Archive for the ‘Panorama’ Category

interesting how many calls and texts we’re getting to tell us about this ‘major new series’ starting this evening on BBC2 with an expose of how large corporations make people drink bottled water…

All the messages are the same; here’s a perfect opportunity to contact the bbc and get your message across, how it’s not all about big corporates exploiting people… how poor the water quality is in many of the bottled waters out on store shelves… how there are options out there (aka Aquapax) for people of conscience who still care about what they ingest.

If only it were that simple… even the bbc points of view message board is down for maintenance, so I’m sorry but we can’t even comment via that forum either! 

Reading between the lines, any bbc programme billed as a major series means they had a BIG budget and had to visit at least half a dozen exotic locations to ensure the images will entertain the audience and give an appearance of being credible where a dry research report wouldn’t be understood. Who are they trying to fool (other than the license payers) as we all know bbc2 audiences respond more favourably to facts than sensationalist journalism.

If anyone knows a journo looking for a reasonably intelligent conversation on the whole bottled water thing, please give them my number or my twitter profile @neiltwaterguy and I’d be delighted to engage…

ps. we had our annual trading standards visit yesterday and it’s another clean bill of health – as if we’d expect anything less. We’ve also had approval from Aquapax water quality analysed in the Middle East as being ‘suitable for infants’ so it’s all go over there too.

Hang on in there – the revolution is flowing… 🙂


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It’s that time of year again tomorrow where I take a day off to celebrate the anniversary of being born… I confess my birthday isn’t as big a deal as it used to be, but the day still merits a bit of chill out time.

This year it’s a picnic in a child friendly farm setting with some good friends and their 2 young lads. I’ll end up exhausted but happy and ready for the Brighton Business Show (complete with real life ‘dragons’ apparently) on Wednesday morning.

I’ve turned down the launch party for Recognise Magazine tomorrow evening – dropped off the AQUAPAX for them on Friday – and considering I’m already out on Thursday evening for the Jaffa Cakes TLV first group showing of contemporary Tel Aviv art here in the UK (with AQUAPAX in support of course) I think I deserve an evening off.

In case you’re thinking this is a little out of character, I confess to having a phone call scheduled with a major retail buyer just before lunch tomorrow, but that’s still a significant proportion of me time for one whole day! 😉

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It’s less common than you think – I was reading this piece put out by ACE UK on sustainable material awareness and it highlights to me the non-contiguous government policy and plainly evident absence of common sense regarding making any impact on climate change. Should we be surprised from a bunch of bureaucrats who needed the independent media to point out how to fill in an expenses claim form?

From my own efforts I know central government will not engage with us on their blanket VAT rates for retail products. These don’t discriminate between the carbon sensitive and carbon intensive (aka AQUAPAX carton vs any other bottled water). They are really good at passing enquiries between various departments and the reason there can’t be any change is always “something beyond control”.  Their whole thinking process appears to be driven by what a particular rule says, irrespective of whether it makes any sense or not, nor its intended application. – I wasn’t going to use the expenses scandal as an example again, but now you mention it… 😉

I’ve written to my MP’s (the one representing the community I live in and the one in the community I work in) and finally got an off-piste response from one (ignored by the other) clarifying how important the issue is and effectively underlining how they champion recycling initiatives which focus on recycling carbon intensive products / technologies; quietly ignoring more sustainable materials which I’d asked about. There was also a hair brained paragraph about potentially rewarding recycling with M&S vouchers!

I’ve previously blogged on the politics of recycling and said it all before – whichever way you look at it the government’s recycling policies don’t make a great deal of sense…

Does make me wonder why we tolerate incompetence in government and why someone hasn’t come up with a better way of staying in touch with the zeitgeist. Message to DC – call me if you’d like some truly innovative thinking when you and your buddies start looking at this mess and wondering how to clean it up.

