Thursday, February 17, 2011

PayPal: The global chugger

TMP is moving beyond "basic" politics to explore any topics that impinge on "the majority", and deserve to become part of a broader public awareness and debate. The impositions of globalisation are behind many of the ills that afflict the UK in particular - because we tend to be passive, supine and compliant as a nation -  and the world in general.

But why do Brits tend to be so unquestioning and obedient in the face of nonsense from the likes of Brussels and global brands? Simple! From the 1600s to the mid 20th century, Britain lead the world in so many ways we did not need to think too hard about much that was handed down to us from above. It was pretty much guaranteed to be in the "national interest", and the ultimate interest of the people. On the other hand, of course Mr & Mrs Johnny Foreigner were right to be suspicious of just about everything anyone tried to impose on them - after all, the Brits had probably raped their great, great grandparents, and pinched all their natural resources. However, corporate America is now the steamroller of imperialism, and it behoves us all to pay closer attention.

Now then, would PayPal please stop trying to kid us that it is a benefit to mankind by trying leech cash from its users, and thereby blag a place in heaven at the expense of others? I am heartily sick of getting spammed with begging messages like this:-

Dear Mugged Punter,

Time is running out for you to give 100% to Oxfam and let PayPal pick up the bill for running costs.

• What's the deal? – PayPal are paying Oxfam’s running costs on your donations
• 100% Giving – Every penny of your money goes directly towards fighting poverty
• Only 11 days left to give – The chance to make 100% impact must end February
So what's stopping you?

Well, have you got a few hours? PayPal is part of an absolutely feckin' enormous US controlled operation that specialises in scalping punters who have absolutely no viable choice. The way the banks have allowed PayPal to exist without competition is one of the internet's greatest shames, and something every government should be addressing by setting up national postal services as competition. The country postal services de facto is obliged to have "peering agreements" around the planet, and ought to be the perfect place for rooting such an activity.

In the UK, allowing our very convenient but moribund Post Offices to become universal payment gateways could throw them a much needed lifeline. Especially if they also had the wit to become eBay packing/despatch and collection centres.

Bottom line, I am so annoyed by the recent Oxfam campaign on PayPal that I shall now never ever give anything the Oxfam in any shape or form. Instead, I shall buy a Big Issue form the next vendor I can find, for a fiver.

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