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This week in comments – Facebook, food & council fines

Could Facebook influence your credit score? Would you be tempted by a new high street bank? And how much local produce do you put in your trolley? Here’s a round-up of your best comments this week.

M&S bank

A discussion on Marks & Spencer launching a banking service, half owned by HSBC, was met with healthy scepticism from William:

‘Well I for one won’t be tempted to switch to an M&S bank, as I don’t see it as being any different from all the rest. I’m happy with my “wholly owned by HSBC” bank. Having a bank effectively split I can foresee email exchanges along the lines of “it’s not our problem fault”, “oh yes it is”, “oh no its not” and the only loser in that scenario is the customer.’

Will you consider taking an all-inclusive holiday this year?

Commenter David is a fan of going all-inclusive:

‘I like all-inclusive because I don’t have to worry about how much money goes on food and drink, which soon adds up, considering you have to eat and drink something everyday. Going on holiday is all about relaxing, not worrying about the cost of food and drink for the entire trip and not worrying about cooking and clearing up afterwards. I would still go to restaurants more than once to have something “different”, but not everyday and definitely not several times a day.’

What if your Facebook profile could influence credit decisions?

One company in Germany is looking to trawl Facebook profiles for data that could affect your credit score. Thelm wants checks to be in place:

‘If they covertly use sources which can be either hijacked, wrong or subject to abuse then there are clearly issues. Any decisions need to be transparent and subject to review with clearly ring fenced consent required for information used.’

M ‘opts-out’ of social networking to avoid these problems, but is worried he might be penalised:

‘I for one do not use Facebook or Twitter, I have no interest in “social media” and can find no use for it. I wonder if soon the fact I don’t have a Facebook account will count against me. Right now if you do not have a debit or credit card and mobile phone there are areas you cannot park your car (as you have to pay by phone). So you are penalised for not “opting in” – is this the next step?’

Are we losing our links to local produce?

John Ward thinks that with just a bit more time we can re-acquaint ourselves with our local roots… and root vegetables:

‘A lot of people say they “don’t have the time” to go round the local shops to get the best produce. In many cases that is genuinely true but in an awful lot of cases it is just not true. It is a question of the management of time and the priority we attach to different activities.

‘For some people doing their social networking is far more important, or reading the newspaper, or washing the car. The supermarkets, of course, capitalise on the fact that they stay open later so that people can do their shopping after they get home from work. Enterprising local shopkeepers would do the same… but with rare exceptions they don’t.’

Should we be fined for messy gardens?

Some councils are considering issuing fines for residents who don’t keep their front gardens tidy. But Eleanor’s description of compromise and collective action gave us enough smiles to make this our Comment of the Week:

‘I think it’s about finding a balance, as well as collective action.

‘We put a lot of effort into our garden and we also help our neighbours (one of whom is disabled and one who is elderly) to keep on top of their gardens by cutting their hedges, mowing their lawns and weeding.

‘We live on an estate (part private housing and part housing association). There is some council owned “green” land at the end of our road that was left to overgrow and look unsightly which we, along with some other neighbours on our street, now look after ourselves and have planted nice shrubs and bushes (those who can afford to have donated one plant each). Collectively this is cheap, relatively easy and non time consuming.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).