Sunday 20 December 2009

We're Supposed To Pay For This?

Before Rupert Murdoch puts up his paywall on the Times web site, perhaps he should consider investing in a few more decent journalists. You see, there isn't a massive demand for codswallop such as this.

Supermarkets have been accused of encouraging binge drinking by continuing to sell alcohol more cheaply than bottled water.

Yes, of course it's bollocks. In fact, the only way anyone can make such a claim is if they compare like with, err, not like. As Julia Belgutay and Matthew Holehouse have done here - proof positive that two heads are not necessarily better than one if the two are both idiots.

Sainsbury’s in New Cross, also in south London, was selling four 440ml cans of own-brand lager and bitter for 91p and 94p respectively [c. 5p per 100ml]. A litre bottle of Highland Spring mineral water, meanwhile, was on sale for 8.5p per 100ml.

The 'lager' to which they are referring is the Basics range gunk, a brew so weak and inspid that it's nigh on water anyway. The equivalent, obviously enough, is the Sainsburys Basics range water, which will set you back 13p for 2 litres ... or 0.006p per 100ml.

If the journos think that's unfair, they could always have compared Sainsbury's real own brand lager instead. Crown Lager (4x500ml) at £2.49, which at 12.4p per 100ml is actually not cheaper than water.

The rest of the piece goes the same way as a story is conjured up where none exists. And I'm sure they knew.

The Tesco Extra in St Rollox, Glasgow, was offering four 440ml cans of its value lager for 91p. The supermarket charges 85p for a litre of Highland Spring water.

Tesco Value water 13p for 2 litres, Tesco brand lager (4x500ml) £2.39, or 12p per 100ml.

Asda in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, was also selling four 440ml cans of its own-brand Smart Price lager and bitter for just over 5p per 100ml. Strathmore mineral water cost 8.5p per 100ml.

Asda Smart Price water, you guessed it, 13p per 2 litres. Asda's Hollandia lager (4x440ml) £2.00, still comfortably more expensive at 11.4p per 100ml.

I'm sure Morrissons prices will be comparable, but their site is so dreadful that there's no way of knowing without traipsing up there and fighting through the Christmas shoppers. And sod that for a game of marbles today.

Still, I hope the above will put minds at rest, especially those at the righteously indignant BMA.

A spokeswoman for the British Medical Association added: “It is a real worry that you can buy alcohol cheaper than mineral water."

That'll be 'real' as in not real; a 'worry' as in not worrying at all; and 'cheaper' as in more expensive.

And Murdoch expects us to pay for this shit?


Ray said...

We have already paid for it, I daresay the state/givernment paid the newspaper (with taxpayers money) to run the article.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yes we are supposed to pay for it.

John Pickworth said...

I love the Times Online... Okay some of the journalism is a bit ropey of late but its still a good read overall.

However, there's no way I'd pay for it. And those advert entry pages (when following incoming links) are already starting to annoy. Similarly, I used to frequent the American online newspapers years ago until they began charging and/or requiring registration.

Still, look on the bright side. Perhaps people will begin to source their news more carefully? Perhaps the nation will become better informed about important matters rather than allowing their thirsts to be sated by titbits of trivia.

As for the water, when I were a lad back in Victorian times, we had to drink beer because the water was unsafe. Good to see some traditions continue.

Junican said...

Of course, needless to say, none of the zealots point out it is the price of water which is wrong. Any idiots who pay for bottled water when it is free and perfectly safe out of the tap, want their heads feeling. Apart, of course, for the odd occasion when one is gasping with thirst...........