Thanet Star

Mary Portas is not the massiah

Anyone would think we didn't know how TV companies work.

With all the fuss that Ms Portas has caused one could be forgiven for thinking that we were expecting the second coming of Christ. The company that won the bid to tell us what's best for us and to spend a wedge of money doing so is a TV company. That means that they are going to behave like TV company.

Mary, my-way-or-the-high-way, Portas is not here to fix our high-street she's here to turn it into feel-good entertainment.

So called "reality TV" has not, is not and never will be about reality. Reality TV is manipulated, directed, staged, scripted, set up, orchestrated for maximum impact, carefully edited and gagged to appear like no effort was ever made.

The reason for the outrage is that we were expecting a knight in shining armour to come and save us from incompetent and selfishly motivated high-street failure (posing as governance). We hoped for a messiah to save our dying high-street. This is not what we got thus this:

Off with her head! How Mary Queen of Shops enraged Margate's traders - Home News - UK - The Independent

Her charisma, drive and retail savvy were meant to rejuvenate some of Britain's most deprived towns. But residents of Margate are rising up against Mary Portas, claiming she is putting the interests of her television company before their own.

Of course there are those of us that hope that being in a freak show could somehow help. Maybe it will.

There are those of us fearful that being in the freak show will only further the carrier of Mary Portas at the cost of failed hopes. Maybe it will.

There are those of us that think that the money could have been spent on something more sensible, safe, conservative and ultimately doomed to fail. That it could.

The only sure thing so far is that we are clearly divided on this:

Margate divided over its role in Mary Portas reality show | Saturday sktech | Zoe Williams | From the Guardian | The Guardian

Zoe Williams: The Kent seaside resort is not sure whether the Mary Portas pilot for its high street will be good for business

There is no denying that money cannot buy the attention, and national awareness that this controversy will bring.

Fan the flames. Summon the villagers with flaming pitchforks. Call for the heated debate. Find an opinion and strongly disagree with it. Pick a corner and fight it. Do the dance of vroomfondel and majikthise like never before. Make a fuss. Post angry letters to editors. Object. Object to the objection. Make the most of it.

But when we are done with the fun let us not forget to hold the TV company and Mary Portas to account. Let us tell the story that they do not want told. Let us report what happened when the camera's stopped rolling.

Let us, in short, tell the truth boldly and publicly.

If we don't what good are Thanet's blogs?

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