Île d’Oléron – Banning McDonald’s Is Proof You Think People Want McDonald’s


A standard part of the prodnose playbook is to insist upon banning something you don’t like. Say a supermarket being built in your town in order to preserve the High Street. Or to ban McDonald’s from opening a restaurant in order to preserve another way of life. Which is exactly what is going on in the Île d’Oléron, an island off La Rochelle in France.

The bit people seem not to grasp being that the very act of trying to ban is an admission that many people would like to have one. A supermarket, a McDonald’s. Because if you don’t think people would like to patronise one then why are you trying to ban it? If you really did believe that no one wanted it for cultural, economic, political or just taste reasons then you’d not have to ban it, would you? No one would go there, it would either go bust rapidly or intelligent capitalists wouldn’t build it in the first place.

The Île d’Oléron, which at 19 miles (30km) long is the second-biggest island off mainland France after Corsica, is a major tourist destination, where the population swells from 22,000 in winter to more than 300,000 in August.

Next month a four-year legal battle over whether a McDonald’s should open on the island will come to a head. Leading the fight against the fast food giant is Grégory Gendre, the mayor of the small town of Dolus-d’Oléron, where the winter population is about 3,000. Gendre first refused planning permission for a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant in 2014.

Try to apply a modicum of brain power to this. It’s said that the average collie dog has an IQ of around 50, perhaps 55. Despite the example of Timmy and the well we generally assume that human beings do rather better than this. Yet this is logic that even Lassie could understand.

If people do not want Big Macs then there is no reason to ban a McDonald’s. For if people do not desire the product they will not patronise the store, they will instead chow down on snail sandwiches, grenouille kebabs, calves’ brain mousse and other such delights of the French cuisine. A Maccy D’s that was built would rapidly go bust in the absence of those who prefer homogenised and corporate food. Or, indeed, the American capitalists would note that no one wanted their produce and they’d pack up and go home to pollute the palates of the Land of Lincoln instead of those of honest paysans.

So, what can be the motivation of those who would ban that construction? Logic tells us that there is only the one answer. Those who would ban know very well that a significant portion of the population would like to chow down on pink slime. They therefore wish to ban in order to deny their compatriots that dubious pleasure. Those who would ban McDonald’s, as with those who campaign against a supermarket, are insisting that other people, their fellow citizenry, may not have what they desire.

To which, as Lassie would agree, there is only one correct answer. Here’s it’s the Mayor we should give the advice to but it’s a more general injunction too. Sex and travel matey, you should indulge in a little more of that sex and travel – although we might prefer to put that advice in its more robust and Anglo Saxon form.

To even think of banning McDonald’s is proof – proof perfect and absolute – that you believe people want to go to McDonald’s. Given this why are you trying to ban it?

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