Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Tale of Reggie, Maggie, and the Shopping Mall.

My dislike of shopping malls made a successful re-entry into my orbit today. I was in one, you see, and remembered how dear old Margaret Thatcher bequeathed them to us as a lasting legacy to her inestimable wisdom. What happened was this:

Margaret had a favourite American friend who she liked to go and play with now and then. His name was… was… what the devil was his name? (I remember he was a dopey actor who pretended to be in charge of the USA for a few years.) Regan, that was it – Reginald, I think. Reginald Regan; that sounds about right.

So anyway, one day, when Reggie and Maggie had tired of burying their dolls head first in a sand pit and giggling a lot, Reggie offered to take Maggie to his old stompin’ and gun tot’n ground in California where, lo and behold, they chanced upon a shopping mall.

‘Oh, I like these,’ said Maggie, ‘I really like these. Britain must have a multitude of them. They will become a lasting legacy to my inestimable wisdom, and I shall be first among women for ever and ever.’ And that’s what she set about doing.

First she got herself elected leader of the Tory Party by convincing the menfolk (allegedly) that she was really very sexy and they began frothing at the mouth and falling over backwards. Then she walked regally upon their supine bodies until their eyes assumed a euphoric glaze and they could no more see reason than Blind Pugh could see Long John’s parrot. It didn’t take long for the Great (and rather easily fooled) British public to see her as the new Boudicca, and so she became Queen (the real one, that is, not the figurehead who – by an amazing coincidence – had a sister with the very same name.)

Then came the clever bit: She gave away all the industry (well, most of it) to countries where people of relatively short stature worked 100 hour shifts in sweatshops for 3p an hour. This meant that we could buy the goods back from them cheaper than we could make them in a country where workers selfishly expected a living wage and a few basic rights. The scene was then set for the great revolution:

The Shopping Mall.

And so it came to pass; the tradition was established and promises to continue unabated into a glorious future. People are never happier than when they’re running frantically around a covered building which smells seductively of artificial chemical scents, trying their very best to find something to buy that costs more than it’s actually worth because both the owners of the malls and the owners of the businesses believe resolutely in Maggie’s adopted maxims:

Greed is good, and nothing counts unless it sells (well.)

Besides, things that cost more than they're worth are worth all the more for it, aren't they? 

And that’s progress (and marketing propaganda.) And the thing that's going to make Britain truly Great again is having more shopping malls per square mile than California. So there.

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