I voted today.

I voted yesterday.

I’ll be voting tomorrow, too.

And so will you.


I bought a coffee from LANEWAY today.

Nick owns that place.

On High Bridge in Newcastle.

He knows who I am and gives a shit about who I am.

He shows this by remembering my name, remembering what I drink, encouraging his team to do the same and by shifting what I pay from time to time – as a thank you.

Starbucks don’t do this.

So my money was a vote for Nick.

(I voted for Nick 6 times today actually.

Because I met 4 friends at LANEWAY later on.

Each of whom ‘Voted Nick’ as well).


I met Richard Walker at The Do Lectures this year.

He’s the MD of Iceland Supermarkets.

Iceland is working hard to remove Palm Oil from all they sell.

And plastic.

Against a backdrop of a core customer demographic that find it hard to pay more for lots of life’s basics.

So these moves hit Iceland’s profits and not what their customers pay.

It’s a conundrum for Richard.

But he is doing this because he wants to.

Not because he has to.

So this weekend I will be voting for Iceland.

By buying from Iceland.


I am after a tee-shirt or two in the next couple of months.

I am going to vote for Patagonia when I buy.

Because Yvon Chouinard’s book chronicles how he built this billion dollar business by doing good business.

As opposed to relentless profiteering and not giving a shit about makers.

And not giving a shit about the fragile world we live in.

Like so many high street clothing retailers.

You know the ones.

The ones you will see today.

And tomorrow.

With £3 tees lined up on a shitty rail in the corner.

Reduced from their original £6 RRP.

I vote for Patagonia.


And on Sunday.

I will vote for a £6 chicken.

Not a £2.80 chicken.

Because the £2.80 chicken spent it’s entire life millimetres from the backside of another chicken, confined to floorspace slightly smaller than a piece of A4 paper.

Before having it’s throat cut.


Don’t frown at me.

It’s not my fault.

I voted for the £6 chicken.

And anyhow.

How else do you think a whole chicken gets to someone’s ovens for just two hundred and eighty pence?

If it’s anyone’s fault.

If you are one of the people that buys £2.80 chickens.

It’s yours.


Yes; talk about the change you wish for

But vote for the change you wish for, too.

Every single day.

And guess what?

Your wish will come true.

As will the chicken’s.


  1. MIchelle Younger Reply

    Love this – love them all but even more so today. I was one of your Laneway votes the other day and totally agree, and the coffee is ace.
    Next time I’ll try to remember to bring you some eggs from the very happy hens.
    Happy weekend. Enjoy. M

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes…bloody well said !
    Tomorrow I will spend £6 odd on a chicken from Northumbrian Heritage Butchers and spend even more on a further selection of meat products.
    Why ?
    Because the quality is superb, they’re doing their best to reduce the use of plastic and you can take your own tubs.
    My fruit and veg will be local because of the great craic !
    Wine and Gin bought guilt free from The Rare Drop where Julie and I work on our book “Life’s too short to scrub your step” helped along by an always open, never ending bottle of something, accompanied by cheese from Turners.
    Ps. we’ve only wrote the title

  3. That is the essence of good branding. Take a stand. Do what you believe in. Make it good enough, worthwhile enough, conscientious enough, positive enough, just anything and everything enough to make it worth voting for.

    We know companies that are doing this and we love them. We vote with every penny we spend. It’s a shame that I wouldn’t buy anything currently on offer from British Politics ™, even if it was in the 99p bin.

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