/ Money

This week in comments – gardening, banking and buying British

British flag on clothes badge

Can you save money by growing your own veg? Will a Made in Britain logo work? These are just a couple of our hot topics this week – and it’s not too late to tell guest blogger Vince Cable your views on banking reform…

Do you grow your own?

Can growing your own really save you money, asked Which Gardening’s Veronica Peerless. Lots of you, like Frugal Ways, are offering tips on how to save as you grow:

‘One tomato produces enough seeds for around 30 plants. Wash the seeds, dry them overnight, plant out in large covered tubs, months later they are growing flowers and fruit. Plants/flowers come from cuttings from other people’s gardens. I have yet to have someone refuse to let me take a cutting or two when I ask.’

Sandra says it’s all about quantity:

‘Grow produce in quantities that will be eaten; a few good sized beetroot go a long way and many crops, such as courgettes, runner beans and spinach can be eaten raw whilst young, which also has the advantage of encouraging yield.’

Vince Cable: banks need reform, but what form must it take?

We were pleased to welcome Vince Cable as a guest blogger this week, and he’s started a bustling debate. Mel thinks that ring-fencing is the very least that should be done:

‘I would prefer the complete separation of the two sectors. It is quite wrong that the taxpayers should end up insuring investment banks against their risky activities. Investment banks should be in danger of bankruptcy caused by their risky activities.’

Denis shared his thoughts on the interim report:

‘Judging from the markets’ reaction to Vicker’s interim report, the conclusion is that the banks will find a way of by-passing the firewall, just as they have around all the existing regulations.’

The Made in Britain logo – will it make a difference?

Will you welcome such a logo? Syd seems positive:

‘The ideal would be to have some sort of assurance but until manufacturers have a body similar to the Assured Food Standards this is not going to be. Hopefully this logo will allow British manufacturers to promote themselves in the same way British Farmers do, which has been very well received by the public.’

But Gideon’s more focussed on cost:

‘Whenever people say buying British matters I ask them where their jeans are made (without checking). Very few people know because hardly anyone thinks to check. All else being equal, it might swing it but price and quality is king.’

Would you buy a PC without a DVD drive?

Which? Tech’s Andy Vandervell is keen on a DVD drive-less PC – and so is Jon – here’s why:

‘Software, DVDs, music etc is all moving to downloads and USB, and between the Mac Store, iTunes & Love Film the optical drive is being rendered obsolete. Don’t even need to burn CDs for the car, even that’s covered by an 8GB USB stick full of tunes inside the glovebox.’

But Ishmeal thinks the idea is bonkers:

‘I would never buy a PC without a DVD drive. What if you need to reinstall the OS or add another on? What if you need a boot-up disc? What if you want to create a DVD for a friend or family member who doesn’t really know how to work a computer? What if you want to play a DVD that doesn’t come with a digital copy? What about the digital copy of movies that are on DVDs?’

Is a world full of “smart” devices a dumb idea?

Mark’s vision of the future caught our imagination so he gets our Comment of the Week:

‘I predict a future where we are held captive by our own schedules and notifications, our kitchen appliances telling us what to do and where to do it, and the inevitable cultural movement against such a future. I fear for a future where human beings no longer control their own destinies, instead marching to the beat of illusory desires, fuelled by the marketing departments of global corporations. Zombies.’

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).

jackie says:
30 July 2011

I agree with Ishmeal i don’t use computers for down loading i like to record tv programes and buy most of my films on dvd so i can watch as often as i like i still have 2 video recorders one is brand new and i still have vhs videos i like to watch. i also have a twine cassette recorder and loads of cassettes that I only replace with a disc version if i have to, i have an ipod but do not like the sound quality and i do not like wearing headphones i also have a record player and a few records. if things still work why throw them away