Monday 26 October 2009

Annoying NIMBYs part 1178943

NIMBYs shit me. They shit me to tears (for non-Australian readers, when I say "tears" I am referring to the things that leak from your eyelids when the dog dies in the movie; not the rips in your jeans).

I picked up a mouldering copy of my local rag to find that the restauranteurs down the road in Haberfield are up in arms at the thought of McDonalds opening a venue to offer their fine fare to the local populace.

I would like to eat out in Haberfield more often than we do - it contains a collection of some of the better Italian eateries in Sydney, and its reputation for good eating is well deserved. Last place we ate at was Il Locale, where a simple meal for the family set us back over $200. I loved the buffalo mozzarella salad (now sadly removed from the menu) and the sardines dusted in polenta and herbs. Unfortunately, having kids that are not well disposed to sitting still for more than 10 minutes is a bit of a hindrance, so I doubt I will be eating there again until either I get a pay rise (to fund the baby sitter) or the youngsters grow up a bit and calm down slightly.

But not everyone can afford to waltz up and down the main street of Haberfield dropping $200 on a family meal once or twice a week. The thing is, those of us that enjoy a fine meal every now and again are the same people that also resort to the odd kebab, hamburger or bucket of chicken with extra grease. The market for eating out is not perfectly differentiated into two classes of people - those that exclusively frequent fine dining establishments, and those that suck down two cheeseburgers per day. Most of us who appreciate a pig's trotter stuffed with black pudding and truffles and washed down with a fine Merlot are also to be found every now and then sitting in McDonalds surrounded by a residue of salt, fries and that manky feeling you get from mainlining too much salt, sugar and grease in one hit.

If McDonalds can find someone who will sell or rent them an appropriate bit of land in Haberfield, I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to hang out their shingle. The market will decide whether they stay or go. If the locals turn up their noses, McDonalds will pack their bags and move somewhere more profitable. If the locals actually show a taste for pickles and plastic cheese served with a dollop of ketchup, then that is nothing more than individuals exercising their own free will.

I can't stand the idea of food fascists telling us what we can and can't eat. Some of them need to be boiled in a large vat of pig's blood to pour encourager les autres to shut the fuck up.

That said, we also have a KFC/McDonalds/Kebab complex not far down the road from central Wogville. It is a magnet for what the English would term "chav scum", sucking them in from miles around. (If I ever develop a suitcase nuke in the back shed, I know where I am going to set it off at 1am on a Saturday.)

I think the best answer is to allow McDonalds to carry out their lawful business, but to kill any chav bogans that arrive for a feed after 10pm.

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