Sorry for my contribution to oil, gas and weapons.

Good for me? Really?

Good for me? Really?

Let’s look at Holland & Barrett. I occasionally buy from this health food supplier, where the staff are required to ask whether I’ve got my rewards card. I almost got round to validating my card online, but just took the trouble to check through the terms and conditions. At first I was pleased to read that my personal information would never be released to any company outside the Holland & Barrett group of companies for their marketing purposes.

It was only when I read the FAQs on another web page that I saw a similar statement, but this time referring to the NBTY Group. I did a bit of digging and found this to be an American health food corporation which bought Holland & Barrett in 1997.

As an afterthought I dug deeper and found that NBTY was bought in 2010 by the Carlyle Group, the third largest private equity firm in the world. Holland & Barrett is buried among its hydra-headed multiple investments; over $31 trillion of assets controlled by a company owned by a handful of partners.

  • John Pilger describes it as specialising in oil and gas pipelines and weapons.
  • Naomi Klein calls the group notoriously secretive. It profits from wars through high-level government connections.
  • Stakeholders and consultants have included John Major and George Bush Senior. 

Just to be clear, this is not a company you or I could buy shares in. It’s private equity. This is the epic world of the mega-rich. Strange that Holland & Barrett’s website doesn’t seem to even mention the holding company. I wonder if the staff in the shops know.

Profit-sucking multi-nationals leave us little more than minimum wages. James Wallbank of Sheffield’s Access Space centre coined the term ‘poverty mining’ to describe this process. Wealth is being hoovered out of communities with every pound spent. Meanwhile on the streets of Sheffield I am beginning to notice more and more people stooping to pick up lost coins and cigarette ends. Poverty is real, and it’s here.

re-posted from:


3 responses to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on misebogland.


  2. As an American…I am ashamed of the unscrupulous nature by which my capitalistic country continues to pad its pockets using the innocent here and abroad. I am continually disillusioned at how our country is no longer ran of the people, by the people and for the people and is instead ran by corporations and lobbyists and how the promised “change” of a new administration that I voted for TWICE was just a cloak of continued greed. The gap is widening fast here between the haves and the have nots – the middle class by definition is dissolving. I am truly sorry for you, myself, my children and all of those who are pawns in this sick game.


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