A regular portion of my morning involves scanning the day’s news from various sources: American news networks, AP wire by satellite, radio talk, the blogosphere, the American and British press. So quite often I glance through Guardian Unlimited, the online feed of that annoying leftist British rag, The Guardian.

Why do I bother with it? After all, it bears only a resemblance to the news; it’s the news as seen through exclusively left-liberal glasses. Well, I guess I’m a sucker for political masochism. I like to know what’s going on in their heads, and would rather get myself pissed off reading a socialist in The Guardian than read someone who shares my point of view (which can get old). As a result, I frequently find myself amazed, appalled, amused and aggravated by the irrational worldview of The Guardian….. and today is no exception.

We have yet another anti-capitalist tirade on British supermarkets: “…From these humble north London beginnings the story was born a giant retail empire that MANY NOW FEAR is destroying the traditional British high street,” [emphasis mine]. Well it certainly appears to be doing well in spite of the “fear” of so “many” about its power! Tesco is the UK’s leading retailer and the largest private sector employer. If so many were so concerned that it would destroy the high street, why would they voluntarily help it grow?

“The truth though is that local retailers are feeling the pinch from Tesco and the other big supermarkets.” Well of course they are! That’s called competition! It’s ‘Business 101’, guys. Can’t you keep up?

The article quotes a local retailer, asking rhetorically, “When was the last time you got a discount from Tesco for buying a load of shopping there?” Now you can’t blame the retailer for asking such a blatantly stupid question; he just wasn’t thinking. The entire store is at a discount! Where, before Tesco, could you get a loaf of bread for 18p? Millions of people in low-income households can afford to eat because of Tesco and the principals that make it work. Many millions more can afford to do more with their money because their weekly groceries cost less. Aren’t these the very people the Left claim to care about? The Guardian is obviously too busy moralising to notice.

“Over the last decades, scores of traditional local shops have been forced out of Watling Avenue. It’s a familiar pattern that led a group of MPs to warn this week that we have 10 years left to save the high street.” Now there are a couple of interesting questions to be asked here. What about the high street is inherently worth saving? What is so useful about the high street?

Let me tell you what I think about the high street. I don’t want to put it down, and I think that, in certain areas particularly, there is a market for traditional-style shopping. But there is a better model now. The high street is no match for the convenience, pricing, speed, and consistency of quality of the modern mall-style shopping experience (which is American in design). The high street is an older, inferior shopping experience, for most people. Tesco’s popularity and subsequent spread testifies to that fact. (In fact, even those who claim to enjoy life as it was in the past shop at supermarkets – an indication of the extent of their success.) Personally, I would be happy with ripping up every high street in the West to make room for large shopping malls and parking lots. But I know there will always be a market for the high street too. Which is why this article is a scaremongering pile of garbage.

“They called for small shops to be protected against supermarket giants to help maintain the vibrancy of local streets and choice for consumers.” HOLY CRAP! YOU PEOPLE ARE INSANE! If consumers thought the local streets were more vibrant, or offered choice that they wanted or needed, THEY WOULD SHOP THERE! What makes anybody think that local shops should contract the government to forceably protect them from consumer CHOICE? This really is very simple: if you like the high street, go there and shop – if you like Tesco, shop at Tesco! What the hell is the issue here?

“It warned that without such protection, minority groups such as Muslims would lose out because they rely on local shops for halal meat.” THIS is the pathetic, unmitigated, ignorant pile of bullshit emanating from the Left, and from The Guardian. Do they honestly believe that there will be nobody left in the United Kingdom selling halal meat if the local shops that currently sell it go out of business? There will be no option but to leave Britain because of a LACK of HALAL MEAT?? There will be no-one wanting to offer halal meat??? I mean, either it SELLS, and someone will be in business selling it, or it DOESN’T SELL, in which case nobody is going to miss it! I mean, this is simple market economics… I don’t know why I’m wasting my fricking time here.

“In Watling Avenue there are several grocers who sell halal meat. ‘We are targeting Asians, Tesco is looking to the Europeans. We sell £500 worth of halal meat every day. We are not in danger of going out of business,’ said Mohan, who works in one of the stores.” So this steaming crock of an article has just contradicted itself. Or has it? “The problem for Mr Doneo….” – ah, I see, they’re getting to the problem now – “…is that those buying halal meat don’t tend to buy his flowers.”

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!! Now the problem with Tesco is that people don’t buy his FLOWERS?

Alright, I need to calm down here. The article goes on to say that the local shops are adapting to compete with Tesco by offering stuff they don’t sell, like halal meat, lobster, barracuda, Scotch oysters, etc. So they’re adapting, and they’re competing. That’s what they ought to be doing if they want to exist. Fine. Right?

“But both Mr Doneo and Ms Georgemichaels are gloomy about the long-term future. ‘They’ll win in the end. We’ll all close down and they’ll be less variety for customers.’” Well we just can’t win, here, can we. Did nobody explain to these people, and to The Guardian, that IF there is a market for barracuda, then someone will always offer it? That IF people want the kind of variety these people are talking about (which I think they absolutely do), then a free market dictates that whoever provides it to the consumer will, inherently, be successful in business? And if Tesco does a better job of doing what they have traditionally done, and they don’t adapt, then they will rightfully go out of business!

The lefties have no concept of freedom. No concept of simply voting with their feet, so that, if enough people won’t shop at Tesco, then Tesco will have to move somewhere else. But that wouldn’t work, would it? Because people DO want Tesco. And the lefties know it. It must drive them crazy that people are voluntarily choosing big business in droves. So instead they resort to petition signing, and attempting to force and coerce their minority positions upon the general public. Pathetic. This utter misunderstanding of general economics is typical in left-liberal circles.

Finally: “We don’t want a clone town Britain, where we are forced to use one supermarket because there are no local shops left.” Well then don’t GO to Tesco. Go and frequent the kinds of stores you like to shop at. And if there aren’t any left, go and start one.

Or are you afraid that there won’t be enough of you idiots put together to make it work?

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net