Amusing but wrong

A halal supermarket in a Paris suburb has been told by local authorities it must start selling alcohol and pork or else it will be shut down.

Good Price discount mini-market in Colombes has been told by the local housing authority, from which it rents its premises, that it has not followed the conditions on the lease that stipulate that the shop must act as a “general food store.”

The authority argues that all members of the local community are not being served properly if there are no alcohol or pork products in the Good Price store, which is run as a franchise and which last year replaced another small supermarket.

Yes, super, stick it to the Islamic takeover.

However, given that I support your right not to bake a gay wedding cake if that’s what takes your fancy then I can hardly go around insisting that you’ve got to sell booze, can I?

32 thoughts on “Amusing but wrong”

  1. Tim, I would agree with you if the lease were of private property, but this is the local housing association, presumably providing subsidised accommodation to all not just RoPers. Why should elderly Mme and M France not cheer their days with some jambon and vin from their local grocer?

  2. Surely a ‘breach of contract’ issue if there is something in the lease?

    There may be some argy-bargy over what is a ‘general food store’ (ie whether it is supposed to serve more than a narrow section of the community). And there may be more detail in the lease which we don’t know about.

  3. There’s a difference between what sort of cakes you, as a self employed baker should have the freedom to make, and in contrast, a shop which rents premises where a condition of the lease is that it acts as a “general food store”. If I, as a landlord let a shop on condition it sells tartan condoms, I’m free to do that. And anyone renting the premises who does not sell tartan condoms is breaking the terms of the lease.

  4. I think the previous comments nail it – the “freedom” was exercised at the point of signing the lease, at which point the tenants are bound.

    I also suspect there may be something else going on, such as the tenants being unwelcoming or unpleasant to the infidels, and that this is a way to deal with it indirectly, telling them to sort themselves out or foxtrot oscar.

  5. LJH is correct, there’s no conflict. You support the right of the owner of a business to trade how he wants. They don’t own the premises – the owner gets the say.

  6. ““We want a social mix. We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims,” Mr Besnard said..”

    And this is definitely the way to go about it. True diversity. Who could complain?

  7. I see no reason to argue that a store not selling booze (which is not good) and pork (which is just one food product) does not qualify as a ‘General food store’. Nothing about the word ‘general’ implies ‘comprehensive’. So unless the lease is much more prescriptive then there’s no breach here.

    I can accept the argument that ‘public’ landlords can reasonably insist that their leasees provide secular services.. but if this one did not, and if the rent itself is on a commercial basis, then there is still no foul.

    Still.. lovely to see so many massive double standards on show as others try to contort themselves, with Murph-like inelegance, so that they can get behind the targeting of a small Muslim business that, to all of our knowledge, has done nothing more objectionable than quietly excerise it’s right not to sell stuff the owners don’t wish it to sell.

  8. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Tsk,tsk JuliM – you know full well that that is the WRONGS kind of diversity.

    The locals should be happy that they can diversely only buy halal meat.

  9. The Thought Gang: “…the targeting of a small Muslim business that, to all of our knowledge, has done nothing more objectionable than quietly excerise it’s right not to sell stuff the owners don’t wish it to sell.”

    Did you not read this bit?

    ““The mayor of Colombes, Nicole Goueta, went there herself and asked the owner to diversify the range of products by adding alcohol and non-halal meats,” the mayor’s chief of staff, Jérôme Besnard, told The Telegraph.

    He said locals, particularly older residents, had complained that they could no longer get the full range of products at Good Price, which replaced a regular supermarket, and had to travel some distance now to do their shopping.”

    But better those old farts put themselves out rather than upset one of the favoured religion, eh?

  10. JuliaM,

    Personally, I’m more than happy living in a suburb with very few Muslims, and no outward signs of Islam. I don’t feel I’m missing out through a lack of diversity. We don’t have many people from lower socioeconomic groups either. Again, we don’t feel disadvantaged.

  11. @TTG
    In a general store, in France, it’s customary to offer alcohol & pork products. Or it’s not a general store. It’s some other store.
    The analogy in the UK might be a pub. A pub offers beers wines & spirits. An establishment that offered wine & spirits but not beer might be a “wine bar” or just a “bar”. But it wouldn’t be a pub

  12. Halal should be banned for its cruelty anyway. I don’t usually approve of banning anything but we are in a war situation now thanks to the scum of the left and halal and no more mosques should be part of a much larger package of measures occasioned by the conflict.

  13. @ Julia

    Aaaand if a store did not sell Halal meat and local elderly Muslims complained that they had to travel long distances to travel to get their full range…???

    If people really have to travel unreasonable distances for bacon and wine then it’s either a regulatory or a market failure.

    If, in France, there is an accepted and generally observed definition of what the store should be, and the lease is for that, and the store isn’t it.. then that’s different.

