Can’t say how pleased I am to discover our Prime Minister is an avid reader of BusinessTime in Essex.
Having noted in one of my musings below that encouraging people to go back to workplaces when they are very happily and, largely, successfully working from home, just to save a few of the 250-odd branches of Pret in London, at a moment when the dreaded virus is clearly in circulation, is stark raving bonkers, Boris is now encouraging people to again work from home when they can realistically do so.
And having noted my comment in the autumn issue of BusinessTime in Essex that re-opening pubs was only going to end in tears as a drunk person could tell you alcohol and sensible social distancing are never going to be happy bedfellows, Boris has taken the first step to closing them again (mark my words, calling orders at 9.30pm is merely a brief stepping stone to total closure of pubs for a month or two).
So, having established we good Essex business folk have the ear of the Prime Minister, here’s an updated message to him. Yes, we really do appreciate you have a thankless task, damned if you do something and damned if you don’t. We appreciate you have a tidal wave of advice from so-called experts in their field, advice somewhat diluted in that two experts in one field will offer you totally contradictory thoughts. And we appreciate that balancing saving lives with saving the economy in the current climate is nigh-on impossible. But having said all that, any chance of you coming up with a bit of proactive bigger-picture thinking rather than this knee-jerk reactive thinking, changing by the week (sometimes it seems by the day) as the latest batch of data reveals whatever you decide to make of it – as is the norm with data.
Let’s a have a little consistency: right now, you can’t sit around a table with six other members of your family to celebrate a birthday (even though you’re mixing with them individually most days of the week) yet you can sit on a plane with 250 total strangers.
I don’t profess to have the answer to this situation we have found ourselves in (if I did, I’d be Prime Minister – but then again, maybe I wouldn’t), but surely it’s not too much to ask of our Government to adopt a policy and stick with it for more than a week, irrespective of what that weeks’ figures say or what worst case scenario-painting scientists, keen to protect their posteriors in the independent review of Covid-handling which will undoubtedly happen at some point, tell us.