Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Least Bad Ruling on Safeway Bidding

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Least Bad Ruling on Safeway Bidding

Article excerpt

On the face of it the Competition Commission's ruling that Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury are banned from bidding for Safeway is the least bad one.

The way is now clear for Wm Morrisons to make its own claim. The proviso being they sell 53 of Safeway's 279 stores so that the marriage of the Northern stores with Safeway's strength elsewhere will cut competition from five to four.

The argument against turning Morrisons' bid down and keep five store groups controlling 90pc of supermarket sites is that Safeway is too weak to go it alone. However, both Asda and Tesco have been in trouble in the past and have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. The Competition Commission's conclusion is that it is vital as many supermarkets as possible remain. Planning regulations preventing the building of new stores such as Tesco in Alnwick make the dangers of one of the big four taking over a rival more stark.

At the moment the only real losers are the loyal Safeway, workers especially in the 53 stores for sale.

D MITCHELL,

Many asylum seekers have suffered terribly

IN reply to Mr Thomas (The Journal , October 11), I would like to make the following points:

Firstly, most asylum seekers are not economic migrants. Despite the Home Office making it ever more difficult to gain asylum, the fact is that the majority of cases are upheld as genuine asylum seekers.

Secondly, there is no evidence that national security is being compromised now, any more than in the last 2,000 years which have seen migration in to Britain, refreshing the culture and bringing skills and benefits.

Thirdly, there is a huge section of the British public who are decent people who recognise that asylum seekers have, more often than not, suffered terribly and deserve a warm and friendly welcome. Fourthly, with regards to living in the real world, I would argue that I do. I live in the real world where massive human rights abuses take place in scores of countries.

I live in the real world where conflicts causing refugee crises, and let us not forget that the vast majority of the world's refugees are in neighbouring, poor countries, are fuelled by arms exported by the two biggest arms exporters, the US and the UK. …

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