John Harris has one of his, as usual, excellently done pieces detailing the economic wasteland that is a town where Tesco has decided not to arrive. Bit of vox pop, bit of background information, the underlying tale being that of course the capitalist bastards are ripping the heart out of good honest working class communities by not arriving.
It’s very well done:
Throughout the 1990s and all the way up to the crash of 2008 and beyond, this was how whole swaths of Britain were rebuilt, and Tesco led the charge, to the point that it sometimes seemed to be a wing of government, and some people began to fear the dystopia crystallised in the title of Andrew Simms’s best-selling book Tescopoly. Now, though, Tesco is in retreat, and its sudden withdrawal from scores of places has left behind resentment, anger and what feels like a strange state of shock.
It’s just that this was the same John Harris who only 5 years ago was not only complaining about Tesco coming to town but actively campaigning against it doing so:
This is the kind of nightmare many Frome locals fear: the dullest, most oppressive kind of arrival, thoroughly out of sync with a creative, imaginative local atmosphere. Put another way, it’ll be another small step closer to the kind of future long since mapped out in middle America, in which banal convenience will conquer all – and this being Britain, forgetfulness will come at 24 cans for a tenner.
The underlying tale being that of course the capitalist bastards are ripping the heart out of good honest working class communities by arriving.
Our assumption is not that if you’re a Guardian columnist then you’ve got to find something to complain about. Nor even that to be a lefty you must have some whinge, whatever it is. It’s that in order to be properly bien pensant you must be whining about something. What is whined about does not matter, the logical consistency of successive whines is unimportant, to be a Very Serious Person discussing the state of the world has moved on from EM Forster and ended in “Only whine”.