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Mary Portas, Peppa Pig and the spin obsessed Idiots (yes you Call Me Dave) who run Britain

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 16 February 2013

One of the early initiatives of our pathetic Government was to bring in Mary Portas to “save the High Street.” Amid great fanfare £1.2 million of taxpayers cash was handed to 12 flagship local authorities to fight this brave battle. And now we discover what has happened.

Most of the cash has remained unspent. The cash that has been spent appears to have gone largely on consultation exercises, newspaper adverts and in one case in hiring a man to walk around dressed as Peppa Pig. In other words it has either been pissed away or not spent. What a frigging surprise.

If you want people to use shops more you tax them less so that they have a greater disposable income and will allocate the money they earn as they wish. If you want money to be spent in the most inefficient way possible you give it to someone else to spend, preferable someone with not a commercial brain cell in his or her brain employed by Local Government.

That is the stupidity of this. But the worse crime is vanity. The High Street is disappearing because it was populated by retainers whose business model does not work in the modern world. Revolution was the latest casualty this week, heading off to retail heaven thanks to a shift towards online shopping and the high fixed costs they face for High Street rental. If you are a retailer you need to be out of town to get the footfall needed to cover fixed costs. Even then etailers and the supermarkets will nibble away steadily at your market share.

For a supposedly Conservative Government to think that they could buck market forces by pissing away cash via the losers who run Local Government was vanity on a King Canute like scale. The tide has turned against the High Street and it will not come back whatever posturing we get from politicians. Ultimately the Portas exercise was little more than the politicians of the Coalition spending other people’s cash in order to make it look as if they were working hard to save something of sentimental value. It was never anything more than an expensive PR stunt.

But then our PM is an ex PR man. That is the only sort of business he really knows. The heir to Blair indeed.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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