Monday, 4 January 2010
Power to the People
Today I did something democratic, which made me feel good. No, I didn't vote for some neo-liberal politician who was allegedly saving us from an allegedly worse neo-liberal politician. I signed a petition to open a new Lidls in 'Tescotown'. Our local politicians always seem to find a taste for green belt aesthetics and reigning in business when anyone but Tesco wants to open a new concrete block in the Sneck.
Whilst I don't like hyperbole, I think it's fair to say that this petition is at least as important as the Treaty of Arbroath and would implore fellow Invernessians to sign it ASAP.
Interestingly enough, I was looking for a discount branch of Lidls that used to exist called 'Bargain Basement'. When I googled 'Lidls bargain basement', I found nothing about this sadly discontinued line of shops, but I found plenty of hilariously insecure Essex man snobbery.
This is a trend I've noticed increasing recently. It used to be that snobs would either be proud descendents of some bloke who killed dragons (though with ancestors who'd more verifiably slaughtered uppity local yokels who wanted some crusts of bread) or else they might be bourgeois snobs who'd criticise state school boys for their poor Greek declensions.
Now it seems to be where you buy your spuds from that defines your place on the social ladder. Not your achievements, or even the achievements of your ancestors, or even the invented achievements of your ancestors, but what type of celery you buy. This creates an intriguing paradox for me: by debasing snobbery are they making it less pleasant and therefore less 'consumable'? Or are they making it more accessible to a larger number of sad gimps and therefore making it more 'consumable'?
I don't know, but Lidls sell the best mechanical pencils of any supermarket, so I'm on their side, whatever negative epithets that earns me. I use their pencils, incidentally, to help me with my 'achievements' such as they are. I see no need to be falsely modest; I am no genius but I am proud at having a skilled job and that I can follow texts in several languages. How these 'achievements' measure against anyone else's doesn't interest me. But I am proud that I at least have greater aspirations than buying tomatoes from Waitrose.
So, whilst not a Germanophile, I'm with the Social Democratic fatherland when consumerism is involved. It's odd that it is so much more varied than our similarly priced free market 'success stories'?
PS: You can see by my photo that even their signs are designed by MC Escher. Can Tescos claim that?