Quite Understandable

Seems as though the British holiday camp chain Pontins is in hot water with the Gummint Over There.

You see, they’ve apparently been using a hmmmm social filter when booking people into their establishments, to whit:

Pontins used a secret blacklist titled ‘undesirable guests’ to ban customers with 40 common Irish surnames in a bid to stop Traveller families booking holidays at its resorts.
Families with surnames including Boyle, Doherty and Gallagher were all barred by the company, with staff told ‘we do not want these guests on our parks’.
Employees also monitored calls and refused customers with Irish accents.

Why oh why do they hate the Irish so?  (I know, I know, but stay with me here.)

Discriminatory practices included the ‘undesirable guests’ list, published on its intranet page, monitoring calls within its contact centre and refusing or cancelling any bookings that were made by people with an Irish accent or surname, and using its Commercial Vehicles policy to exclude Gypsies and Travellers from its holiday parks.

Ah, now all is explained.  You see, when (the mostly-Irish) gypsies descend on a place, several things happen, none of them good:

  • Petty crime increases (pickpocketing, burglary, bagsnatching and car theft, to name but some)
  • Violent crime increases (armed robbery, fights that often turn deadly, and murder)
  • Ordinary law-abiding people see all this and leave, often never to return
  • When these parasites eventually leave, they leave behind scenes like this:

So to the bedwetters and handwringers:  It’s not racism;  it’s self-preservation.

Because That’s Why

As Britishland begins to emerge ever so slowly from its Chinkvirus lockdown foolishness, businesses are being allowed to open, one sector at a time.  Which leads to squeals like this:

Gym boss spending £20,000 a month furloughing staff slams Boris Johnson for reopening pub beer gardens before fitness centres as she asks ‘why isn’t health a priority?’

Here’s my problem with arguments like this.  Instead of arguing the unfairness of pubs opening before gyms and wanting gyms to be given preference, she should be asking why gyms and pubs shouldn’t  open at the same time.

And it’s all about the definition of “health”, isn’t it?  I for one resent the assholes who think that we should all be physically healthier — whereas there’s an equally- or even more-important “social” health, that of companionship and shared good times that would be improved by the opening of pubs.

Moreover, just from a pure numbers perspective, I bet that there are untold millions of people all over Britain lining up to go to their favorite pub — or any pub, for that matter — whereas there are only a few thousand (largely) urbanites waiting to go and hit the treadmills.  If there’s a utilitarian argument (which seems to be what the unkempt Boris Johnson is following), it’s that opening pubs will give pleasure to the greatest number of people — and that if there’s a priority, it should be to the general public rather than a relatively-small number of smug and self-satisfied health-obsessed scolds.

Here are the two arguments:  “Go to the pub and have a good time” vs. “Go to the gym because you should be fitter (unspoken:  you overweight slob).”

No prizes for guessing which argument will (and should) win, every time.

Screwing Up The Brand (2)

Following on from yesterday’s post about Stella Artois peeing in their own soup comes yet another example of marketing silliness:

Country star Luke Combs has apologized for appearing with Confederate flags, saying he is now aware of how painful that flag is.

Ummm Luke, bubba:  the Confederate flag may be painful to some, but it is not painful to your audience.

And just so we’re clear on the concept:  that “audience” would be the folks who buy your albums, attend your concerts and wear your T-shirts;  and in a pure head count they probably outnumber the flag-hating weenies by 25,000 : 1.

Now I don’t know if continuing to display the Stars and Bars at your concerts would disenchant folks in the crowd — just in passing, I bet your next concert will reveal an absolute sea of Confederate flags in the audience — but I’m pretty sure that a whole bunch of your fans are going to be mightily pissed off that you took a knee towards the Politically-Correct Set.

And the problem with doing that is that these woke bastards are never satisfied, especially after you do it once.  Expect your lyrics to come under scrutiny from now on:  references to cheating women will be labeled “gender-hatred”, singing about booze will be considered as encouraging alcoholism, and forget your pickup truck, that gas-guzzling ozone-destroying monster.

And if a country singer can’t sing about love, booze and trucks, there’s fuck-all left for him to sing about.


Oh, and a postscript:  just wait till the vegans see this pic…

I should also point out that until I wrote this post, I’d never heard of Luke Combs.

