The Anonymous Widower

Choose Your Energy Company With Care

This tale from the Observer is entitled Co-operative Energy didn’t bill us, but claims we owe it nearly £1,500.

It probably shows how various get-rich-quick and incompetent groups are entering the energy market.

I wouldn’t have chosen the Co-op, as on their record over the past few years, they seem incapable of organising a piss-up in a brewery.

This is said in reply to the request for help.

Frankly, Co-operative Energy hasn’t had the systems in place to issue ­coherent bills for nearly a year after botching the launch of a new computer system last summer.

 By November it had become the most complained about energy ­company in the country after many of its 500,000 customers received inaccurate bills or no bills at all, and were prevented from fleeing to more switched-on providers.

Surely, there is a case for withdrawing the licence of Co-operative Energy.

I wouldn’t touch them with Nigel Farage’s barge-pole, let alone mine!

Especially, as I’m very happy with Ovo Energy and have no possible reason to change.

They now even pay me for the energy I generate with my solar panels.

August 10, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Water In Glasgow City Centre

In this hot weather, I like to travel with a small bottle of water, so I went into this Co-operative store by Glasgow Central station.

Water In Glasgow City Centre

It was the weirdest shop I’ve ever been in as everything was behind glass partitions. As I couldn’t find any water and a couple of other things I needed, I gave up.

So I went round the corner to a Tesco Express. That was weird too, as it seemed to be full of alcohol and chocolate. I did get my bottle of water though, and I was able to eventually find some EatNakd bars and some tissues.

As in the Co-op, there seemed to be several visitors to Glasgow, wandering aimlessly around looking for what they needed.

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Rats And Sinking Ships Come To Mind

This story on the BBC today,  that the Labour party is cutting its links with the Co-op Bank made me think of the headline of this post.

On the other hand, perhaps the owners of the other 70% of the bank, that the Co-operative Group doesn’t own, aren’t those who wear red underwear?

On the other hsand moving to a bank controlled by the Trade Unions, might not bode well for those who want the Labour party to think pragmatically and outside the box.

April 24, 2014 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | Leave a comment

A Disastrous Year

Not my words, but those of the the Chief Executive of the Co-Operative Group, Richard Pennycock, as reported on the BBC after the groups £2.5billion loss. He went on to add this.

These results should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who doubts just how serious the challenges we face are.

“The scale of this disaster will rightly shock our members, our customers and our colleagues,

The Co-Operative Group of 2015, will be a totally different organisation to what it is now! If it still exists! \which I seriously doubt!

There is one truism in any business that always applies. Unless you are totally professional in all things, then your venture will not succeed, as those that stick to professional principles will put you out of business.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | Business | , | Leave a comment

Was This What Really Annoyed The Board At The Co-op?

Prufrock in The Sunday Times looks into the trouble at the Co-op and has this interesting paragraph.

Apparently, certain senior members of the Co-op movement first decided Sutherland had to be stopped after he cut a long-standing entitlement to first class travel for the 20 board members, whose number includes a farmer, a university lecturer and a nurse. Free travel is a perk that disappeared years ago from all but the most lavish plc boards.

So I conclude that to really live well as a socialist, it has to be at the expense of others.

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Business, News, Transport | | Leave a comment

The Co-Op’s Fancy New Headquarters

One Angel Square is the Co-Operative Group’s new headquarters.

It may have won lots of awards as a green building, but it’s surrounded by a see of that very green symbol, surface level car parks.

I had had difficulty finding the building too, as it wasn’t on any maps in the city centre. To get to the building, you needed to cross a busy dual carriageway.

If it’s a really green building, then surely it should have its own tram stop, but that was a rather shabby walk away.

With the news from the Co-Op this morning of Lord Myner’s resignation, it strikes me that the Co-op these  days is a vanity institution and a gravy train and ego trip for some of those who control it.

April 9, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Will Lord Myners Get Co-Operation?

The BBC has reported on Lord Myners review of the Co-Operative Group.  Here’s the start of the BBC report.