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OK, hardly a press announcement, but it is ‘earth day’ after all and this is our contribution…  Can only hope the site condron picks up on it and we get some ratings for our efforts.


stay happy – it is a beautiful earth after all and it’s down to you (and me) to keep it this way… 🙂

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Not quite sure what’s going on when a relatively small business like ours attracts a call from a VAT inspector but that’s exactly what we’ve got booked in for 2pm tomorrow. I guess it’s because we asked for some money back last quarter (legitimately) but there’s still an anxious feeling about having to go through as much as someone  might care to see in order to satisfy them we’re legit. The worst fear is how long I might have to spend on the subject and what if they don’t have any sense of humour? I’m not sure I know how to be serious for much longer than 2 hours…

On the video front, my pal Al recommended a fantastically talented individual called Maximilian Mortimer to shoot the Aquapax video showreel for the imminent IOD Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall. The Institute of Directors conferences are always pretty excellent events and I do hope a certain ‘Sir Stuart’ in the audience ‘gets it’ this year, considering our response from last year’s sponsorship when ‘Sir Bob’ was there, was pretty uneventful.

It’s not so much that people don’t get it, it’s that they consciously choose to trade down to the lower cost plastic option which really gets me. I know it’s laboring the point a little, but it’s the same mentality that keeps sweat shops in business around the world; businesses who don’t care enough to read beyond their own immediate bottom line.

Back to Max, he’s been a pleasure to work with and I’m chuffed with his production which I hope you can link to from here soon. I’ll also pop a link across on the ‘blog-roll’ on the right, in case you might care to help share the video around society. Considering a lady from the valleys has had a hundred million hits with her apparently excellent singing voice, It’s going to be hard to impress anyone unless Aquapax can get a video viewing hit rate at least above a thousand – not counting the 2,000 who will see it at the Albert Hall…

Keep smiling – Friday’s just around the corner… 🙂

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I found the pre-Easter story quoting statistical ‘evidence’ about litter on UK beaches doubling over the past 14 years pretty disturbing. A little more disturbing is how it made the news for about one whole day!

The worst problem is still cited as being plastic – something anyone living near a beach could have told the researchers for free, yet even with the background of having actually counted it all, I’m not sure who then does what with the information!?

There’s a distinct lack of joined up government thinking out there, with more apparent energy spent briefing mischief on other political parties than actually tackling the real issues. I can’t understand why this report wasn’t used to beat up the government – or might that be because too many politicians of seemingly every party persuasion don’t actually care about anything other than fiddling their own expenses, or trying to justify the same expenses to the media.

‘Come the revolution’, it will be interesting to see whether we the public change enough to begin a real call to account. That includes challenging journalists rather than allowing the media to control whatever they feel like reporting for as long as they feel like reporting it.

You ask why I’m an activist – I ask what’s the alternative?

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These words form part of the design across the top of our beautiful new Aquapax carton (thanks again SunHouse) – they are personal and inspired in part by the wonderfully under-recognised poet Mr. Bob Dylan. I wasn’t much into Bob when I was growing up, but my brother Paul was and the song ‘tangled up in blue’ was one where the words always sounded ‘easier’ on my then young ears, despite not really understanding their meaning at the time. (give me a break it was 1974 and I’m not that old… yet)

‘There’s revolution in the air’ now sums up a feeling for where we are right here and now, with growing global consciousness and finally some genuinely powerful leaders who care for our planet. We simply haven’t had this critical mass until now and I can literally feel the change growing.

It is abundantly clear to me that there are so many organisations which treat their environmental policies the same way Enron treated their code of ethics policy. (it was 36 pages long apparently). Their first response to any introduction is ‘how much?’ which remains their only defense to supposed leaders watching over them as to why they aren’t prepared to even try something different.

Very soon, these ‘organisations’ (includes political parties, councils, small and large companies and other ‘entities’) are going to have to stand up and be counted. Words have meanings and non-specific environmental policies with fluffy words and an original intent of boosting a share price, or winning kudos or votes will very soon have to be invoked.

Bring on the revolution Bob – it’s Aquapax time…

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