Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hats off to Gary Neville

(There's a title of a post I never thought I'd make)

Neville's words after the England v Holland friendly about the motives of Nike in supporting football's anti racism campaign were admirable to say the least.

The fact Nike make Man Utd's shirts and his criticism might lead to Neville being victimised in the pocket make his stand all the more impressive.

The full story is here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently this business is what started the whole row in the tunnel at Highbury before the Arsenal v Man Utd game. Neville and Scholes didn't wear the Nike anti racism tracksuit tops for the pre-match warm up which both sets of players had been asked to wear. Vieira decided to enquire why, and Neville supposedly told him that he wasn't wearing: "that cunt Thierry Henry's rubbish". It kicked off from there and Roy Keane got confused with Vieira's Senegalese charity and the Henry/Nike racism thing, hence Keane's strange comments about Senegal to Vieira ("you love Senegal so much, why don't you play for them?") during the whole incident.

Incidentally have you noticed that G Neville and Paul Scholes never sing the national anthem before England games. Rebels!

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was me (Dom) by the way.

10:08 AM  
Blogger David Young said...

Good to see that no good deed goes unpunished.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DY (assuming this really is DY),
You really should look into Nike. They are a scummy company who use dubious business methods (cheap labour... predatory trading).
They wouldnt do a thing for anyone unless there was plenty of $$$ in it for them

6:10 PM  
Blogger Withnail said...

There are two types of comment on these forums that make me laugh...(other than posts by Edith Jabmint):

First type: "XYZ online bookie's prices are terrible, the overround is 112 rather than the normal 111..." or some the same people walk in to the greengrocer and say, your apples are a bit expensive so your whole shop is rubbish!? I will never do business with you because you are trying to rip me off on the apple front!

Second type: "XYZ business is totally out of order because they keep doing things that are purely designed to make money"...I hate to break it to you but THAT'S WHAT COMPANIES ARE DESIGNED TO DO!! We vote for it, we hand our money over to banks, insurance companies, pension managers etc and they invest it into companies that make the most money. The successful ones make more than the unsuccessful ones because they are ruthlessly following lesson 1 in will be allocated efficiently according to the forces of the free market. Nike are just doing what they are paid to do...nail their costs to the floor by exploiting the global differences in supply and demand for labour, maximising their revenues by artificially creating demand for their product (through advertising and marketing)...they are clever and ruthless just live top poker players

No-one complains when they house price goes up or their ISA doubles in value...

2:38 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

I was expecting this kind of comment from DY, but you'll do :-)

Yes we know that's how it works. But there still is the question of degree. When you read about how much Phil Knight is worth and the conditions his Asian workforce suffer under, doesn't even a tiny little bit of you, deep down inside, think "that's not right" ?

You run a business mate - if one of your bean-counters came up to you and said "we can increase profits by employing children to work 14 hours a day in sweat-shops", would you do it ?

We have to accept the system but we don't have to like it, and we don't have to cheer and wave flags when a company like Nike cynically uses a humanitarian issue for cheap advertising.


PS I complained like fuck when my PEP halved in value. But I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from that. Apart from to gamble with my money myself in future :-)

4:02 AM  
Blogger Withnail said...


I'm glad to be a stand in for the intellectual gargantuan that is DY (help me out here DY!)

Of course I wouldn't for many reasons...the two important reasons for the purposes of this dialogue are

1) I don't need to to justify my remuneration

2) I am not incentivised to do so

However, many people are...they are greedy (ie trying to justify remuneration which is not currently justifiable) and incentivised by greedy people. Man is greedy - nothing new about that. Nike's strategy (and there are many many Nikes around) is driven by the fact that the total pot of greed in the organisation is unsatiated - where does this greed come from? Two sources, employees trying to increase remuneration and shareholders trying to maximise their returns which in turn is driven by investors who are mostly fund managers driven by...wait for it...a desire to increase their justifiable remuneration

The point I am making is not whether it is right or wrong. I feel dreadful about the fact that there are over a billion people in the world who live in conditions that to me are insufferable. I will not resolve this by giving money to charity (although I do) because only a tiny proportion of every charity dollar does what it is intended for...and much of that is aimed at short term solutions which do nothing the resolve the overall situation in world poverty (ie create opportunities to PRODUCE - in economic text books this is called capital - poor countries have no capital, financial or intellectual)

Another side of this argument is that there is a fine line between helping underdeveloped countries to develop their infrastructure and ability to produce and EXPLOITING working in sweatshops may sounds horrid to you but the alternative may be worse - is that help or exploitation? I'm not saying its either, I'm just saying that the western world is driven by capitalism, capitalism is re-directing capital to invest in third world countries to produce things cheaper than we can ourselves because labour costs are driven by supply and demand (not just shoes and clothes either - cars, steel, electrocomponents and even services...there are 100,000s of thousands of Indians answering the phone on behalf of US and UK banks and insurance companies!!)

