Tuesday, 18 August 2015


virgin-media-logo.jpgI am very aware that my broadband, phone and mobile are provided by Virgin Media1 which is a multinational corporation (MNC).  It has a very convoluted history but its parent company is Liberty Global,2 an American company with London Headquarters.  Apart from it being a Multinational I quite like Virgin Media, mainly because they have free help-lines, so until I find a supplier which is not owned by a multinational I will stay with them! If anyone has one please let me know?

I had my hopes that Plusnet3&4 would be a UK only company, it is, but it is owned by BT5 which is not. BT has operations in over 170 countries.

Talk Talk6 were always outside Morrison’s trying to get me to change to them, (I do not know if they are still there as I don’t use Morrison’s any more), they were owned by Carphone Warehouse7 but the two demerged in 2010.  It appears that I could use them but my friend just changed to them but recommends that I don’t as she was told she could take her email address with her and she can’t. Oh what to do?

The High Street phone shops and mobile networks are obviously doing great business otherwise they would not be so prevalent but are they MNCs?

Carphone Warehouse is a UK multinational with 2,400 stores across Europe.  It has been a subsidiary of Dixon’s Carphone since Aug 2014.

Apple Inc8 obviously is, being an American company but not only that, it is second only to Samsung9 as the world’s largest information technology company.

Telecom Towers,Power Transmission Towers Exporters,TelecommunicationEE10&11 (formerly Everything Everywhere) is a 50/50 partnership between Deutsche Telekom12 and Orange S.A.13(formerly France Télécom) through their respective T-mobile and Orange networks and is now the biggest mobile network in the UK. This is one of the many examples of UK services being provided by foreign governments.  The German government has a 32% share in Deutsche Telekom and the French government owns 27% of Orange! However in February 2015, BT announced that they have agreed to acquire EE Limited for £12.5bn. This is subject to regulatory approval expected by March 2016. Unfortunately The UK government sold its entire share of BT so this will mean the French and German governments get big pay outs but it will not help nor hinder ours!

Telefonica UK14 owns o215, it is a subsidiary of Telefonica S.A. a giant Spanish telecommunications company which operates worldwide.

Three16 are part of Hutchison Whampoa,17 who has its headquarters in Hong Kong. Three provide services in the Far East, Australia and Europe.

The last provider I am going to talk about is Vodaphone,18 as I am losing the will to live.  Saying I am not very interested in phones, is an understatement! Vodaphone owns and operates networks in 21 countries, so it is definitely a multinational. Congratulations to readers who made it this far.  I promise this will be the driest of my posts!


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Media
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Global
  3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlusNet
  4. https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/about/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Group
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TalkTalk_Group#Demerger
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carphone_Warehouse
  8. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_inc
  9. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung
  10. ee.co.uk
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EE_Limited
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Telekom
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_S.A.
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telef%C3%B3nica
  15. http://news.o2.co.uk/about-us/
  16. www.three.co.uk
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutchison_3G
  18. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodafone

Friday, 14 August 2015


The Dominion, Edinburgh

I went to the pictures the other night, carefully researching the ownership before I went.  In Edinburgh we are lucky to have two independent cinemas, The Filmhouse1&2 and The Dominion3.

The Dominion, in Morningside, is a beautiful example of art deco architecture.  It was built by Captain WA Cameron, the current owners’ grandfather just before the Second World War.  I have included their father Derek Cameron’s4 obituary as it is a fund of information about the cinema. 

(I must confess at this point that I had a Magnum, made by Unilever.  Sorry, but a girl is only human and the other choice was mango sorbet, and one must have ice cream at the cinema.  It is a rule!  We went to see “Fantasic Four” – a bitty slow, but it was my friend’s choice.)

The Filmhouse5 on Lothian Rd was converted from an old church and has built up to three screens and a cafe bar.  It is also the home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.  The two organisations were merged in 2010 to become the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) which also operates the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.

The Cameo6just up the road in Tollcross, which also shows art house films, is actually part of the Picturehouse7 group which is UK only but Picturehouse Cinemas are owned by Cineworld8.

I am in a bit of a quandary about Cineworld plc.  It only operates in the UK and Ireland, I know Ireland is a separate state but Cineworld only have one outlet in Dublin and I love going to the pictures so I am very tempted to stretch my definition of a multinational to include it.  I think I will try to avoid it but reserve the right to change my mind, if I can see something there that I cannot see anywhere else.  Our Edinburgh Cineworld has live broadcasts of The National Theatre performances etc and I might need to see one for a University course I am planning to do.  If I can see something in the Cameo instead of Cineworld but nowhere else, I will do that instead, for that is slightly better.