Screwing Up The Brand

One of the things that drives historians (well, this historian anyway) crazy is that people just refuse to learn from history — no matter how much precedent there is for a situation where doing X results in Unpleasant Consequence Y, we just go ahead and do X anyway, expecting that the outcome won’t be total shit and that anyway, Times Are Different.

Example:  when Coca-Cola tried to change Coke into New Coke back in the mid-1980s — because The Market Has Changed, And We Need To Move With The Times — a storm of furious resistance from their loyal consumers forced them to recant and relaunch Coke as Classic Coke, going back to the same old formulation of super-sweet battery acid that the world had come to know and love.  (New Coke, eventually, went the way of its erstwhile spokesman Bill Cosby.)

The Coca-Cola fiasco should be taught in business schools everywhere, and should be an integral part of any company’s training in marketing.  It’s not the first time it happened, of course;  but it was one of the more illuminating examples of leaving your established brand alone, and all the more notable because it involved a mere carbonated soft drink, surely one of the most irrelevant and disposable products ever invented.

Clearly, the Coke fiasco has either been forgotten or willfully ignored, because:

Stella Artois owners Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I say they’ve lowered the alcohol content in its canned, draft and gluten-free versions to capitalise on the popularity of “wellness trends”.
It last cut ABV from 5% to 4.8% in 2012 citing “evolving” drinking trends in the UK.

Let’s not forget the role of the bean-counters:

But the move is said to have saved previous brewers AB inBev up to £8.6million a year in duty, according to alcoholpolicy.net.

And the result?

The latest reduction has left beer lovers fuming and sparked a surge in one star reviews across supermarket websites from customers.

In a scathing review on Tesco’s website, the person wrote: “Today I cracked open a can of Stella 4.6% and thought I had Covid, since I could not taste anything.”

I have no dog in this fight:  Stella Artois has always been my supporting argument when I state that contrary to popular belief, the Belgians know fuck-all about making a decent beer*.

It appears that they know fuck-all about marketing the foul stuff, either.


*As I recall, the Belgies were the first to start adding fruit flavors to their beer, which just proves my point.

Down With Gravity

I absolutely love it when the Left ignores not only commonsense but history.  Such as here, in (of course) California:

A new “Hero Pay” mandate in Long Beach, California has inadvertently cost some frontline grocery workers their jobs.
Ralphs and Food 4 Less, both owned by the parent company Kroger, announced Monday that they will be closing 25% of their stores in Long Beach after the city council passed an ordinance requiring companies with over 300 employees nationwide to pay employees an extra $4 per hour.

There’s nothing “inadvertent” about this, because an Economics 101 student could have seen it coming.

In an industry which runs on 2.5% net margins and where savings of 0.15% on costs can end up with a promotion to VP, adding $4/hour to an already-high California $14 makes it inevitable that management would close two stores to keep that district’s aggregate costs down.

What’s even worse is that the city council’s actions were unnecessary.  Just about everywhere, supermarket employees were raking it in during the various Chinkvirus lockdowns through overtime, as demand for product in many cases outstripped the stores’ ability to restock shelves, or else led to more frequent deliveries, which meant that shelf-packers needed to work longer hours to refill front-store real estate.  This is not just anecdotal, but hard fact, and if the Long Beach city council had had an ounce of smarts, they would have known all about it.  But no-o-o-o.  They had to make a grand gesture to “reward” the “heroic” supermarket workers, and now about five hundred of said heroes will be out of a job.  Some reward.

The common sense part is also lacking.  As any fule kno, if you drive up overhead in a part of any business, that part will either be scaled back, replaced with a cheaper option or else eliminated altogether.  It is common knowledge that in the face of “living wage” demands and impositions, the fast-food industry (which has higher margins than supermarkets) is working on replacing high-cost workers with robots.  Supermarket work is more complicated than fast food work, so robotics could only go so far (and not very, in most cases) to reduce staff costs.  Hence:  store closings.

Of course, I said “as any fule kno”, but the Left and gummint [some overlap]  are, as always, not going to let little things like commonsense and experience get in the way of Marxist principle or virtue-signaling.

The key here will be if they can repeal this stupid ordinance before Kroger closes the stores — assuming that they even want to do that and be shown up as the fucking morons they are.

Don’t hold your breath.