Tuesday, June 08, 2010

RADICLE BOOK SELLERS TAKE ON AMAZON

Fifty years ago, in the aftermath of World War Two, a group of pacifists opened Housmans radical bookshop at its current address at 5 Caledonian Road, in London’s Kings’ Cross. Ever since, Housmans has worked hard to continue its mission of promoting ideas of peace, human rights and a more equitable economy by which future wars, and all their inherent suffering, might be avoided. At a time when independent bookshops are closing down left, right and centre, it is reassuring that Housmans is still holding its corner.The biggest threat to independent bookshops has been the rise to dominance of the online bookseller Amazon.com. Amazon has achieved an unrivalled supremacy over the marketplace, but this near-monopoly wasn’t achieved without the usual unethical practices that are so common to the world’s biggest corporations.What is wrong with using Amazon?

In 2001 the Guardian first reported on the poor working conditions in Amazon's warehouses, and nothing much has changed since. In December 2008, a Sunday Times reporter went undercover to their Marston Gate warehouse near Milton Keynes and discovered that staff were required to work seven days a week and were punished for taking sick leave, even if they had a note from their doctor. According to Unite the Union, Amazon continues to see trade union representation as illegitimate. But it’s not just Amazon workers who suffer at the hands of the multi-national corporation. Publishers are also squeezed for every penny, as Amazon forces them to supply them at rates so low that it leaves authors and publishers out of pocket – particularly damaging smaller publishing houses. Amazon’s dominance of the market means that publishers have little choice but to comply with their demands. Aside from the ethical considerations, this affects readers in reduced output from small presses, and diminished availability of radical titles. Providing an ethical alternative and so into this arena steps Housmans Bookshop. Housmans, in conjunction with Gardners Books, has just launched its own online bookshop to rival Amazon. Although still prioritising their stock of radical interest and progressive politics, the site is also able to provide around half a million general titles. “Many of our most politically conscious colleagues use Amazon, and when asked why, it’s because they know of no alternative. But now, wherever they live, people will be able to support independent and progressive bookselling from the comfort of their own home.

I think it’s essential that we are able to provide an alternative to help dent Amazon’s monopoly,” explains co-manager Nik Gorecki. “It’s up to sympathetic book buyers to do the right thing, and buy their books elsewhere.” “This year Housmans celebrates fifty years of trading from our Caledonian Road address, but in order for us to be here another fifty years we have to stand up for ourselves, and trust in ethically-minded book-buyers to support independents. The staff at Housmans has fought many battles over the years for causes we believe in, and this is one battle we can’t afford to lose. Please support the shop that supports your campaigns! Housmans Bookshop 5 Caledonian Road King's Cross London N1 9DX Tel: 020 7837 4473

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see you weren't there to support your old pal and fellow oouncillor Tommy Williams at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday. He only had his Alliance guard for company.

Amazing when you think how many people turned up from the SNP and Labour party's to ex-councillor Vassie's pie throwing hearing and yet nobody could be bothered to turn up for this serious fraud case.

A lot of people must be scared about what he is going to say - it will be interesting to see who is going to perjure themselves in his defence when there is other stuff still to come out.

Dazed And Confused said...

Councillor,

Having flicked through some of the titles, I'll reiterate my point of earlier, that you yourself are knowingly in the wrong Party, subverting New Labour, on order to ply your S.W.P. logic into the mainstream of British politics The reason of course is obvious, in that the Trots of the far left can't gain election as themselves, so must manipulate other avenues to obtain their objectives.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Dazed And Confused) 08/06/10
I’ll reiterate my earlier point as well then. You know less than nothing about the Labour Party.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 08/06/10
I couldn’t make it on time on Monday because I didn’t get back from my yacht in the Bahamas until Monday PM.

What can I say about the ‘boay Vassie’ and his partner ‘Old bill Martin’ the pie throwing comedy was pure circus and these guys are natural clowns that’s why they draw the crowds.

G.O.T. said...

Amazon have achieved their success by employing those good old values of hard work and astute business practices.

The beauty of Capitalism is that hard work reaps rewards for those that put in the effort.

I suggest that if Housemans haven't managed to reach the same heady heights, after 50 years of trying, then they never will. Or perhaps they didn't want even to.

Dontcha just love it when people jump to the defence of someone that didn't want defending in the first place ;-)

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(G.O.T.) 15:14
“good old values of hard work and astute business practices”

The slave trade; child labour and women working down the mines are also good examples.

“The beauty of Capitalism is that hard work reaps rewards for those that put in the effort”

Yeah; like Fred Goodwin.

