Posts Tagged ‘Ethical Trading Initiative’

From Private Eye: The Barclay Twins and the End of the Ethical Business at Littlewoods

January 27, 2015

In my last post, I put up a piece from Private Eye from 2009 on how Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail, used loans and his own non-dom status to avoid paying tax on his purchase and construction of a stately home in Wiltshire. This is, of course, completely hypocritical given the Mail’s virulent hatred of scroungers. It is, however, also the Daily Mail, so there’s nothing new.

I also found another article in the Eye from way back in 2003 reporting how the weirdo Barclay twins had ended the company’s charitable status and concern for ethical sourcing when they took over Littlewoods. The story was in the issue for the 17th – 30th October that year. Here it is:

Barclay Twins
Brothers Grim

The Barclay brothers have done much in a short time to destroy the goodwill built up over years by the Liverpool-based Littlewoods high street and mail order firm.

Since taking over from John Moores at the end of last year, the brothers have axed Littlewoods charitable donations and community ties (it used to give away 1 percent of profits). Then the company withdrew from the Ethical Trading Initiative, the body that monitors the sourcing of goods and ensures workers’ safety and guards against child and slave labour and poor working conditions.

It then rejected an offer from Christian Aid of the free services of ethical trade experts to help monitor suppliers. And now, fearing that the charity or others will go in and inspect alone, Littlewoods has written to all those suppliers urging them not to allow any inspectors in. A Letter from Colin McLean and Jon Wragg, trading directors, to suppliers says: “Littlewoods has never had a policy of unannounced factory visits, assessments or auditors and we would like to request that any approach by a third party for access to factories supplying our merchandise by declined.’

So what does Littlewoods have to hide? “Nothing,” replied a spokeswoman. “We just want to monitor who is seeking access and check out their credentials. We have a strict and accountable ethical policy.” So that’s all right, then.

So the twins have effectively ditched charity, and given their support to greed and exploitation. Pretty much like they’ve been doing in the page of the Telegraph.