Boycotting boycots

I see that our beloved government wants to prevent local councils from promoting boycots. I think this is a shame and anti-democratic. If a local council wants to launch a stupid PC boycot, it’s local electors are perfectly capable of seeing it for what it is and behaving accordingly.

Nescafe_1Some years ago, when Oxfordshire County Council was horribly hung and in the grips of an unofficial and mainly invisible coalition of Labour and the Liberals, they launched a boycot of Nestle products. I never knew why but it did influence my behaviour. I am not an enthusiastic shopper. I believe time spent in a supermarket should be minimised and tend to grab blindly at any product that looks like what I want. Brands are generally irrelevant but price matters. However, once the leftie boycott of Nestle products was voted into Oxfordshire County Council’s rolls of vellum, I looked hard for the Nestle’s brand to buy as first choice. I still do, 20 years later and after the boycott disappeared from memory.

More important, facing a ban on Nescafé in the County Council canteen, our resourceful hall keepers continued to buy Nescafé but poured it into a plain can. No-one let on and the lefties grinned with self-satisfaction while we sipped our instant coffee gratefully.

Sorry, Cameron & Co, but local government is democratically accountable and should be left to make an occasional fool of itself without the heavy hand of Westminster.

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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