Fighting Back at Big Brother (and no this is not a Jade story)- every little bit counts

I read today that Croyden has more CCTV cameras than *New York City*.  This is on the back of a report that the police are now going to capture details of all motorcyclist reg plates on certain routes so they can build up a profile of addresses on where to target their road safety adverts.  Seriously disturbing when you consider these bastards lose records all over the place.  I ride a motorbike so expect my address to be left in the back of a cab anytime soon.  But the problem is that it’s not really possible to blame someone because it’s never entirely clear who exactly is responsible.  There’s a sort of fog of bureaucracy that exists around us.  I just imagine some dark wood panelled room in Whitehall where some safety czar is saying ‘do you know what we should do whilst public spending is at record levels, lets spend more money on getting a load of people’s addresses – motorcyclists are good because they’re one of the few people left who actually have fun.’

So I sigh to myself and think, that’s screwed but impending financial collapse of the developed world is more worrying so i’ll concentrate on that instead. And then lo and behold I take a Sunday jaunt up the Fosse Way and hey presto some sinister little grey box gets my address for doing 55mph.

But recently I’ve been fighting back in my own little way and I hope you will join me.  It involves the use of a Tesco clubcard.

Tesco’s like you to use a club card and for that they give you money off – and you say ‘great, i’ll do that’.  But what they’re really after is *data*.  They want to know everything about you because it means as they get more sophisticated they can market very specifically at you.  So by using a very technical set of algorithms they can work out that if you buy Hula Hoops and organic carrots and nappies and pink milk you are also likely to buy Frosties.  So they send you a Frosties offer and because they have profiled you they know that’s what you want.  Pretty sinister don’t you think?

Well what you need to do is use your clubcard selectively.  You know those odd in between shops you do when you’ve run out of stuff but it’s not officially shopping day.  Well use your club card for those shops and see who they profile you.  So for example today i purchased the following

– 24 loo rolls

– cat wormer

– pack of extra strong mints

– fire lighters

– bin bags

Come on Tesco – try and profile me off the back of that lot you big brother data collecting bastards!!  I suppose the only plus with Tesco is that they are a highly efficient operation and so are unlikely to leave your manipulated data on the back seat of a taxi.

Jonny Boden – The Truth

Every month or so ‘Jonny’ sends me his brochure.  It’s beautiful.  Nicely designed, good quality paper.  Must have cost a few bob to print and post – thanks Jonny for taking the time to send me it.  Then you start flicking through it whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.  Hmm you say, that cotton onyx blue sweater looks really good on that rugged rugby playing 22 year old male model.  I bet if I buy that that onyx blue sweater i’ll look as good as him and I can live a life of middle class lovelyness full of sunshine, probably near a beach, but without annoying things like negative equity and overdrafts and I could marry a pert blonde lady who could also wear Boden stuff.  I want that life you say, and the sweater is the gateway to that life.

So you go online and you buy the onyx sweater for £63 and you wait.  It arrives.  You tear off the paper and the beautiful packaging comforted by the fact that you are now in Jonnys Gang.  You are part of the lifestyle of lovely lovelyness.Your ticket to ride the train to Lovelyville.

And you put it on.

And your tummy sticks out and it’s a bit tight around the shoulders and in the mirror you look like a different species when compared to the dashing rugged rugger player.  And it’s cost you £63!  For a bloody jumper!  And you’ve got a bank statement telling you that you have no money.  But can you really be arsed to pack it all back up in the lovely wrapping which you destroyed earlier in your eagerness to wear the jumper and then schlep down to the post office in town where you can only park for 30 minutes but then be forced to *queue for an hour* whilst every biddy in the world cashes their pension.  So you put it in the drawer – you can wear it on holiday this summer when you’re lost a bit of weight and your tan will go well with the onyx.  18 months later you’ll take it to Oxfam.