I wrote an article earlier explaining why folks should boycott the price uncompetitive seller of coffee pods and operator of coffee bars Grind. I am a loyal customer but will not be one going forward. On twitter, a stack of folks who had not read what I had written behind a paywall lined up me to attack me for what I had not said. It’s a free world, you can show yourself to be an arse by behaving that way if you want to.
Grind has stated that it will no longer be advertising on GB News, a channel that I refuse to watch as I find it very boring and predictable. Folks like Darren Grimes Jacob Rees Mogg and the loathsome David Starkey are, for different reasons just not my cup of tea although I am economically, if not socially, pretty right wing.
Of course, Grind is free to advertise wherever it wants. I do not deny that for a second. But in this case it took the decision to pull adverts because of comments made on GB News which were global warming sceptic and drew direct complaints from green fanatics. It explicitly stated that it would not advertise because of the political stance of the channel on this one issue.
We have seen this before with folks like Owen Jones targeting advertisers in the Daily Mail trying to undermine a rag which, notwithstanding the efforts of little Owen, is the UK’s most financially successful newspaper.
Many of us on the right have cause to loathe the Guardian, to take an easy example, over some of the horrible anti-semitic cartoons which it has run. However, for those of us who view 1984 as a warning not a blue-print, a diverse and free press is absolutely vital. Would you want the entire media taking the liberal-left establishment line on Israel – as in here – for instance? You want only one view of Brexit being allowed or indeed a shutting down oof the debate on man made climate change, or global warming as it used to be known?
Debate and diversity of opinion is good. Indeed it is vital for a free society to flourish as a democracy. But that is what Grind appears happy to see shut down. And that is why the Mrs. and I shall #BoycottGrind and suggest others do so too. There is still enough freedom here in Airstrip One that I should be allowed to say that.
Those piling on to me on twitter might also consider that there are other stakeholders here. I do not care much about the shareholders in this company but they do have some right not to see their savings eliminated by corporate folly. But, surely we can all care about the staff who cannot be on the highest wages going. You see Grind’s financials are a bit of a mess
Although in the last reported year (end April 2022) sales almost doubled, losses also increased from just over £2.5 million to £3.355,435 million.
Profit is a matter of opinion, cash is a matter of fact and the cash burn was £4.839 million (£13, 258 every single day of the year going to money heaven). Luckily the company raised £10 million by issuing shares so it ended that year with cash of just over £7 million but it also had short term liabilities of £5.8 million and long term liabilities of £3.8 million. Assuming there has been no great change in trading, you can do the maths: had the company not been issuing yet more shares like billyo since the last year end it would have gone bust.
And now it is pissing off customers with a direct attack on the idea that we should have a free media. It may calculate that there will be more eco-zealots buying its high price product than there are free speech believers boycotting it. I suspect that will be a poor judgement. Time will tell. But when your finances are so weak that your poor staff must fear for their jobs it is a risk a sensible company would not take.
Every company should be allowed to spend its money where it wants but, as a journalist and a believer in freedom I have to support a diverse media. Though I hate almost everything it writes, I will defend to the hilt the Guardian’s right to publish what it wants because I regard having a diverse and free media as a good thing. Don’t you?
If you do, as I suspect most of us do, then it makes complete sense to #BoycottGrind