Monday, 29 June 2020


Last week I advised people how to restart their lives.  I think it hit the mark although it had a sense of “pull yourself together” about it. Sorry. 

We live under a mile from the sea and have been there once in 14 weeks. I’ve not lost my spirit of enterprise but the risks involved in being in one of the most popular venues for the heavy-drinking, young released from their incarceration in the grey, coronavirus-ridden suburbs of London, are too great. The pleasure I get from the Brighton seafront just isn’t enough. It’s not exactly Nice after all.

Time to challenge almost everything?

Let’s start with the tricky business of managing people. Government have shown they’re inept, astonishingly so. Switching from defining red lines – “stay at home” to pink lines “stay alert” to no lines at all is like removing all speed limits. If you’ve travelled on a German autobahn you’ll recall the terror of being driven at 260k kph by someone with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a mobile phone and having an argument. All round the world there are spikes in virus transmission because of the removal of speed limits and thus social distancing. Getting the economy going did not mean allowing crowds to assemble and become hooligans. 

Next, as though it has suddenly taken them by surprise the Italians have realised there are over 450,000 Airbnb listings in their country (up from 52 just over 10 years ago).  We give away what we have for a bit of cash and then regret it.  Cruise ships account for only 3% of the Venetian economy ($450 million) and have done more damage to the city than anyone can calculate although it’s estimated the pollution of the yearly 600 cruise ships docking creates the same as 8 ½ million cars.  We should challenge the easy, cheap access to historic sites and the erosion to them it creates.  Airbnb was a brilliant concept as were cruise ships but can they make sense post-coronavirus?

Silicon Valley is an easy target.  But if it’s true Apple impeded the UK’s “test and trace” plan – flaky though that might have been – then it’s what I’d expect.  Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Bezos, Cook etc. believe they’re more important than any government.  Strange to hear Sir Nick Clegg on the BBC justifying Facebook’s behaviour.  A rumoured $7 million package is all it took to get him to join them. 

Allegedly Bernard Shaw asked a woman if she’s sleep with him for a considerable sum of money. She blushingly said she would.  He then asked: ‘How about for a pound?’  The exchange that followed was like this:

She: 'What kind of woman do you think I am?'
He:   'We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price.'

Challenge why people do what they do. The price is too often the key.

It’s time to challenge everything.

As children know ‘why?' is the most potent and infuriating word there is.

1 comment:

John Eustace said...

absolutely agree, we should all start by asking Johnson WHY he exists.
Me, I'm off to Dittisham which I hope will be slightly less crowded than Brighton Stay well