TBS Newsbot

While you were asleep: Barnaby’s end (again), Walmart tanks Wall Street, Retail behind bars in China

Morning, all. Overnight we’ve had yet another attempt to lop Barnaby’s head, Walmart lost a tenth of its value and retail made behind bars in China.



Tele states that Barnaby is like totally gone. Again.

Our whole pickle with Barnaby Joyce can be easily boiled down to that awkward social exchange we’ve all seen. You have someone over, and it becomes their time to leave. So, you wish your goodbyes, a handshake, a hug, a joke. The leave the premises only to quickly return, as you cynically quip oh, that was fast, as they too force laughter at the situation. Ha ha. Oh your keys? No, I haven’t seen them. Suddenly, the repeated dose has stripped the value of the goodbye, and now you literally just want them to leave and never come back, but gosh darnit, they won’t. Not until they choose to.

This morning, The Daily Telegraph has trailed Barnaby around the house, helping him find his keys. Is this the end of the beetroot? I certainly hope so, I’m sick of writing about that dolt.



Retail kings Walmart deposed by Wall Street losses. Long live the king?

Walmart, the Potemkin collection of people with stapled on smiles and honey for blood have gone and done a silly thing. They’ve shed a family value pack sized (or is that Costco?) chunk of their value, losing 10% presumably behind the super great value lounges they flog to the wobbling populace.



Look, I’m unsure if they sell furniture, but frankly, I don’t want to know. As a citizen of this fine land, we don’t have that retail colossus, and that’s the way I likes it, but I also fears it, as we tend to do whatever our American cousin does.

So, whoever decides to make the decisions regarding International Franchising, Australia is not fertile ground. Our economy can’t take such a hit. That, and you’re tacky as fuck. We love a bit of tack, don’t get me wrong, but yours is the wrong type.

Look at this. Explain yourself.


Report states that your stationery may me made behind bars in China.

They, which is to say, most of us believe the idea of prison to being comparable to hell on earth. A place where your freedom, choice and individuality is reduced to the six inches in front of you, a place where people push, the food is bad and everyone acts as if the end of days is tomorrow.

But at least you don’t have to suffer through retail therapy. I mean the penultimate sentence could easily define shopping centre experience as easily as it could 99 years in the Folsom pen, but please donate a solitary hope and prayer for the guests of Qingpu prison are apparently press ganged into making garb for some rather prominent labels.

Peter Humphrey spend two years behind bars in China, and shared his dehumanising experience making stationery products for 3M aka those guys who rainbow stripe your workspace with post-it notes. In conversation with The Financial Times, Humphrey stated:

“Mornings, afternoons and often during the after-lunch nap, prisoners “laboured” in the common room. Our men made packaging parts. I recognised well-known brands — 3M, C&A, H&M. So much for corporate social responsibility, though the companies may well have been unaware that prison labour was part of their supply chain. Prisoners from Chinese cell blocks worked in our factory making textiles and components. They marched there like soldiers before our breakfast and returned late in the evening. The foreigners who laboured in my cell block were Africans and Asians with no money from family, and no other way to buy toiletries and snacks. It was piece work; a hundred of this, a thousand of that. Full-time, they earned about Yn120 (£13.50) a month.”

Now, a slight couple of points here. While the workers were paid, and apparently were not forced to do, and indeed labour behind prison walls does not violate the laws of the International Labour Organisation. However, one of the brands outed in the article, H&M, explicitly states that all of the companies that fall under their umbrella must not entertain in the above behaviour. In response to the statement, 3M are investigating, but mentioned that they were “unaware of any suppliers in China using prison labour”

What comes of this remains to be seen, but the moral double standard exists, as the cheap prison labour movement is an industry upon itself, as The Economist figures the US version of the same problem is a billion dollar industry.





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