Vue9 is definitely a multinational as it own cinemas in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy and Taiwan.

The Odeon10 is a European multinational as it has branches in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Portugal.
The Birks, Aberfeldy
There are smaller UK chains like Reel Cinemas11 which has 15 picture houses which would be okay for me unfortunately there are none in Edinburgh.

Most cities have one or two independent cinemas like the Glasgow Film Theatre12, Dundee Contemporary Arts13 and Eden Court14 in Inverness.  In other places like Aberfeldy, the community bought their cinema The Birks15, did the building up and reopened it after a long period of not having a cinema at all. In the Highlands of Scotland there is The Screenmachine16 which is a cinema owned by Regional Screen Scotland and sponsored by a bank which travels to remote locations on the back of a lorry.

I have included the web addresses of The Independent Cinema Office17 and the final reference18 will take you to a page that has the addresses of all the independent cinemas in the UK.

  1. http://www.filmhousecinema.com/about-us/
  2. https://film.list.co.uk/cinema/794-filmhouse/
  3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_Cinema
  4. www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/obituary-derek-cameron-owner-of.
  5. http://teaandcakefiend.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-filmhouse-cafe.html
  6. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cameo,_Edinburgh
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picturehouse_Cinemas
  8. http://www.cineworldplc.com/
  9. corporate.myvue.com
  10.  http://www.odeonanducicinemasgroup.com/territories.html
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reel_Cinemas,_UK
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Film_Theatre
  13. http://www.dca.org.uk/
  14. https://www.eden-court.co.uk
  15. http://www.birkscinema.co.uk/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/82-the-birks-story
  16. https://www.screenmachine.co.uk/about/
  17. http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/about/history
  18. http://flamin.filmlondon.org.uk/resources/exhibition/independent_cinema

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Wash Multinationals out of your hair!

I have been a great fan of Pantene1, which is a really old shampoo it was invented in 1945 by Swiss company Hoffman-LaRoche but following takeover after takeover is now part of the Proctor and Gamble2 family.  I have already told you how obscene their takings are but having read their website my feeling is they make all the right noises about giving back to the community/planet, most employees having shares in the Company etc, etc but I just think it is wrong for a company to get that big.  I counted 70 different brands of health, beauty, grooming and household goods.  They own Clairol, Head and Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Nice and Easy, Vidal Sassoon and Wella hair care companies as well as Pantene. 
I promise this is the last of the bathroom themed posts for a wee while but as I said before I am running out of shampoo etc and need to know what is available that isn’t produced by a multinational. 
Having eliminated the above shampoos, conditioners etc I checked my bathroom for branding I have Dove and Garnier self tanning moisturiser for my dry white legs. Dove is made by Unilever3 which is the third largest consumer goods company after P&G and Nestle.  If you are trying to avoid it you can’t use Simple4&5 skin products, I use a lot of them as I have sensitive skin. I can’t use Knorr stock cubes or have Hellman’s mayonnaise or a Magnum ice cream which is a shame as I have had a craving for a Magnum since they put up a giant Magnum on a billboard near my house. They also own Sunsilk shampoo so I will have to avoid that too! I digress; Garnier6 is part of the L’Oreal7group which is the world’s largest cosmetics company. 
My Dad uses baby shampoo so I suppose I could try that but Johnston and Johnston8 is and always has been an American Company!

I thought Santuary Spa9 might be a possibility.  No, it was bought by PZ Cussons10, the makers of Imperial Leather, in 2008. PZ Cussons is an amalgamation of PZ a company from Ghana with Cussons the British Soap maker. 

Some of my toiletries were own brand from Boots but they are out now too.  What am I going to do?

Well, Green People11 makes shampoo and conditioner but it is between £9 and £14 pounds a bottle!  I found that the Natural Soap Company12 does a shampoo soap that shampoos and conditions for £3.95.  This company started on a kitchen table and still operates from Wells.  I'll maybe try that.

Actually I won’t.  I was rooting around in my local Scotmid since writing that and found Co-operative13 own brand, no perfume, no colour soap which is also cruelty free and contains certified sustainable palm oil, how about that for soap with green credentials for only 50p! They also had coconut and honey shampoo and conditioner at £1.09 each so I bought them too.  I am really happy with my purchases but haven’t tried them yet, so I will keep you posted.


