Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Window Dressing

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The High Street should be at the very heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment; so it is vital that we do all that we can to ensure they thrive.
No, the High Street is somewhere we go to buy stuff. And if we buy stuff there, we create jobs. If we buy stuff elsewhere, we create jobs. Honestly, didn't the E in his PPE stretch to Basquiat?

I'm in a minority of people who actually likes what we have right now. I mix up my shopping in the following diverse ways:-

Tesco/Asda: most of my shopping. It's cheap, convenient, reasonably good quality
Local shops: cheap, fresh coriander from the Indian shop, excellent bacon from the butcher, proscuitto from the Italian shop, some wine from the wine shop. The last 3 cost a bit more, but I appreciate the better product/service quality.
Internet: for the variety and price. Wii games and Livarot cheese.

Living in the provinces, we've never had it so good. Get in a time machine to the mid-80s and try to buy Australian Riesling or Hawaiian Kona. You would be going to London to buy it. The first you can get in Tesco, the 2nd on the internet, delivered in a few days. And you don't have to waste your time getting in a car to go to town to buy a book, find it's not in, order it, go back to collect it. Just hit Amazon or Book Depository and get on with your life and it'll come to you.

Labour said people must be able to influence the make-up of High Streets in their areas and proposed legislation on giving local communities more powers currently being debated by MPs could be used to protect small traders and promote retail diversity.

People already influence the make-up of High Streets in their areas by their actions. We might say we like local shops, but when it comes to spending money, we value price, convenience, range and service in different levels. For most people, price and convenience win.

Now, here's a question for all those people who either profess to believing in the free market (Conservatives) and progressivism (Labour): at what point do you have to admit that Tesco is the pinnacle of the free market in action (Conservatives) or a very good way to make the poor richer (Labour)?

We have 3 failed parties in this country. At least Wilson believed in a technological future. And while Major might have liked his spinsters on village greens, he at least believed in the free market. We now have political parties offering nothing but a look back to Camberwick Green.

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