One year ago today - Day One of The Event
- 2021-03-13, 17:32:43
#OneYearAgoToday was the day which from where I sit in the world Everything Changed.
Two weeks ago I think most people still thought of the approach of The Event as something which was still broadly a Somewhere Else's Problem - we'd all started washing our hands more often, fersure, and we were doing the elbow bumps (and feeling faintly ridiculous doing so) thing, one week ago folks were starting to be a bit more circumspect in their behaviour, and I think the Downing Street briefings had started, but by and large the UK was still continuing to function normally. It might have been yesterday or the day before when our team manager told us to start taking our laptops home with us at the end of every day at work, 'just in case'.
The News, though, whilst The Event had spent the last two months creeping up the running order, still had other stories on it as well.
Today, March 13, it all changed.
I'd taken the day off work, because it was March, and I always end up taking random days off work in March because I always end up with quite a few unused days of annual leave to take. I'd taken the day off basically to get some shizzle done at home on my own - I can't remember if it was tidying or if it was making music - but before I started to do whatever it was I was going to do I put News 24 on to [...]
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The collapse of the travel industry during the Covid-19 epidemic
- 2020-08-22, 11:33:12
Looking at STA travel now being a CovidCasualty, alongside other travel industry casualties just before The Event and the ones which are inevitably to come, it does occur to me that travel industry casualties are of somewhat more reaching and significant social consequences than the retail sector’s and the hospitality sector’s casualties.
Arguably over the last few years the hospitality sector had been expanding far in excess of the capacity of the market to sustain that growth anyway — it was a bubble that was inevitably going to burst, and the casualties are arguably more of a market correction than an existential crisis. When All This Is All Over there will still be plenty of pubs and bars, cafés and restaurants, for people to go to, and the ones who survive The Event will do so as businesses which are more sustainable.
Little needs to be said that hasn’t been said at length about the state of the retail sector — people aren’t buying things from shops because shops aren’t selling things people want to buy when people want to buy them. Shops aren’t closing left, right, and centre, it’s just certain shops which are closing left, right, and centre — you can still buy clothes, perfume, food, and tech in shops, you just can’t buy them in many department stores anymore. You can still buy purses and shoulder bags in shops, you just can’t buy purses and shoulder bags in shops where the only distinguishing feature is they’ve got the name [...]
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Have the police lost control of the city centre streets of Birmingham?
- 2018-10-03, 14:20:57
A couple of weeks ago when I was walking from work to the railway station along Dale End / High Street in Birmingham I commented that just about every evening when I walk that way there's some kind of blue light incident going on in the area.
Last night as I was walking along the road I saw that the blue light incident had been levelled up considerably by the entire area being sealed off.
It turned out what had occurred this time was a mass brawl of about 100 youths resulting in three people being stabbed. From eye-witness reports of the lead-up to the incident, it seems that to a certain extent some kind of rumble was already pre-planned:
"I was on the bus going into town and everyone started making weird noises as it started pulling up at the bus stand near the McDonald's.
There was a massive group of kids, I'd say they were probably aged around 16.
They all went after this one guy who looked the same age and grabbed him - he nearly went under a taxi.
There were probably about 30 of them. Then about 10 or 12 guys started stamping on him. I was on the phone to my mum when it happened and I told her I wouldn't be surprised if he was dead. They were stamping on his head and legs, [...]
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