The Maddening Truth

Flicking through last week’s copy of City Lite, Tiberius spotted a rather incoherent rant by Rod McPhee. You can read it here. The object of Rod’s wrath (note to YEP – has a good ring to it) is architect, broadcaster, and all round “uber intellectual” Maxwell Hutchinson and specifically his Inside Story on the housing situation in Leeds.

Hutchinson’s “hit-and-run critique” (as McPhee describes it) has not been seen by Tiberius so he cannot comment, but what is worthy of note is McPhee’s response to it.

Two years ago Hutchinson apparently “warned against inducing the current housing slump by flooding the Leeds market with cheap flats”. Well Leeds didn’t listen, so now Hutchinson is back and is very, as McPhee puts it, “TOLD YOU SO”.

By way of rebutall, McPhee passingly mentions the UK recession and internationl economic crisis then claims he “could argue” specific points that Hutchinson raised.

But instead he goes on to agree with Hutchinson’s assessment of  “soulless, characterless, cosmopolitan mazes” and  highlights two of the more high profile recent examples of Leeds’ economic myopia – the Clarence Dock Ghost Town and the Corn Exchange fiasco.

McPhee concludes with the vaguely odd speculation that “it’s people from outside of the city who make the wrong decisions” implying there is some kind of conspiracy to ruin Leeds (presumably orchestrated by Southern uber intellectuals). His closing advice is that we “need to stop listening to what everyone else tells us, starting with Max”, i.e. even when they make assertions that are “virtually impossible to argue with”.

Angry. Incoherent. Paranoid. Overly-sensitive to criticism. Tiberius believes it’s a worrying sign when, in trying to defend their city, one of Leeds’ most acclaimed is reduced to a checklist on the DSM-IV.

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Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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