Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Word of the day Trolleygarchy*

The plaudits go to Tim Farron Lib Dem Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary (pictured right) for using the word in the following comment.

"For too long, Britain’s food market has been dominated by a 'trolleygarchy' that has seen profits monopolised by the big supermarkets.

"While the Tories want to sound tough, today’s announcement is like fighting a gun battle with a water pistol.

"Farmers will only get a fair deal if a new regulator is given the teeth to enforce a strict, legally binding code governing the relationship between supermarkets, suppliers, and pricing.

"It is to its shame that the Government has colluded in the dominance of the supermarkets by failing to follow through on explicit recommendations from its own Competition Commission to establish a genuinely independent regulator."

The Westmorland MP was speaking as both Hilary Benn and Nick Herbert were addressing the Oxford Farming Conference. Mr Benn was talking about Labour launching a voluntary code of practise between the supermarkets and farmer. He said:

"We are looking at the Competition Commission's recommendations. It is a very important report that they have produced.

"We have already agreed there is going to be a new code of practice to govern these kind of relationships, which will come in next month, and we are considering how best we can enforce that."

Mr Herbert was promising that the Tories would introduce an ombudsman to "curb abuses of power which undermine our farmers". Herbert went on to say:

"It is not enough to talk loosely about a fair market or the need for better labelling.

"We need action, with a supermarket ombudsman and legislation to enforce honest labelling if the retailers won't act."

This comment from the National Farmers' Union president, Peter Kendall, speaks volumes about the Tories (who yesterday weren't sure of their tax and marriage proposals):

"While we await further details of the Conservatives' proposal with interest, we would look forward to working with any government that sees the creation of a grocery market ombudsman as a priority in delivering the Competition Commission's recommendations in full."

So the Tories are saying the right things without giving the details again of just what they are going to do. How loosely is Mr Herbert talking? Does he actually have a plan or just the sound bites?

I thought on Saturday Dave said that from Saturday they were going to spell such things out? Maybe I was mistaken. Do we have a spelling ombudsman.

Read also: If the squekly wheels on your trolleygarchy take you there visit Jock Coats who considers what a Liberal approach should be.

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