Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Right wing Tories against left wing guide books

No one is paying attention to the Tories at the moment, as it is much more fun for journalists to write about how the government is getting on with the job and listening to the people.

But the speed with which the Tories are lurching to the right now that they don't feel that they have to hide what they really think is actually quite something. Just one little example - they issued a briefing earlier this week about how 'Old Labour is back', and one of the pitifully few examples of this they scraped off the barrel was that the government had given in to trade union demands not to privatise the Royal Mail. Remember back in the old day of, erm, April, when the thing that the Tories cared most about in all the world was opposing the closure of post offices? That was then and this is now.

For sheer, unadulterated, old skool Thatcherism gone mad, check out this article by Greg Hands. The subject of his article is why guide books are so left wing.

Why guide books are so left wing. Whadda you mean, you'd never noticed?

The Lonely Planet for Britain in 1994 was uncomplimentary about Mrs Thatcher, and the Lonely Planet for the USA claims that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was quite successful and doesn't think that George Bush has been a very good President. The Lonely Planet for Egypt is an apology for radical Islamism. The entire Lonely Planet series is owned by the BBC (nuff said). And the restaurant reviews only recommend restaurants which are run by Marxists.

So when the Tories talk about their plans to tackle poverty, save the environment and improve the NHS, worth remembering that their representatives are more worried about left wing guide books.

3 Comments:

At 12:22 pm , Anonymous tim f said...

Does wanting to censor guide-books so they fit your political world-view better count as political correctness gone mad?

The Lonely Planet guides do have a distinctive writing style, but I always presumed that was to give htem a niche in the market and make them more competitive with their customer base.

 
At 9:24 pm , Blogger Mrs Blogs said...

..sorry I know this is only relevant in that its about guidebooks but nevertheless an interesting historical factoid in this article entitled Bakhtin at the Seaside..

"In Blackpool two middle-class zones were created in the 1860s.
North Pier (built in 1863) was designed and promoted as a secluded promenade
area segregated from the working class by means of a two-penny toll.
When the toll proved insufficient a deterrent, a second pier was opened in
1868 (the South Jetty or ‘People’s Pier’) specifically in order to siphon off
the working-class trippers (Walton, 1998a: 37–9). Meanwhile, the Blackpool
Land, Building and Hotel Company had been set up in 1863 with the
aim of developing a strip of North Shore land (Claremont Park) into a quiet,
planned, regulated middle-class enclave, offering high-class accommodation
with the whole area again segregated from the working class by means
of a toll (Walton, 1998a: 60–8)."

....

"Everyone in Blackpool was conscious of this geographical class segregation.
Guidebooks assured the middle classes that Claremont Park was
kept free of proletarian crowds while Blackpool Corporation introduced a
string of bye-laws to ensure that this was so (Dobson and Brotherton, 1988:
74; Popular Guide to Blackpool, 1889: 10). Even more pronounced were the
class divisions represented by the two piers. The guidebooks made it clear
that North Pier was for middle-class promenading while South Jetty was for
working-class dancing (People’s Guide to Blackpool, 1883: 17)."

its good that times have changed.

 
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