Saturday, March 29, 2008

Simon Heffer, Pompous Ignoramus

Simon Heffer takes the trouble to comment on a recent trip by Councillors and officers from Essex County Council to the US to promote inward investment. It was a cross-party trip but that seems to have escaped him. His insight includes the following:
Essex has more business than it can cope with, with its green fields being concreted over, its roads sclerotic, and only the drug-addled are unemployed, so I am not sure why £24,000 needed to be spent to encourage any more.
The depth of contempt for ordinary people and ignorance of how an economy actually works is truly breathtaking. Essex does not have more business than it can cope with unless you think that Essex people have no aspirations at all to improve their situation. Essex Councils certainly have aspirations for their people, and they are making a concerted effort to move the Essex economy into higher-value business, which in turn offers Essex people greater rewards. Of course, Simon doesn't believe in social and economic mobility. In his world plebs stay plebs and have no other function but to mow is lawn and serve him complicated coffee. As for green fields being concreted over, most Essex Councils are concentrating development on brownfield sites, and the roads work a great deal better than those in any other of the counties that surround London. His comment about the unemployed is just offensive and shows a man who clearly has never held a real conversation with anyone earning under six figures.

When considering Simon Heffer you really only have to remember that this was a man who until very recently was a Gordon Brown cheerleader, though he has fallen strangely silent on that of late. His analysis there was on the same level as his views on Essex.