Sunday, 14 September 2008

Communists, capitalists and millionaire magicians

Am I a closet communist? If it's hereditary then it's entirely possible seeing as my Granda McLaughlin was blacklisted many moons ago for being one. I realise I'm simplifying the capitalist / communist argument but indulge me for a moment. I watched TV today, it's a novel but not terribly satisfying experience these days. So whilst watching I saw an ad with Paul Daniels promoting a Tesco website that compares car insurance prices.

Now I try to put my loathing of PD aside (the only good thing to come from him was the immortal line from Mrs Merton to the lovely Debbie D when she asked: "so, Debbie, tell me, what was it that attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"!)

Anyway, the communist in me. Tesco is putting a lot of money into an ad campaign to promote its new website which is directly competing with other smaller websites and I'm sitting there thinking "why?". It's not like Tesco doesn't have enough money, it made £2.8 billion in profits last year. And it's not like there aren't plenty of other websites doing EXACTLY the same thing. This Tesco website will only be successful if it takes business away from the smaller websites which it's likely to do given that they can afford "the millionaire Paul Daniels" to promote it. And if they take business away from the smaller websites, people will lose their jobs and smaller companies lose money. Again, Tesco doesn't need the money so why do it? Is it just about crushing the competition?

Those were the thoughts going through my head and I realised I'm really not into the capitalist way of thinking am I? And I don't think I'd be a terribly good business person if I kept feeling sorry for my competitors. So whilst I may not be a communist at heart either, I think I'm probably best sticking to the honourable profession that politics should be and for many of us, still is - a profession that's about creating a better world for all of us to live in rather than one that's just about making as much hard cash as possible, regardless of who gets hurt.

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