The overall effect of this is to increase their productivity (sounds patronising I know) and therefore their ability to improve quality of life and society etc)

I certainly didn't set out to write a treatise on the wealth of nations or an apology for the capitalists (including me!) but to me it's not such a one-sided argument as you make out (you fkin lefty!)

However, Thierry Henry is DEFINITELY a cunt!

All the best


6:54 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

People are inclined to do as they wish. However, I do have one issue with this guys stand: While I think it is his right to do so, he also has to keep in mind that he is a professional, and it is a job. If he is asked to wear a uniform for the team supporting anti-racism, he should wear it, or sit the bench, frankly.

He can speak out against it, but he works for a professional team, which means that if he wants to playy, he should play fair.

I can't say I agree with Nike and their practices, but this guy doesn't seem to be entirely in the right either, in my opinion.

Just my 2 cents, but I guess I have high morals when it comes to sports teams, and I can't stand when people, _especially_ the players, don't take their job seriously.


7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately a lot of withnail's argument is valid.Nearly all economically successful countries started out with exploitative labour.In fact today developing countries like Vietnam want to be exploited.They would much rather Nike invested in the country than choose another.However,I think as consumers we can attempt to make ethical choices.I'd rather buy more expensive smaller bannanas from small holders in the caribbean than those long straight things from the giant Bush-bankrolling american corporations operating in central america.I'd rather not purchase ridiculously expensive designer guff for chavs,that is nike.I'd rather not purchase Gap emblazoned T shirts which anounces to all and sundry'I am a twat that buys overpriced gear,produced in sweat shops,that falls apart after 6 months'.

And by the way,is T.Henry a cunt cos he refuses to be bought by that Russian gangster?

9:56 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...


Fair points well made. As long as you agree that it's also not as one-sided as your original post made it seem, that's ok by me !


10:04 AM  
Anonymous Commie Boy said...

The whole idea of a company who pay Asian children 30 cents an hour to work 14 hour days caring about anything other than profits is hilarious. Although they probably do think everyone should be treated equally regardless of race. Because if that was the case, they may be able to pay white westerners the same sort of money.....And wouldn't they love it...Rarely do I make sweeping generalisations as mostly, the issues are not that simple. BUT in this case..Nike = scum b*stard anti-Christ ****** **** **** **** gits !!!

I will except the excuse "they are a company and therefore it's their job to make money. I therefore condone ANY action they make take to achieve this, regardless of cost or effect on any person, animal or thing. And I mean ANY....I wont be told what to do by any whining liberals who seem to think there are any other factors other than profit....pussies..the lot of them "

If that is your stance, then I salute you for having a consistent defence for Nike, Nestle et al.


10:14 AM  
Blogger Withnail said...

Andy et al

Just a few random comments:

Why do 'communists' always assume that people are inherently good when there is such a lot of evidence to the contrary?

Sure, peace and love would be great but anyone who has picked up a history book can tell you it doesn't happen very often

Didn't you read Animal Farm at school? Don't tell me...its Nazi propaganda!

Life isn't fair and anyone who pretends it is is the mug at the table

It's all well and good saying "Don't buy cheap bananas" but when it comes to the crunch most people do - the classic example is all of those ridiculous magazines which sell gossip and photos of 'celebrities'. Everyone is constantly moaning about invasion of privacy but they all buy the magazines because they don't really give a shit about privacy - its just self righteous drivel

As for Mr Ward...I agree it's not a one sided argument - I also agree that it makes me sick to watch the very rich getting richer through nailing down labour costs and making lots of low paid workers redundant (how many millions do you need for God's sake?). There is something not right about this - however, stopping the decisions to make workforces redundant (such as coal miners for instance) or using 'cheap third world labour' for production at a fraction of what we would consider a reasonable salary is pushing water uphill and we will all be worse off as a result in the long term. The solution (in my humble opinion) lies with how we treat the super rich. I do not believe that we should cap salaries or reward structures as the intellectual capital will just go somewhere else (Monaco probably). I do have a solution but you will just have to wait until I am prime-minister to find out what it is

Anyway - I've wasted at least an hour today on this shit - back to the day job (adding value to society!)

Happy Valentines!


1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

free-range, eggs tuna - people make alternative choices based on some ethical chain that leads to the end product. It is a matter of degree, one doesn't have to support capitalism and accept such level of abuse. It is not inevitable consequence of capitalism as people make ethical choices. It certainly is not laughable that people complain about such things, because the bottom line of their product chain doesn't always or even often lie in abuse of rights in some way (although the nature of economics does mean that no money is ever clean).

If folk boycotted Nike to save the children in the way they might have boycotted Sainsbury's to save the tuna then things would be different and we'd still live in a capitalist society. Ethics contribute to consumer choice, and people can, therefoe, be angry if they want to.

Are the countires better off without the cheap labour? Tough question. Short term, long term ?

30c an hour isn't meaningful bacause cost of living isn't an issue. Unless, you assume the facility to buy a Nike top affects an individual's quality of life.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to save the dolphins (not tuna!)

12:00 PM  
Blogger 做愛 said...


1:42 PM  

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