Dame Janet Suzman insists her Belsize Village neighbours would really love a Co Op

This is not what Dame Janet thinks she is saying at all, but it is, once examined, what she is insisting:

An Academy Award nominated actress has been accused of "snobbery" over her objection to a new Co-op store in her north London "village".

Dame Janet Suzman, who made her name through performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, said she feared the supermarket chain could negatively impact independent smaller businesses in "Belsize Village", near Belsize Park, after plans were revealed for a new outlet last week.

The 79-year-old, who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 1972 for her debut film role in Nicholas and Alexandra, has previously campaigned against Tesco and Sainsbury from opening branches in the area.

Speaking to the Camden New Journal newspaper, she said: "Go away, Co-op, find a nice high street or some other lonely corner where you could serve a purpose, and leave Belsize alone."

"It's going to be tough on the small established shops already serving the needs of the Village and most likely put them out of business. What a rubbish way to find your profits - on the back of the ruination of others."

The Co Op is, of course, a cooperative, owned by its customers. Their pursuit of profit can be viewed in a different manner, if that’s what one wishes to do, than the activities of more capitalist companies.

However, look at the points underlying her statement. If a Co Op arrives then people will shop in it in preference to the current smaller and more locally owned (??) stores. That is, people would prefer there to be a Co Op.

Now, of course, they may and they may not. But the very statement that the new store will put the old out of business is the insistence that they will prefer the new. So, what is really being said here is - my neighbours would like a Co Op but I insist they cannot have what they desire.

Which makes a reasonable accusation against her selfishness not snobbery.

We have no doubt at all that this logic is entirely unexamined by Dame Janet. But then there’s a reason why actresses become rich and famous spouting the lines and logic written by others rather than themselves.