Ferrari watches for all

In: Uncategorized

17 Jun 2010

Giles Coren, the restaurant critic of the Times (London), raged against the £250,000 Scuderia Ferrari One watch  in a column in the Sunday Times last week. Evidently only those with a Ferrari are eligible to buy the watch. Or, a Coren puts it, it is:

“excluuuuusive: you are not permitted to purchase this totally tosserish item unless you already own the world’s most tosserish car.”

In the middle of the article he does say he favours people earning as much as they can and even buying expensive things. He says he objects to people buying things simply because they are expensive.

But the thrust of the article chimes well with the present climate of austerity. It is essentially a populist attack on aspiration with bankers and the super-rich as its immediate targets. Coren takes the most extreme version of luxury he can find and uses is it to suggest that people should instead be reining in their consumption in these tough times.

This notion of equality by leveling down – what could be called “green egalitarianism” – is totally reactionary despite its ostensibly radical rhetoric.

(Hat tip to Nathalie Rothschild).