  1. http://pantene.com/en-gb
  2. http://www.pg.com/en_UK/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unilever
  4. www.simple.co.uk
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Skincare
  6. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'Oréal  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnier
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Or%C3%A9al
  8. https://www.jnj.com/about-jnj/company-history
  9. http://www.sanctuary.com/en-gb/our-story/
  10. www.pzcussons.com
  11. www.greenpeople.co.uk
  12. http://www.naturalsoap.co.uk/about.htm
  13. http://news.co-operativefood.co.uk/latest-news/the-co-operative-and-cruelty-free-international.html

Sunday, 2 August 2015


I am taking about shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, fake tan, dipilatory cream etc.  Most of my bathroom stuff is running out and I am at the stage where I am going to have to take the lid off and scoop it out manually.  They are all so gloopy quite a lot sticks to the sides and you cannot get it all, probably on purpose, so you buy more!  Anyway I thought I would look up chemists, pharmacies and health and beauty places to see where I can buy replacements.  

Although I am at the pharmacy regularly to get replacement medication I tend to get other things at Boots1 but I have just looked it up. Guess what? It is a multinational! It is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.  So I will not be going there again till Christmas.  I have decided that this project will be running till then.

My nearest chemist where I get my tablets is a Nuchem which is part of the Lindsay & Gilmour Group2 so I can buy things there! Nuchem doesn’t seem have to have a website, it did say in a Wikipedia listing it is a purchasing group for Independent Chemists, but I can’t find that listing again but I think in the case of my local chemists Lindsay and Gilmour took it over but they kept the old name.  Lindsay & Gilmour are family run pharmacy group which has been trading from the same site in Elm Row since 1826. They are based across Central Scotland, Fife and the Scottish Borders. 

I am going to cover what I can buy in my next post! I am thinking it won’t be much as the makers of all my products are P & G and other big companies!

Another group of chemists I would be okay to use are the Apple3 pharmacies; they have 12 stores across Scotland.  I have only seen the one up the Bridges/Newington area. 

I was quite shocked to discover that Lloyds4&5 Pharmacy is a subsidiary of a Multinational.  It is owned by Celesio AG a healthcare provider with businesses across Europe and in Brazil.

I have never seen an Omnicare6 chemist but apparently they exist.  I couldn’t use them anyway as it is an American company.  

Rowlands7 Pharmacy has a chain of more than 500 in the UK, the nearest to me is in Loanhead which is over 5 miles away and is not very convenient since I don’t drive.

The Co-op pharmacies have just been bought over by the Bestway Group8 and rebranded Well9 Pharmacy.  The Bestway Group are a British Pakistani Multinational Conglomerate in the wholesale, banking, cement, financial services, real estate and health care sectors.

Superdrug,10& 11 although mainly dealing with health and beauty products has pharmacies in 225 of its stores. Superdrug is a subsidiary of A.S. Watson Group which is part of the Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings so I will not be using them!

While I am thinking of places to buy shampoo etc I thought of Semichem12.  Scotmid bought this health and beauty chain in 1995 so they would be okay for me.  They do great deals on toilet paper amongst other things so I use my local one quite frequently. 

This brought me on to Lush13 and The Body Shop14.  I had no idea they were such big companies! Lush has 800 shops in 51 countries and The Body Shop has 3,000 in 60 countries.  The later was bought by L’Oreal in 2006.

I am sure I have missed some Pharmacy chains and it would become very boring if I listed every Pharmacy I could find. 

You will have noticed my research is all done on the internet and I am not apologising for that.  If one day this eventually gets turned into a book, which would be nice, I will head to companies house and do it properly!


  1. http://www.boots-uk.com/
  2. http://www.lindsayandgilmour.co.uk/about-us/
  3. http://www.applepharmacy.co.uk
  4. http://www.lloydspharmacy.com/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloydspharmacy
  6. http://www.omnicarepharmacy.co.uk
  7. http://www.rowlandspharmacy.co.uk/chain
  8. http://www.bestwaygroup.co.uk/
  9. www.pharmacy.co.uk  (Well)
  10. www.superdrug.com
  11. wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdrug
  12. en. www.semichem.co.uk
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lush_%28company%29
  14. http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/content/about-us/aboutus.aspx