Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Letter of the Week: John Batting
Time to revive a once regular feature on this blog: The Letter of the Week.
And the first winner of 2008 is Mr John Batting of Wargrave, Berkshire, England. In his letter to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Batting writes of the damaging effects supermarkets have had on our communities and the danger they pose to France's smaller shops. Regular readers will know that I have long called for a left-right anti-neo-liberal, anti-globalisation alliance, and protecting small, individually owned shops/cafe/bars from the aggressive expansionary tactics of supermarkets and large chains is a good example of a policy that can unite both traditional conservatives and paleo-leftists.
If a letter catches your eye in in the papers this week, whether in Britain or elsewhere, please send it in.
Why small is beautiful when it comes to shopping
SIR - I was saddened to read your article about the threat to France's smaller shop owners (report, April 29) and hope the French do more to stop this erosion of their communities than we did.
The arguments for supermarkets and against small shops must have seemed so compelling that no one stopped to question the long-term benefits; and the idea of greater choice, convenience and lower prices was too enticing to ignore.
What we didn't see, perhaps, was how this would be part of a move that has largely destroyed our smaller towns and villages, as well as an important part of our society.
We are beginning to see that what were supposedly disadvantages of the smaller shop - the inability to buy all your goods in one shop, the need to travel (usually walk) between shops and higher prices - would now be benefits.
Our towns and villages would be more vibrant and with a greater sense of community, we would be healthier with more walking, we would eat more local produce and probably save petrol as well.
John Batting, Wargrave, Berkshire