If I ran a business and Housemans or anyone else made such allegations against me I would sue them, just a thought.

G.O.T. said...

I wasn't aware that Amazon employed children or even had any mines.

Well, you live and learn, eh.

But seriously though, it's a good job that communism is dead and buried and capitalism has prevailed, otherwise we'd all be down the mines looking for salt whilst 'those that know better' would be busy burning all the worthwhile books.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(G.O.T.) 17:19
“ I wasn't aware that Amazon employed children or even had any mines”

Where did I say that they did?

As long as Capitalism continues to “prevail” as it does today; Communism will never die and you might have the book burning reference a**e for elbow as well; always happy to help.

Corrugated Soundbite said...

"Yeah; like Fred Goodwin."

So, as a staunch Labour man, would you have bailed the banks out?

Some say that real socialists wouldn't have done, and would have let the likes of Fred the Shred fall on their own swords.

Simplistic, but up for debate, nonetheless.

Barking Spider said...

Good grief, you really are a thick, brainwashed communist, aren't you?!!

And after thirteen years of Labour, there are a lot of things we realise about them - you raving Lefties only think you're more clever than everyone else.

The fact is that all your "knowledge" has been drummed into you from an early age by people with a vested interest in indoctrination, (they certainly did a good job on you!), while the rest of us prefer to think for ourselves - something that Labour has been trying hard to eliminate for the last forty or fifty years.

So don't assume we know nothing about Labour - we know plenty - enough to know that you have infiltrated your way into all levels of society using such insidious methods as Common Purpose, to name but one, and enough to know that Labour have to be kept out of power at all costs

Dazed And Confused said...

Councillor:

I've been flicking about the Internet doing my homework on you, just to see what I could unearth, and it seems that your own M.O. has never changed in donkeys years. You bleat and infer that anyone whom dare disagree with your own swivel eyed views on the World must somehow be Nationalistic, indeed bordering on racist, and yet when people strike back at you, out come the toys from your God forsaken pram, like a stroppy teenager.

To chastise other people for posting with their Internet aviators seems a tad churlish from you, considering that I've come across information that sees you involved personally with the Scottish Press, brought in to fight your battles for you, on earlier occasions.

Now I can't comment on what those previous adversaries of yours did, because I know nothing of them, but I can fully understand why they took a dislike to you. In fact, I can't much find anyone with a good word to say about you anywhere, and the overall view of your persona, tends to induce mockery at the mere mention of your rather infamous name.

You against the World "hey" Councillor?...And that's the way it shall always remain.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Barking Spider) 10/06/10
I can’t see anything here which would lead me to any other conclusion; you are just another knuckle dragging right wing oaf regurgitating prejudices that make you sound like a19th. century Mill Owner; your time has gone. You are incapable of presenting an argument.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Dazed And Confused) 10/06/10

I don’t know a great deal about you but; I already know enough; you started by swaggering in here comparing the Cumbrian Massacre with the Gaza Boat murders; got your a**e well kicked and have been indulging in personal abuse ever since.

Why not put it down to experience and try not to be so arrogant in future. I haven’t actually found out whether you have anything worthwhile to say; I know that you don’t like me but despite my pain I will live with that now; have you got any arguments related to my posts?

I did not call in any press as you suggest but don't let that stop you.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Corrugated Soundbite) 09/06/10

As a staunch Labour man I would have ‘sorted’ the banks out not quite the same thing. But I’m not letting you off the hook; this wee spat started with you rather clumsily singing the praises of capitalism and how it rewards those who are diligent and work hard so let me put it to you again. Does that include the likes of Fred Goodwin, try an answer this time.

G.O.T. said...

Oops, that's another fail there Councillor. I think you've forgotten it was me who was singing the praises of Capitalism, not Mr Soundbite.

Now who has there elbow up their a*se.

Still, not quite as forgetful as failing to vote for yourself in an election but amusing nonetheless ;-)

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(G.O.T.) 12:00
That was well spotted you tend to merge after a while like sheep. I note you have not answered the post are you using this as an excuse? Mr. Goodwin? Remember.

The thing about forgetting to vote is quite revealing about my character. Not only am I happy to stand up and face everyone and anyone by publishing my details I am quite relaxed about telling stories where I am the butt of the joke, that is because I'm honest, confident and utterly superiour to most of my opponents who tackle me on this blog.

Dazed And Confused said...

