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John Lewis - the recriminations, (and lies) begin.


J

Johnny Boy

John Lewis have decided not to open a store in NI, because they can't build a store in Sprucefield as a result of a planning decision by Alex Attwood. It is claimed that 1,500 jobs which would have been created as a result of the development. The mayor of Lisburn is hopping, and is calling for his sacking, apparently unaware of the fact that only the SDLP leadership can do that, afaik - and let's face it, that is highly unlikely. Looks like the DUP mayor is doing a bit of showboating, or else he is completely stupid. Peter Robinson has also weighed in .
The fact is that retail is competitive, and there is little or no proof that a new store adds much to the economy apart from the short term construction jobs. It simply moves retail jobs elsewhere. We, the consumers can only spend so much, and what we spend in Sprucefield will be lost to retailers elsewhere, as will jobs. So the claim that 1,500 retail jobs have been lost is a lie, and any reasonably intelligent person can figure that out instantly
Attwood was of course acting on the advice of experts, i.e. our planners, and the fact that John Lewis have thrown a strop doesn't mean that this is the end of the matter anyway. Companies like that always want to expand and they will come here eventually, but it should be on the terms of our expert town planners and not on those of private sector bullies.
Apart from planning issues, the fact is that Belfast needs this investment far more than Lisburn. Belfast city centre, north of Castlecourt, is largely still a wasteland and that needs attention urgently.
Well done Alex Attwood. I'm not your biggest fan, but you got this decision spot on. Don't give in to bullies. Tesco have been doing that for years in Britain. John Lewis, it seems, are playing the same game over here. Hold fast. They will blink first. Companies like that always need to expand. They'llaccept your pre-conditions - eventually.


John Lewis application for Lisburn withdrawn - Headlines - Belfast Newsletter
 


physicist

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Mar 29, 2010
Messages
6,274
Attwood's going into squad rotation next term, I feel the next guy would make the same decision.
 

Galloper Thompson

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Joined
Jul 2, 2011
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3,008
I can understand where he his coming from......though Newry somehow survived, lot of cross border shopping I suppose.
 
J

Johnny Boy

Attwood's going into squad rotation next term, I feel the next guy would make the same decision.
Hopefully.
The unionists trying to turn this into a propaganda coup completely forget that a John Lewis store located in Sprucefield won't benefit at all from the effects of shoppers who fly in from Britain or further afield whereas a city centre site will not only win a share of that market, (i.e. real jobs) but it will also add to the Belfast experience and make it a bit more attractive as a destination. A John Lewis store in Sprucefield will never attract weekenders, because even with decent transport links, who ever on a weekend away, ventures 15 miles away from the city for shopping?
 

DT123

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Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
14,286
Hopefully.
The unionists trying to turn this into a propaganda coup completely forget that a John Lewis store located in Sprucefield won't benefit at all from the effects of shoppers who fly in from Britain or further afield whereas a city centre site will not only win a share of that market, (i.e. real jobs) but it will also add to the Belfast experience and make it a bit more attractive as a destination. A John Lewis store in Sprucefield will never attract weekenders, because even with decent transport links, who ever on a weekend away, ventures 15 miles away from the city for shopping?
I'd imagine John Lewis want to do what is best for themselves,rather than Belfast.
 
J

Johnny Boy

I'd imagine John Lewis want to do what is best for themselves,rather than Belfast.
Not surprising. If there wasn't legislation outlawing it, they'd be trying to offer £2.50 an hour to employees, if they could get away with it. They'd be trying to run roughshod over health and safety legislation, without any consideration for the people they employ. We know this. This is how most employers behaved when there was no legislation to regulate these issues, and anyone who thinks they wouldn't revert is a fool.
That is why we need people in government who are more sympathetic to the rights of citizens, than of huge corporations.
 

Evergreenfinch

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Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
4,157
I heard that all major companies wanting to come to NI have to look at Belfast first. Why should all you Belfast scumbags get first dibs at the jobs. The North and West of NI is crying out for investment. 1,500 jobs, yes please!!
 
J

Johnny Boy

I heard that all major companies wanting to come to NI have to look at Belfast first. Why should all you Belfast scumbags get first dibs at the jobs. The North and West of NI is crying out for investment. 1,500 jobs, yes please!!
1) I live west of the Bann.
2) 1500 jobs in retail in one location is very likely 1,500 jobs lost in locations nearby.
3) Lisburn is neither north or west of Belfast. Although still a satelite town it is virtually a suburb nowadays. The claim that potential retail jobs in west and south Belfast have been lost, is laughable considering that it would only transfer them to Sprucefield and make life more difficult (and expensive) for people travelling from those areas, to work in a location 12/15 miles out of the city.

