It is a bank holiday weekend so I won’t detain you long. Besides, for once, there is very little insurance tittle tattle to bring you, so let us stick to the serious stuff.
The left behind
Five months on from a general election that saw a seismic shift in support in northern constituencies and the problems that caused that are still very much alive. Communities that felt left behind then by more prosperous and cosmopolitan southern softies are still feeling the pain. Exacerbated by the latest development that the list of McDonalds to reopen has six branches in Peterborough and none in the north. Which is ok if you are my friend Degsy (who is really called Andy) and are an underused knee surgeon at Peterborough General who still gets clapped regardless of the fact he isn’t doing anything much. But it disenfranchises Wigan Man yet further – a fact only mildly offset by the work the local MP Lisa Nandos is doing to get her family firm to fill the breach. So perhaps Boris – who doesn’t seem to have anything else to do – should move to Stockport, don his pinny and start flipping burgers and mixing up special sauce. It would, if nothing else, get him out of the house and away from that screaming child that seems to have turned up and he is not sure whose it is.
As if photos of Southend were not enough to confirm it, Google has published data that shows the great British public is paying very little attention to the lockdown rules and hasn’t been doing so for some time. Now one could, at this point, set off on a covidiocy, second spike, who do these people think they are inspired rant. And it would be very justified. But it would cloud (if you will pardon the pun) the real issue. Look how much Google knows about where you are at any given point. Truly terrifying.
Taking the P
There are going to be many casualties of the crisis. We will lose many well loved brands. Our way of life will not return to what we thought of as normal for a very long time and probably ever. The almost inevitable appearance of Hannah Ingram Moore on I am a Celebrity will surely be that franchise’s jumping the shark moment. But above all else news that we may have seen the last of the urinal is especially unsettling. Urinals and the etiquette in using them is such a staple of civilised society that it could undermine our social structures permanently. How will we replace rules such as “if there is no one there use one of the ones on the end”; or “never go next to someone unless you absolutely have to, and even then consider just how desperate you are”; or the overarching “look straight ahead, don’t peak next to you and no comparisons” (one I have to confess to having slightly broken when stood next to Freddie Flintoff as curiosity got the better of me – but I shall preserve his modesty). Still the inevitable queues for the gents that this reduction in supply will bring about will at least do something for gender equality. But life truly will never be the same again.
That is it. I promise to return to the vexed subject of insurance on Tuesday. Wishing you all a lovely bank holiday weekend. And remember, don’t do anything Google wouldn’t do.