How did I get my arse kicked councillor? You've refused point blank to give your own musings on the subject of the Cumbrian outrage, preferring instead, to whitter on ceaselessly about your beloved people of Gaza, siding with a bunch of left wing thugs (on the lead boat only) who were dealt with soundly, when they attempted to assault Israeli soldiers.

As for the newspaper reports, I will delve deeper to see if I can corroborate your claims.

Corrugated Soundbite said...

"let me put it to you again. Does that include the likes of Fred Goodwin, try an answer this time."

Well, I'll have a crack at it, Councillor.

No. I wouldn't have given a brass farthing to the banks (and I would loosely describe myself as capitalist). They failed. The thrifty and the financially sensible amongst the populace didn't and the taxpayer funded bailout is collective punishment on a grand scale which will affect generations to come.

That said, I wouldn't have worked tirelessly like The Gorgon to engineer the monumental bubble in the first place. I'd have let the market take care of itself (because if left well alone by government, it really can).

"Eliminating poverty", by way of dishing out loans to those who so obviously couldn't pay them back - thus ending up repossessed and bankrupt - was just the ticket for boosting consumerism and the housing market to the remarkable benefit of The Few. For a while...

Third Way, Communitarian politics, I'm afraid.

G.O.T. said...

Mr Kelly

Considering it was you that introduced Fred Goodwin into the discussion in the first place, I don't quite understand what you expect me to say about him.

If you are using him as an example of the true virtues of Capitalism, you are sadly mistaken. Personally I don't see him as anything more than a money grabbing b**tard.

Incidentally, getting back to the nub of this post, I was intrigued to see you have an Amazon widget/advert in the sidebar. Is that there to show a fair sense of play and balance, despite your preference for Housemans against the evil capitalism of Amazon, or is it purely for monetary gain?

Just wondered ;-)

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...
G.O.T.

As a staunch Labour man I would have ‘sorted’ the banks out not quite the same thing. But I’m not letting you off the hook; this wee spat started with you rather clumsily singing the praises of capitalism and how it rewards those who are diligent and work hard so let me put it to you again. Does that include the likes of Fred Goodwin, try an answer this time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 11:52:00 AM

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Corrugated Soundbite) 13:21

“I wouldn't have worked tirelessly like The Gorgon to engineer the monumental bubble in the first place”

And the same bubble which is happening in Europe and America is just a coincidence right? I take it you are not am ecomomist.

“I'd have let the market take care of itself (because if left well alone by government, it really can).

What we have witnessed worldwide is the failure of markets to regulate themselves it’s not new and it will happen again until we get rid of capitalism.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Dazed And Confused) 12:45

“How did I get my arse kicked councillor?”

You attacked me for not treating the Cumbrian killings as seriously as the Israeli State Sponsored Murders that is an embarrassing position and you got your butt kicked for being so stupid.
What you say about the people of Gaza says more about you than I could.

“siding with a bunch of left wing thugs (on the lead boat only) who were dealt with soundly”

Well no one is going to argue with the fact that they were “dealt with soundly” 9 were 'soundly' murdered you make it sound rather like “6 of the best” one Israeli commando actually shot dead 6 people now he has got to be your hero Right? Shoot dead 9 people who were allegedly armed with knives, iron bars and sticks, you are a sick liar and Israel is a sick lunatic state.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(G.O.T.) 14:03

“Personally I don't see him as anything more than a money grabbing b**tard”

And the very epitome of the ‘rotten to the core’ capitalist system. Like a typical capitalist you are happy to turn on one of your own, you are a squalid bunch.

The Amazon widget was put there by my daughter several years ago; you are right in that there is a very modest monetary gain but it doesn’t come to me it goes to a good cause. The reason its still there is quite simple; I didn’t put it up because I don’t know how and neither can I take it down but my daughter will on her next visit.

Byeck said...

Kelly @ 4.11

'Allegedly armed with iron bars?'

Councillor, the videos show them using iron bars, so 'allegedly' doesn't cover it.

Tell us how you would handle someone with evil intent coming at you with an iron bar...or a knife?

Dazed And Confused said...

Councillor:

I've never commented anywhere about the people of Gaza, and nor would I, as the activists on the boat had little to do with them.

Yet again you prove you own warped ideology as dangerous, as preferring to shed a tear for left wing thugs, rather than truly innocent people.

The people on the lead boat had been given fair warning of what may occur, and from Israel's previous actions, could well have expected what would come next. Yet they chose to be on the lead boat, and readily armed themselves with their own weapons in case of attack. I don't see how those poor souls in Cumbria had any choice at all....But hey ho, glorifying deaths in Palestine as some "Righteous" cause, is far more important to the likes of you.