Robinson, and the mayor of Lisburn whose name I can't remember, and can't be arsed to look up, are engaging in propaganda.
 

Evergreenfinch

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Dec 1, 2010
Messages
4,157
1) I live west of the Bann.
2) 1500 jobs in retail in one location is very likely 1,500 jobs lost in locations nearby.
3) Lisburn is neither north or west of Belfast. Although still a satelite town it is virtually a suburb nowadays. The claim that potential retail jobs in west and south Belfast have been lost, is laughable considering that it would only transfer them to Sprucefield and make life more difficult (and expensive) for people travelling from those areas, to work in a location 12/15 miles out of the city.

Robinson, and the mayor of Lisburn whose name I can't remember, and can't be arsed to look up, are engaging in propaganda.
It would be 1500 jobs in NI! If it moves to Dublin the skangers across the border get the jobs and the people of NI suffer again because of Belfast's greed!
 
C

Castle Ray

The planning wrangles and delay on this issue have been a complete disgrace and demonstrated the incompetence of our politicians and the over bureaucratised system that the socialism underlying the argument in the op creates. Private sector bully indeed; 9 bloody years of red tape and inaction! Truly pathetic.
 

Marcella

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Dec 8, 2010
Messages
3,770
I can see both sides to this debate. Certainly if my town were denied this opportunity, I'd feel angry. That said, I'm certain Alex Attwood acted in good faith and solely on planning criteria in line with established norms and policy.

The idea that this decision can be challenged in the executive is deeply flawed and just plain wrong. Ministers have control over their departments, that's how power sharing works. Unionist politicians should stop pretending otherwise.

As an aside, I'm certain that Sammy Wilson will now refuse to release the £2 million of executive funding to allow the construction of Narrow Water Bridge - he most certainly will not act in good faith in so doing.
 
Last edited:
J

Johnny Boy

It would be 1500 jobs in NI! If it moves to Dublin the skangers across the border get the jobs and the people of NI suffer again because of Belfast's greed!
Exactly the same claim was made about Ikea at one stage. They built in both cities. Furthermore they already have advanced plans to build in Dublin city centre anyway. Very telling that you should label my brother, my sister and her husband, their children, and another 4.5M people as skangers, though.
 
J

Johnny Boy

The planning wrangles and delay on this issue have been a complete disgrace and demonstrated the incompetence of our politicians and the over bureaucratised system that the socialism underlying the argument in the op creates. Private sector bully indeed; 9 bloody years of red tape and inaction! Truly pathetic.
Here's a rather more objective assessment.
BBC News - John Lewis: questions raised as retailer abandons Sprucefield plan
I wasn't aware that this had been running as long. If it has then presumably it ran for around 3 years under the tenure of British politicians elected to Westminster under the direct rule regime. Clearly the fact that they delayed it rather than rushing it through in a fanfare indicates that they, too, had serious issues with it.
My arguments are based upon environmental concerns, not socialist. If John Lewis are happy to build in Dublin city centre, ask yourself the question why not Belfast as well. Major retailers should not be allowed to get their own way. Our planners implement their policies for the greater good of everyone. What you are arguing for is that we dispense with policies developed by highly qualified experts in their field, and make decisions based upon a populist wishlist.
We are not prostitutes.
 

Gurdiev

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Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
7,239
Here's a rather more objective assessment.
BBC News - John Lewis: questions raised as retailer abandons Sprucefield plan
I wasn't aware that this had been running as long. If it has then presumably it ran for around 3 years under the tenure of British politicians elected to Westminster under the direct rule regime. Clearly the fact that they delayed it rather than rushing it through in a fanfare indicates that they, too, had serious issues with it.
My arguments are based upon environmental concerns, not socialist. If John Lewis are happy to build in Dublin city centre, ask yourself the question why not Belfast as well. Major retailers should not be allowed to get their own way. Our planners implement their policies for the greater good of everyone. What you are arguing for is that we dispense with policies developed by highly qualified experts in their field, and make decisions based upon a populist wishlist.
We are not prostitutes.
I think you are crediting your 'professional planners ' far too highly.
Towns throughout Britain , NI and latterly , Ireland , have been ruined by ill planned , and controversially planned , retail developments , both town centre and out of town.

