Supermarkets are taking over the high street and it\’s all big capitalism\’s fault. Fight The Man!
Between January and June this year, the proportion of British shops lying empty increased again, to an average of nearly 15%; the centre of Nottingham topped the rankings with 31% of shops unoccupied, up from 23%. But for those big corporate interests who have staked their money on retail parks, the news was rather different: in those places, the average vacancy figure is a lowly 9%.
From there, it is only a short hop to one of the most alarming beliefs of our time – that the high street has had it, and only charity shops, bookies and coffee outlets can even do business there, along with the supermarkets\’ ubiquitous convenience stores. The latter are now spreading at speed into disused pubs, which represents a poetic development indeed: one-time centres of socialising now echoing only to the grim bleeps of self-service checkouts, as Jacob\’s Creek, cigarettes and ready meals are ferried home to be consumed in private.
Not surprisingly, the standard explanation for all this takes its cue from the credo of the free market. Britain, it\’s said, is so overjoyed with internet consumerism that the old-fashioned shop seems drab – but no one mentions the fact that Amazon pays no UK corporation tax, or that such firms as Play.com, the Hut group and Indigo Starfish use well-worn VAT dodges.
Might just be worth mentioning that 11-12% of retail sales are now made over the internet. It wouldn\’t be a terrible surprise to thus find out that 11-12% of the previous stock of retail space was now surplus to requirements.
But the much larger problem is that Harris and his ilk have forgotten what it means to live in liberty and freedom. Such meaning that you have the freedom and liberty to shop at a supermarket or at an independent as you wish. But you do not have the right to ban one or the other and deny other people said freedom and liberty.
And, note, if people in general didn\’t value the supermarkets, if they valued the independents over the supermarkets, then the supermarkets would go bust and the independents would thrive. Meaning that the very fact that you are trying to ban supermarkets in order to preserve the independents is proof perfect that you think your fellow citizens desire the supermarkets more than the independents.
You are, in fact, deliberately trying to screw over your fellows\’ preferences by using the law to limit their options.
How very fucking liberal of you.