Corrugated Soundbite said...

"And the same bubble which is happening in Europe and America is just a coincidence right? I take it you are not am ecomomist."

And you'd be bang on the money, councillor. I'm not an economist. However, it would become apparent that similar policies have been in operation throughout the US and EU, and other federalist nations. We can't control those - we do however have a degree of control over our own economy. And if not, why not?

"What we have witnessed worldwide is the failure of markets to regulate themselves it’s not new and it will happen again until we get rid of capitalism."

Only if you decide to back them up. If you state from the very outset that no government (taxpayer) backup is available - and it's a case of sink or swim - then you might see a tightening up of internal lending policy. I don't believe the Fred Goodwins of this world to be bad with money, I believe them to be bad people when guaranteed safety with money. In which case, let them fail. Other, more disciplined institutions will pick up the fallout, as well as taking in anyone who should lose their job because of a financial institution going to the wall. Others will sit up, take note, and focus on keeping their house in order.

Capitalism, to my mind, is economic freedom if you're good enough. Fred Goodwin isn't good enough. Much as socialists may argue that Stalin and Pol Pot weren't true purveyors of Communism, I would state that Goodwin isn't a true example of capitalism. Communitarianism? Yes. Capitalism? No. The man is a fraud and a failure. He was in a great position and was treated greatly, despite being anything other than great. The man struggling to run the corner shop may be doing a roaring trade, but is crushed by rates, taxes, etc.

The man struggling to run the corner shop interests me. Goodwin doesn't. Him and his ilk must always be allowed to fail if they're not good enough. Nobody is "too big".

Barking Spider said...

"you are just another knuckle dragging right wing oaf"

You are the one doing the regurgitating, old chap, I've heard all this crap before from others just like you - you've all been to the same indoctrination classes and, like Gorgon Brownfinger, you never answer a question.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Byeck) 10/06/10

All of this is completely under the control of the Israel State who deal in murder; torture and lies. They IMO will never tell the truth about what happened the pictures you refer to are Israeli pictures which they will not allow anyone to examine. Some people like you are extremely gullible and the Israelis know that, that’s why they will not allow a public enquiry; they prefer putting out their own version to their bigoted blind supporters. .

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Dazed And Confused) 10/06/10
If your next post does not include anything new I will not be wasting my time answering you; I will of course print it though.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Barking Spider) 11/06/10
You are a waste of my time.

Barking Spider said...

Yes, I am a waste of your time because I know your sort too well - with your "superior intellect", (you all believe your own brainwashers too much), - I've heard it all before, moron, you'll be trying to tar me with being mentally ill next - and don't try to turn that statement around - I'm not listening - you will never convert me from a free thinker into a commie robot.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Barking Spider) 18:02
No; you are a waste of my time because you do not have an original thought in your head and you continually repeat yourself; you are not a thinker at all free or otherwise.

Byeck said...

Kelly @ 1.01

Kelly, forgetting the provenance of the pictures for a moment - and I think they are kosher - you said the 'peaceful protesters' were armed with sticks and iron rods.

Although you now appear to be saying that this wasn't the case, you can still answer my question -'How would you react to someone with a club, attempting to beat your brains out?'

Anonymous said...

Councillor Kelly
Friday, June 11, 2010 6:17:00 PM

Pot and Kettle eh!

Billy
Paisley Expressions

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 11/06/10
Welcome back from your inter galactic travels Billy; is this Martian code for something?

Billy; I was talking to someone last week and your name came up and he asked me how many votes you got when you stood against me; I had completely forgotten that you said you would print your own leaflets and run against me some time ago. What happened? I do hope you weren’t taken ill.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Byeck) 11/06/10
“you said the 'peaceful protesters' were armed with sticks and iron rods”

Where did I say this? I do hope you are not misquoting me, show me.

I would start by being pro active and I would do everything in my power to avoid provoking someone into attacking me; such as not attacking them with Guns and Tear Gas while they are going about their peaceful business.

I think that your question would be more honest (difficult for you I know) If you asked; would I deliberately shoot them dead and I would like to think that I would not.

Can I now assume that you have managed to grasp the point about the relationship between Israel and Jews?

Byeck said...

Kelly @ 9.31
'Armed with stick and iron rods to attack him.'

See your 'Israel Red Mist' post, 9/6/10, last para, lines 8&9.

Maybe you're quibbling with my description of them as 'Peaceful Protestors?'

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Byeck) 14/06/10
I can’t make any sense of this; which doesn’t of course make it unique.