DESPITE everything I have written on this subject, and despite grave objections from the city council and the Chester Civic Trust, the Department of the Environment has decided to allow McDonald's to open a hamburger restaurant opposite Chester's 900-year-old cathedral.
The DoE inspector decided that such a "premier league" restaurant would "enhance the vitality" of the area. Presumably his studies ivere made under the previous Conservative government, when there may well have been pressure to allow McDonald's permission to build their hamburger restaurants everywhere, but I am surprised there was not more active opposition from the Church of England, whose own "premier league" cathedral has been somewhat eclipsed by this development.
It used to be said that the Church of England was the Cunservative Party at prayer. This is no longer true. It would be truer to say that McDonald's is the Conservative Party — or what is left of it — at table. The hamburger represents everything that the new Americanleaning Toryism stands for. Do churchgoers relish the idea of all those fat Tories gorging themselves on harmburgers within yards of their own sacred occasions?
The time has come for the exciting Mr Smith to show his mettle. If the C of E has no further use for its cathedrals, he must turn them into conservation areas for the threatened Great Raft Spider. Almost anything seems possible with a new government. Isn't life exciting?