Potemkin lives.

First a little background, the term “Potemkin village”, refers to Catherine the Greats tour of her lands, when her royal favourite Field Marshal Potemkin constructed fake thriving towns along her route of travel. Heres a Wiki.

The UK, yesterday.

Fast forward a few hundred years and it appears parts of the UK think it was a great idea.

Fake businesses are to be used to lessen the impact of the recession on high streets in North Tyneside.

According to the story the council has a large number of shop fronts empty due to lack of businesses to run them. Now call me old fashioned but I would have thought the priority for the council would have been attempting to provide a pro-business environment, maybe something as radical as offering a 5 year holiday on council rates, free advertising, rents paid for you for 6 months, or a number of other forms of assistance for real businesses.

But no, whats better than that? Fake shopfronts.

Fake bloody shopfronts, Jesus wept, the best a group of councilors could come up with in response to an economic crisis is the North Korean solution. Where was the councillor who stood up and said “You know, now I think about it, this really is an incredibly stupid idea”.

The government-funded project involves colourful graphic designs featuring a range of different shop types, which are either taped inside the windows or screwed to the fascia so they can be removed and reused as required.

Karen Goldfinch, chair of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, said: “It’s an excellent way of promoting how a unit can be used, perhaps inspiring new businesses to come into the town.”

Fake shops for fake people? Well if pedestrian traffic drops a bit more in those areas perhaps they should use the same wonderous logic and place mannequins in the street to simulate people? Or off er fake money to spend at the fake shops?

Seriously, just when you think youve seen the stupidest ideas possible something like this comes along and lowers the bar even further.

HT to: Anna Raccoon

5 Responses to “Potemkin lives.”

  1. 1.6 Says:

    That must be part the government’s economic stimulas propaganda package.

  2. onepointsixoneeight Says:


    speaking of which do you believe rapid increases in employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have resulted in much lower wage growth for workers?

  3. bingbing Says:

    Just what does one say to that?

  4. mike Says:

    You have missed the point – it is not an idea from the Council – its from the local traders who have actually come up with something positive to help deal with the effects of the recession in a once vibrant town instead of moaning and blaming everyone else. The clue is in the quote in your piece from a local trader but perhaps that was too obvious for you. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh? Oh and by the way I am not a trader but a shopper who shops in the town.

    • thefrollickingmole Says:

      Its government money going to do the project, or didnt you read it either?
      Or are the traders stumping up for it?

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