  14. You’re not often wrong Tim, but you’re wrong here,

    Every small grocery shop in France sells booze. As far as I know they don’t even need a licence, it is expected that they will. This should be no surprise in a country which drinks wine with every meal. The only normal thing they can’t sell is smokes. As pointed out above, why should people have to travel km to get a bottle of wine or beer which they would be able to get in any other general store. Different if there were loads of shops in the same place so you could get it somewhere else.

    Also, how would you on a whim be able to make the traditional croquet monsieur without being able to get the ham?

    It would/should therefore be an implied term of the lease and if they won’t comply fuck em. Hats off to the housing association for doing this. The chances of this happening in the UK are precisely zero.

  15. I’m thinking back to a property I considered buying in SW France. The first floor was an apartment whilst the ground was a restaurant. The lease terms on the business premises stipulated a low rent on the restaurant. If it was a restaurant. So, effectively, one was buying an apartment with the convenience of somewhere to eat very close by. The leaseholders could have sold the business as a restaurant with the lease terms transferred to the new owner. But not if no food was sold & it became simply a bar. That would breach the lease terms & open up the rent to negotiation.
    This sort of thing is quite common in France, where people are thought to have obligations to the wider community. I’ve lived in places where the colour one might paint one’s front door are stipulated in law. Most houses blue but some white. Depending on who lived in the house 3 centuries back. The French are quite keen that France continues to be recognisably French. Why French villages continue to be villages & haven’t done the UK thing & turned themselves into conglomerations of estate agents, antique shops & hairdressers..

  16. The Meissen Bison

    I think that BiS is right: this sounds like an épicerie – a general store that does rather more than sell spices. They invariably sell wine too and a range of staples including charcuterie, a category rather broader than just ‘bacon’.

    As others have said, the contract is the determining thing and if the shop is not required to offer for sale a representative selection of dog breeds, then so be it.

  17. The lease requirement that the shop acts as a general store is not just arbitrary; there is a commercial purpose to it.

    Having a general store nearby will make the landlord’s residential properties more attractive and therefore keep the rents higher.

    (Or, since this is a social landlord, easier to re-let; it still keeps the total rent up if there are shorter void periods between tenants).

  18. The French do have form for this:
    To modernise.
    “Your Highness. The (Muslim) peasants are starving. They have no halal chicken.”
    “Then let them eat croque monsieur”

  19. Bloke in Wiltshire

    I think the only issue is about whether people have alternative choices.

    If that’s the only shop, or even maybe, one of 2 shops, it’s reasonable for the state to demand some supply. On the other hand, getting rid of the bureaucracy of planning is an alternative – someone enterprising would sell booze from their apartment.

  20. The Thought Gang: “Aaaand if a store did not sell Halal meat and local elderly Muslims complained that they had to travel long distances to travel to get their full range…???”

    Then I expect the store would be told to stock it. Why? Do you think otherwise?

  21. The Thought Gang: “If people really have to travel unreasonable distances for bacon and wine then it’s either a regulatory or a market failure.”

    This. Seems like an opportunity to me. What’s stopping someone opening up a competing store? Could it be the same housing authority? What is the state doing leasing out shops anyway?

  22. Bloke in Wiltshire

    Rob Fisher,

    I’m sure there’s a reason, or it would have happened.

    The French are very controlling about retail. I know the EU has intervened in some areas, but it used to be that a baker’s bread had to be inspected by the local government. Not for health, but just for whether it was proper bread. Paris until recently had laws about when bakers could go on holiday.

    There are all sorts of ways they have gone after Amazon – discounting books, giving free delivery. Amazon charge a 1c delivery charge just to get around the law.

  23. “This. Seems like an opportunity to me. What’s stopping someone opening up a competing store?”

    Perhaps they don’t fancy being firebombed? X% of Muslims are quite happy to shop in a shop which sells beer and bacon even if they don’t themselves consume those products, Y% are happy for such a shop to be nearby but won’t patronise it, and Z% don’t want no filthy kuffar scum selling their haram shit in their neighbourhood.

    Trouble is that the Z% are often victorious because a man with a petrol bomb is tough to argue with.

    Mate of mine worked in a Ladbrokes up north somewhere in his university days. They got fed up of having their windows smashed, staff threatened and so on, and not by the local Amish, and eventually closed the branch.

  24. ^same reason you can make Jesus of Nazareth but not Mohammed of Mecca. It might be bullshit but it would be a cracking story full of war and sex (though you might want to focus on Mohammed’s older wives) but whereas Christian critics might hold a protest or two and write snotty letters the makers and distributors of the Mohammed film would immediately be under sentence of death and there would be murder and destruction at cinemas thoughout the world.

    ‘But the Crusades’ – SJW, The ‘Thought’ Gang and Arnald.

  25. When Europeans are allowed self determination in their own countries and continent, there is room to discuss whether a hypothetical local authority should rent their one viable commercial property to a hypothetical teetotalling retailer who refuses to sell alcohol.

    It wouldn’t happen- as others would be free to bid considerably more for the rights to the hypothetical scarce land without the threat of non-European violence- but it could be discussed.

    But noone would care, because these free countries would not have occupied urban areas where retailers have to have scale to fund the security required to operate a business.

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