Nazis don’t like Tesco

Spiked is a very weird organisation. There’ll be some national event which causes outpouring and handwringing and it’s a foregone conclusion that somebody from Spiked will chime in a few days later with affected nonchalance, reprimand the rest of us for making a fuss about it,  remind us that it only happens once in a blue moon and tell us that if we’re worried about it then it’s only because we’re being too (the most scathing of all possible epithets) middle class about things. For Spiked you’d think the worst thing that could happen in the world is not bombs, not global warming, not famine, not paedophiles, not war – but moral posturing which eclipses them all. Moral posturing and the petit bourgeoisie are Spiked’s obsession. It’s where their anarchy meets their communism (I think). It’s getting so I can predict just about everything they say about any given event and that’s just dull.

Which is why I need to mention a strange piece from Neil Davenport. He was unable to resist including the following unexpected paragraph in his piece on why we have nothing to fear from the leviathan that is Tesco:

“Back in the 1930s, one political party did rise to power promising to rein in the ‘excesses’ of chainstores. In Germany, the Nazi Party passed The Protection of Individual Trade Act on 12 May 1933. From then on, chain stores were forbidden to expand or open new branches. They were also forbidden from offering a discount of more than three per cent on prices. Essentially, small shopkeepers in Germany, together with their middle-class supporters, wanted the state to claw-back some prestige and status lost through the expansion of industrial society. It’s not too fanciful to suggest that the Nazi Party wouldn’t have looked favourably on Tesco, either.”

He goes on to point out that “Tesco’s critics are not anywhere near to being Nazis” but the paragaph was so disconcerting in the first place that for me the association is now quite fixed …

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