AN inquiry into why Britain’s high streets are in decline has been launched and published in the time it took to read this sentence.
Shopping expert Mary Portas was this morning asked by the prime minister David Cameron to investigate why Britain’s High Streets were becoming ghost towns and immediately replied ‘supermarkets, parking, and rubbish shops’.
She then looked at the prime minister as if to say ‘am I supposed to keep talking?’.
While she was saying ‘supermarkets, parking and rubbish shops’ Portas also composed a text message containing the same five words which she will send to the media and any member of the public who wants a permament copy.
But the report has been condemned by MPs, sociologists, economists and the British Chamber of Commerce who all wanted to find clever, complicated ways of saying ‘supermarkets, parking, and rubbish shops’.
Economist Julian Cook said: “I wanted to say it on Channel Four News. Boo.”
And sociologist Dr Helen Archer stressed that ‘supermarkets, parking, and rubbish shops’ did not even begin address the wide range of potential solutions.
But Portas immediately replied: “Fewer supermarkets, more parking and better shops.”
The Portas Inquiry is the latest in a series of high profile initiatives from Downing Street, including Kirtsy Allsop’s quest to discover how cushions are made and a research project by Rick Stein to find out why no-one eats mashed, raw frog.