Fantasy and reality

Yesterday, I remarked in a tweet that it was getting ever more difficult to distinguish fantasy from reality these days. Fake news, doctored data, elusive surveys, selective citations, downright lies all jostle noisily with the facts for our attention. Moreover, we hardly need to look across the Atlantic to Trump’s Amerikka for examples.

Take the grand vision our ruling elite has for our economy. Central to this is the creation of not just more jobs, although there’s going to be lots, but better, more fulfilling jobs. Thus the ‘Local’ Plan tells us that a ’key target’ is ‘supporting the provision of better paid full-time employment opportunities’.

More recently, the New Frontiers document laid out the vision of Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Scilly Local Enterprise Board …

Is this what they mean?

Of course, it would be churlish to deny that some well-paid jobs have been conjured up since the 1990s. Yet oddly, given the national minority status gained by the Cornish in 2014, Cornwall Council and its partners haven’t seen fit to collect or publish any ethnicity data on the destination of these jobs.

We therefore have to rely on anecdotal evidence. I can only offer first-hand knowledge of one example. At the university campus at Tremough, the vast majority of the better-paid, new managerial and academic jobs created in the noughties certainly did not go to local residents. It’s also a safe bet to assume that most of the project class who were employed to manage European funding were not local residents either.

Never mind though. Pool is fast becoming the fast food centre of Cornwall. Behind the flannel, is that what their ‘vision’ really amounts to? Is this it? Is this all we have to look forward to? An endless, shallow future of ever more mindless consumption, traffic, congestion, and corporate placelessness?

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