Monday, July 24, 2006

State Holidays Commissariat

£8m luxury

Mrs T and I have long been satisfied customers of Helpful Holidays of Chagford, Devon. They manage some of the best Westcountry holiday rentals going, and are always...well, exceptionally helpful.

Incredibly, the state has now decided to use £8m of our money to put them and similar operators out of business. DCMS quango Visit Britain has set up something called EnglandNet, described as a "one stop 'Virtual High Street' for English Tourism". This will substantially undercut private management companies in what they charge rental owners, and so undermine their businesses.

Unsurprisingly, Helpful has joined with other operators to oppose this outrage: they have taken the case to the European competition authorities.

Quite what Visit Britain thinks it's playing at is unclear. It seems to be one of those mad "we can sweep away all this untidiness and re-order the World" type things so beloved of Big Government. That's cost us eight mill.

Luckily for Helpful, since neither Mrs T nor I want a fortnight at the Heroes of the Revolution Regeneration Camp on the Black Sea, we'll be sticking with the Heroes of Chagford.

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