Following on from my post onhomophobia in The Apprentice, it is interesting to note that the ‘Rebranding Margate‘ episode was broadcast last night (BBC1, 13/05/2009) without the alleged comment that sparked the controversy.
However, although the homophobia was not proudly on display, the stereotypes most certainly were. It seems that the myth of the pink pound is still offered as fact. Throughout the discussions the rationale offered as ‘they’ have more disposal income than the average person. So are there no gay men and lesbian women currently struggling with the economic downturn? If not, then I think we have found the answer to the worldwide recession. We all go gay! It would be great. Lots of holidays with people actually displaying good taste in their holiday attire. No worries of unemployment. Businesses would be immune from poor trading. The pink pound would be stronger than Sterling unless of course our European brothers and sisters bring out the pink Euro, then we’d all be f***ed again!
The ‘pink pound’ on one level may seem like positive stereotyping. However, it does tend to gloss over the fact that gay men and lesbian women are from all walks of life, which includes lower paid people with less disposable income. It has a parallel with assuming that all Jews are wealthy. Clearly any segment of the population incorporates more diversity than a simple pigeon-hole (stereotype) dictates.
As the mighty pink pound is yet to appear at the Bureau de Change, it looks like it might have to be a holiday in Margate this year!
I think this is one of the nicest stories I’ve heard recently is about the pharmacist who has given his staff a ‘credit crunch bonus’ to spend in the local community, to help ailing shop keepers (see link below)
Looking up and down my local high street I see shops closing at the same time and the big supermarkets seem to prosper. It’s nice to have everything under one roof and in tough times, ‘every little helps’. However, unless we also give a thought to local struggling businesses we may end up with ‘ghost town’ high streets with only supermarket aisles to choose between.
My local big supermarket competes with the local pharmacist; the local newsagent; the local bookshop; the local halal butcher; the local Caribbean shop and so on. By contrast, the budget supermarkets (Netto, Lidl, Aldi) have a limited range of products and so are more likely to co-exist with the local shopkeepers. Markets are also a good source of locally sourced produce, that isn’t overly packaged. So it’s worth thinking about spreading things around a little, after all, as the saying goes ‘every little helps’.