Edward Fox: Selfish bastard

On why he roused the locals to oppose a supermarket:

The reason my own hackles rose so is because I grew up in Sussex, and since the end of the war I’ve seen market towns south of London being subsumed, devastated by commercialism. It began with Crawley, which was a market town, then Horsham, which was so completely ruined it’s now like some terrible place in Minneapolis. Keep going south to Burgess Hill and Hassocks and you’ve got a chain reaction of creeping commercialism.

The idea that \”market town\” is the very definition of \”commercialism\” seems to have escaped him.

But look what he\’s done. He\’s stopped the march of the supermarkets: thereby insisting that the folks in his town don\’t have the choice of where to spend their money. And all so that some third generation luvvie doesn\’t have to view terrible commercialism like they have in Minneapolis.

Selfish bastard.

10 thoughts on “Edward Fox: Selfish bastard”

  1. Also mildly ironic that Wareham is kept quiet and free from through-traffic by a bypass funded by the large oilfield sitting underneath Poole Harbour. I’m somewhow sure that he didn’t object to that piece of crass commercialism preserving his rural idyll by building over the meadows.

  2. He’s right. The Tescos, ASDAs and Morrisons are wiping out High Streets, which are now a procession of charity shops.

    And for what? You get more choice from a cartel of supermarket leviathans?

    I don’t think so, Tim.
    Tim adds: So, how do the supermarkets wipe out the High Street? By offering a choice. People go and shop in them in preference to the High Street which is what makes the High Street go bust.

    The very fact that the High Street does go bust is proof positive that people have been offered a choice and that they’ve taken it.

  3. You get more choice from a cartel of supermarket leviathans?

    Despite umpteen investigations, there is no evidence whatsoever that supermarkets operate a cartel. It might be regarded as a self-evident truth in some circles, but it is simply not true.

  4. “a self-evident truth in some circles, but it is simply not true.”

    As good a working definition of socialist thinking as I’ve read anywhere.

  5. Or As Ronald Reagan put it in 1964:

    Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we are denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we are always “against” things, never “for” anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

  6. These “luvvies” are a pain. Supermarkets are not perfect but they offer what people want with the added advantage that you can park at them. The councils are to a great extent responsible for the large stores, they also get bribed with money for entrance roads which would otherwise not appear.

  7. Twenty five years ago there was a real outcry when Safeway opened in the middle of Blandford Forum. I’ve just returned and the fruit and veg shop which was right on the doorstep is still trading and by all accounts doing well. It is not 20 paces from what is now Morrison’s fruit and veg section.

    Maybe there is some form of halo affect and the biggest problem isn’t supermarkets but where they are located. Perhaps we should insist that either they move in to town centers or they allow other shops to open on the edge of the out of town supermarket car parks?

  8. IMX old-school Tory NIMBIES tend to be the biggest opponents of supermarketry.

    Simon: the last government did insist that new supermarkets and retail parks could only be opened in town – that’s why the two big new Westfields are in Stratford and Shepherds Bush, rather than in a field accessible only by motorway like Bluewater. This is a Good Thing. It’ll be interesting to see whether the current government reverses it…

  9. Burgess Hill mentioned above currently has an application by Tesco to extend its current supermarket on the outskirts of town, competing with a town centre where the minimum parking fee has risen to 60p for the first hour. However the town does at least benefit from a well laid out pedestrian walk around with a covered market and ocasional outside stalls. However we need robust planning guidelines that ensure the council has leverage in dealing with such applications, either to turn them down or extract maximum value for the local community.

  10. I was in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago at the Mall Of America, the largest mall in the USA. It has a theme park in the middle. I bet the people of Horsham would love it.

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