Those who feel strongly that monopolies are bad for customers, and bad for the image of marketing – and witness the shameful licensed exploitation of millions of Olympic fans by Visa, McDonalds et al, courtesy of wimpy Lord Coe and his team – will be cheered by a recent legal ruling against the powerful football Premier League.

To protect its sale of very lucrative broadcasting rights the bullying League funded a legal action, brought by their puppets at Brent and Harrow trading standards services against a Wembley man, Helidon Vuciterni, accused of importing Albanian satellite decoder cards which allow Premier League matches to be watched at monopoly-free prices, thus potentially saving football-fan customers hundreds of pounds.

Fortunately for fairness the judge was not as beholden to the Premier League as the trading standards poodles, and said so, pointing out that the poodles rendered the warrants against Vuciterni unlawful because they did not disclose a European Court of Justice opinion that our national laws prohibiting the sale of the money-saving cards were contrary to the freedom to provide services.

One would have thought trading standards officers and their puppet-masters at the Premier League would have known that, wouldn’t one?


Fake vodka containing anti-freeze ingredients that can cause blindness has been seized by trading standards officers in the run-up to Christmas.

Brands being faked and sold in small shops and off-licences for as little as £6 a bottle include Glen’s, Smirnoff, Arctic Ice, Red Admiral and Spar own-brand Imperial. One shopkeeper in Surrey was fined £16,000 for selling fake Glen’s which contained 235 times the legal limit of methanol, an ingredient in anti-freeze.

Poorly printed labels with spelling errors and drink that smells of nail varnish are some signs to look out for.


Do the management of Iceland stores know the difference between “half price” and “buy two get one free”?

We ask because their Norwich store was recently promoting a three-pack of cans of beer (one of the original four had been taken) at “half price”, actually half the price of the four pack so really a “buy two get one free” offer.

When the misleading labelling was pointed out to store staff their response was that they were acting on instructions from their head office marketing department, and that “Everybody does it”.

Wonder if this is the same silly tosh they give trading standards officers?