The Co-operative Group spent too much time on takeover deals that proved “breathtakingly value-destructive,” an initial review has found.

Lord Myners’ review is highly critical of the group’s takeovers of Britannia building society and supermarket chain, Somerfield.

Just up the road from me is a new Co-Operative convenience store at Dalston Junction.

The Co-Operative Store At Dalston Junction

The Co-Operative Store At Dalston Junction

From the outside it looks good.

I regularly come home via Dalston Junction station, from where I catch the bus home to avoid a walk, so you’d think I’d be one of their target customers.

But when I did and I was wanting a bottle of wine for dinner at my son’s, there was only one person on the tills, no self-service ones and several people in the queue.

At another time, I went in looking for a Genius loaf.  They did have one, but it was like a plastic bag full of dog biscuits.

The management obviously couldn’t possibly organise a piss-up in the brewery.

I have three convenience stores from the main chains and several independent ones too, all within a short walk from my house. And if pushed, I can walk to the much bigger Sainsbury’s on Kingsland High Street!

I doubt, I’ll buy anything in that Co-Operative store in the next few years.

If that is the best they can do in a thriving retail area, no wonder they’re going down the drain.

I do hope that when they finally decide to jack it in at Dalston Junction, that this store becomes a littleWaitrose. After all, in the next couple of years, the nearby Sainsbury’s will be getting a makeover, which will put more pressure on this Co-op store.

March 16, 2014 Posted by | Business, World | , | Leave a comment

Politicians Must Choose Their Friends Better

P.J. O’Rourke, who is no lover of politicians, once said.

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

It is a test that should not just be applied to politicians, but to their friends and donors as well.

Today in the Times we have two stories about people wanting to influence politics.

The first is about the troubles of the Labour Party and their relationship with the Co-operative movement. It contains this classic quote from, a Tory MP; Brooks Newmark.

The toxic element of a great ethical institution like the Co-operative is the way the Labour Party has effectively infiltrated it and infected it because of the benefits they have been receiving from it. The only way the Labour Party could get a loan if it didn’t have the Co-operative Bank is from Wonga.

But then Ed Milliband got his own back on the Tories by complaining about some of their donors. But at least these donors, were using their own money, rather than that of members of the Co-operative movement.

Remember too, that the Liberal Democrats had a dalliance with Michael Brown.

And then there’s the story of Hotchpotch the cat who was left £10,000 by Malcolm Richards who was a large financial supporter of Ukip.

I can smell the fruitcakes.

Perhaps we need say a ten percent tax levied on every political donation.  The money could be used for philanthropic purposes, like looking after distressed catfolk.


November 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

No Wonder The Co-Op Is In Trouble

The Co-op is reportedly in trouble financially, so today they are in the news, not about curing their problems, but because of their new office block. Here’s the first paragraph.

The Co-operative Group’s £100m new office has been declared the most environmentally friendly building in the world – ahead of its official opening by the Queen today.

One Angel Square achieved the highest ever eco rating for a building by BREEAM, the industry environmental assessment experts.

“Does the Queen get a divi?” was asked on BBC Breakfast this morning. I suppose to the BBC in Manchester, this is a low-cost story, as their crew, can just get on the tram.

I occassionally go into the Co-op at Dalston Junction station, but rarely buy anything except a paper and the odd grocery item.  It does sell Genius bread, but the last time, I tried to buy one at the store, there was only one very sorry example on sale.

I can see this morning, why they are in trouble. Flagship projects and forgetting about customers.

November 14, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Co-Operative Bank Ditches Business Lending

This story on the BBC web site, says a lot about the state of the Co-Operative Bank. Here’s the first bit.

Co-operative Bank has stopped offering new business loans amid concerns over its capital position.

The bank is continuing to provide lending to existing customers, but has frozen lending to new corporate customers.

I don’t bank there, but if I did, I’d be moving my account for safety reasons tomorrow. If not today!

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Finance, News | , | 2 Comments