The Condescending Brits


The Condescending Brits

I have gotten a couple of complaints about the article in April’s PT "We say car park, they say parking lot"  You will have to sign up for PT plus or look in the bathroom for the April issue to read the article.

Some say its tone is "condescending" to municipalities in the good ole US of A. Well with some trepidation I reread the article and frankly, I find its substance ok, its tone, however, might rub a few the wrong way.

It says that the US has used parking meters (they were invented here) instead of P and D for a number of reasons, one of which is that Americans are a bit lazy and don’t like to walk back and forth to pay their parking fees. Well, that’s true. Brits aren’t used to good service like we are. They are used to queuing at bus stops and having to pack their own groceries at Safeway.

The article then berates us a bit for not being a coin based economy. (Our largest coins are quarters where Brits have coins that are worth about 4 bucks) That means that their machines can take coins but ours need to take bills and "shudder" credit cards.

The article also derides us for invoking lawyers to make the bid process so long and for actually asking the people on the streets what they want. In the UK they simply meet in a room somewhere, make up their collective minds, and then, in perfect nanny state style, tell the people what they are going to get.

All in all, the tone is one written for Brits using most of the stereotypes we Americans have spread throughout the world with our films and TV shows.

Some folks have even asked to write an article opposing what was said in this one. I said, "bring it on." I would love to print such a piece. Let’s get a little excitement in the industry for a change.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Us Canadians can’t figure out the love you guys have for the $1 bill. It doesn’t buy much. We have had $1 and $2 coins for years. How? Easy our government had the balls to eliminate the notes when the coins were introduced. The transition was easy and no one is looking back. Rumour has it the $5 coin is on the way.
    Thanks for blogging , John. Sorry I don’t comment more, but I do enjoy reading your opinions and “scoops” via the live bookmark from the RRS feed.

  2. Hey Canada I think you are mistaken we Americans don’t particularly love the $1 bill it is the $1 coins we love, everytime one is introduced it disappears into private collections almost immediately. Go figure!

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