bank from going under"

Will not wash with the great unwashed. New Labour are finished for the forseeable future and they know it.

Window Licker said...

"I'm beginning to think you guys live in a parallel universe."

Not so. I'm amazed you're speaking about Olive Oil as if it's of any interest to me. Me being a traditional Englishman who has roast beef on Sunday and Cod 'n' chips on Friday. I'm sure you're not too familiar with my type.

Olive Oil may be useful for the sort of person who likes to drizzle something on their salad to give it a taste of the Med'. If only they could actually grow a lettuce.

What you may wish to spend some time on is rebuilding the manufacturing base of this country and I'll tell you why.

The working man. The rare breed so hated by modern Labour, seen as a cash cow there to tax to support the lazy and feckless, really is more of a requirement than Labour seem to believe. By working man I mean someone who sits behind a drawing board designing world leading products. By working man I mean someone who stands behind a lathe and actually makes something for the country to use. Road builders, farmers, bricklayers and so on. Traditional Labour voters.

Get back to the roots of the Labour Party. Have you even ever been into a working man's club?

Olive oil? Good grief..

Kerry said...

You don't have to read this if it's not of interest.

Mitch said...

The countrys going to hell in a handcart and you witter on about some Guardian reading weird beards flying half way round the world to pick Olives.
Do you have any idea how stupid and out of touch with reality you sound?
So how much do these Olives cost when the flights and hotel costs are included eh? £50 a pound.

no wonder you got gordon as a leader,he sits there on tv eating his own snot and you fret ove Olive bloody oil.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Thank you for posting about fairtrade.

I'm thinking about going into politics when I'm older.

Is it a pre-requisite to be absolutely barking in order to become the MP for Bristol east?

P.S. Old Holborn is very nice - he despises liars and thieves, calls a spade a spade and takes pity on mentalists, prime or other.

Ed Hill said...

It is probably hard for us here in the UK to appreciate the injustice happening in Palestine. But is well documented by creditable organisations, for example by the UN see www.ochaopt.org.

I've visited Palestine three times on trips organised by Zaytoun, the UK cooperative that imports Palestinian olive oil. Our role as (self-funded) peace activist is to help protect farmers and their families during the autumn olive harvests.

Anyone interested in eye-witness accounts of these trips can watch the films at www.BristolComputers4Palestine. Alternatively, DVDs are available on free loan in every branch of the Bristol library service.

Zaytoun also organises tours of the producer farms whose olive oil goes for export. The enormous benefit of this export trade to the producers, their families, and communities is well documented at www.zaytoun.org.

You can also watch a presentation by Zaytoun representatives at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=q6gkxZa1vKI

These speak for themselves. And in the end it's all about fairness and justice for all.

Oh, and BTW I live in East Bristol.

Ed Hill.

lilith said...

I bought some Palestinian Olive Oil last year and gave bottles to friends. Unfortunately it tasted nasty.

Anonymous said...

"Small, but very committed"

Oh yes, exactly the kind of people you and your fellow technocrats forever try to dismiss as a "vocal minority" when we aren't doing and saying just what you want!

Kerry, as one of your constituents, this makes me very angry.

You are the ones living in a parallel universe.

"The working man. The rare breed so hated by modern Labour, seen as a cash cow there to tax to support the lazy and feckless, really is more of a requirement than Labour seem to believe."

Well said Window Licker. Labour need to start remembering what's real, what feeds us, and get their feet back on the ground.

Anonymous said...


As you have admitted that the Palestinian Olive Oil story is of interest to 10 people in Bristol of whom 4 live in your own constituency and perhaps Popeye, perhaps you should rather publish stories that are applicable to the majority of the people of Bristol rather than pandering to a handful of delusional hippies.

You seem to have forgotten who it is that employs you, who keeps you in lentils and fairtrade coffee.

Anonymous said...

I find it truly amazing that people like Window Licker believe, actually believe, that the Bullingdon lot will care more for the working man than Labour do.

Labour has done more than any other govt for the "working man", by a) making work pay and b) getting people off benefits and into work...

But then your definition of the working man is either "someone who sits behind a drawing board designing world leading products" or "someone who stands behind a lathe and actually makes something for the country to use". That's a pretty narrow definition. Why is a policeman not a working man? A doctor? A film director? A teacher? A musician? And what about the working women?

Do you really believe that the Tories would subsidise manual jobs where Labour wouldn't? Honestly?