Tesco seems to be able to locate wherever it wishes at the drop of hat. Their oversized superstores , at least in the south are frequently located in sensitive 'heritage ' settings. You will find their express stores on High Street / Main Street , apparently sized to slip under the Sunday trading radar , and open 7 til 11.

My point is that certain retailers will pay the ' contributions ' required by local authorities to smooth the way.
John Lewis are unique. They have a different ownership structure, and better business ethics than most of the others in the market place.
 

Robo

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Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
1,068
John Lewis have decided not to open a store in NI, because they can't build a store in Sprucefield as a result of a planning decision by Alex Attwood. It is claimed that 1,500 jobs which would have been created as a result of the development. The mayor of Lisburn is hopping, and is calling for his sacking, apparently unaware of the fact that only the SDLP leadership can do that, afaik - and let's face it, that is highly unlikely. Looks like the DUP mayor is doing a bit of showboating, or else he is completely stupid. Peter Robinson has also weighed in .
The fact is that retail is competitive, and there is little or no proof that a new store adds much to the economy apart from the short term construction jobs. It simply moves retail jobs elsewhere. We, the consumers can only spend so much, and what we spend in Sprucefield will be lost to retailers elsewhere, as will jobs. So the claim that 1,500 retail jobs have been lost is a lie, and any reasonably intelligent person can figure that out instantly
Attwood was of course acting on the advice of experts, i.e. our planners, and the fact that John Lewis have thrown a strop doesn't mean that this is the end of the matter anyway. Companies like that always want to expand and they will come here eventually, but it should be on the terms of our expert town planners and not on those of private sector bullies.
Apart from planning issues, the fact is that Belfast needs this investment far more than Lisburn. Belfast city centre, north of Castlecourt, is largely still a wasteland and that needs attention urgently.
Well done Alex Attwood. I'm not your biggest fan, but you got this decision spot on. Don't give in to bullies. Tesco have been doing that for years in Britain. John Lewis, it seems, are playing the same game over here. Hold fast. They will blink first. Companies like that always need to expand. They'llaccept your pre-conditions - eventually.


John Lewis application for Lisburn withdrawn - Headlines - Belfast Newsletter
Cant be having Belfast rates payers picking up the tab for lost business, after all Belfast city is a nationalist city now. More sectarian politics for the sdlp.
 
J

Johnny Boy

I think you are crediting your 'professional planners ' far too highly.
Towns throughout Britain , NI and latterly , Ireland , have been ruined by ill planned , and controversially planned , retail developments , both town centre and out of town.

Tesco seems to be able to locate wherever it wishes at the drop of hat. Their oversized superstores , at least in the south are frequently located in sensitive 'heritage ' settings. You will find their express stores on High Street / Main Street , apparently sized to slip under the Sunday trading radar , and open 7 til 11.

My point is that certain retailers will pay the ' contributions ' required by local authorities to smooth the way.
John Lewis are unique. They have a different ownership structure, and better business ethics than most of the others in the market place.
Not everyone entirely agrees with you on your point about ethics.
The John Lewis motto should be 'never knowingly underpay' | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian
If they were really ethical maybe they'd go along with the Royal Exchange project, which proposes to redevelop a part of inner Belfast which needs it, and bring jobs to the people rather than the other way round.
BBC News - Royal Exchange: Alex Attwood approves Belfast city centre plan
My opinion of our planners is based upon recent history e.g. Victoria Square, and upon the principled stand they are taking on this issue.
 
J

Johnny Boy

Cant be having Belfast rates payers picking up the tab for lost business, after all Belfast city is a nationalist city now. More sectarian politics for the sdlp.
Just another sectarian comment from you. Nothing new under the sun.
 

PeacefulViking

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Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
2,506
Our planners implement their policies for the greater good of everyone.
Haha, that one was funny. Why not put planners in charge of the entire economy? I am sure highly trained experts would do a better job than the messy process of private enterprise.
 

PeacefulViking

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Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
2,506
Whether John Lewis would "generate" jobs is beside the point. The important question is how consumers would benefit from it. Indeed, the ideal would be that it destroyed a lot of jobs by making the retail chain more effective, the way Walmart seem to be doing in the US.
 

Aristodemus

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
3,739
A lot of fuss about a bloody shop. It's not as if there is a shortage of them
 

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