Monday 21 December 2020

The ineptitude of Boris is destroying businesses everywhere

 There comes a point when you simply can't beat about the bush. The ineptitude of the government of Boris Johnson is destroying businesses all around the country. He needs to be sacked and replaced by someone who is competent. I really don't care right now what party they belong to. The Conservatives won a huge majority last year, so we cannot ignore their democratic mandate, but they have comprehensively failed at every level in every way. There must be someone within there ranks who can at least try and sort this mess out. 

Let me explain my day on Saturday. I spent the morning putting together a communiction to our customers clarifying how the tier three rules affect them and their booking. I spoke to several customers who were checking out purchases of musical instruments. at 1pm, I clocked off and went to watch Hadley FC play in the FA Vase. At that point, I'd not even heard of tier four. About half way through the first half, someone announced that "Boris had put us in tier 4". I had no clue what this meant for my business. Prior to that moment, I'd not hear the term being used, apart from speculatively by people on Twitter. By midway through the second half, I was inundated with calls from my staff at the studio. They were being bombarded by calls asking what this meant for their sessions, whether they could still collect ordered presents etc. Much as I love football, I had no choice but to miss the end of the game and return.

To make matters worse, there was no guidance as to how this affected us. Yesterday at ten past nine, our industry body gave some advice that allowed us to update our customers. It was far from clear advice, but our interpretation seems to be that it is in line with the rules for the last lockdown. I spent the day answering calls, issuing refunds etc. I had customers crying as their plans had been thrown on the fire.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that no government in my lifetime has has a crisis of this scale. In March, the only fair thing to do was to give them the benefit of the doubt. But the introduction of tier 4 is nine months later. I understand the need to make quick decisions, but there was no reason that they should not have outlined the implications of tier 4 weeks if not months ago. If we had the guidance, we could at least have plans. To have your business closed or severely curtailed in this way, with no notice and no guideance for customers is not government, it is chaos. 

As for the mutation of the virus. I fully understand that this is a new factor in the equation, but any virologist would know and expect that a virus would mutate over a period of months. Plans should have been put in place to manage this in a far less chaotic manner. I simply don't understand why we didn't shut borders when the virus was first identified, but now we have a new variant, we have effectively been put in quarantine by Europe. Whilst I think the action of Europe is eminently sensible, our leaders seem to be totally in denial about the fact that closing borders to disease transmission is a sensible precaution.  

This time last year, as a business owner, I feared that we'd be heading towards a Brexit where we didn't know what the rules were. We import musical instruments from European suppliers. We see adverts imploring us to prepare, but what for. In eleven days the 'transitional arrangements' will end. We still don't know what will replace it.

This country needs strong businesses to pay its way in the world. Whilst some sectors such as supermarkets and on line traders have thrived, the UK will fail if only these sectors survive. Without our creative and hospitality sectors, we will hold no attraction for tourists, no one comes here for the weather. What for Boris are 'non essential shops' are for the people who work in them and run them their lively hood. 

As a nation, we have tough times ahead. Whoever is Prime Minister will have tough decisions. Sadly, no one I know, not even staunch Tories now believe Boris is the man for the job. We need someone who can bring us together. Not someone who is an elitist, who applies one rule for his mates, like Dominic Cummings and another for the rest of us. There has never been a more inept Prime Minister. Whilst in good times, Boris might have gotten away with it, we are in crisis. 

The bottom line is that the ineptitude of Boris will destroy the prosperity of the UK. There can be no doubt about this. It is time for his MP's to ask him to step aside. It is beyond party politics, it is for the good of the nation.

Unlike some, I don't hate Boris. I'd be quite happy for him to reprise his bumbling persona for HIGNFY, resume his column on the Telegraph or Spectator. I don't think he's horrible or evil. I just think he's completely out of his depth and for the good of the UK, we need someone who can captain the ship in a competent manner. I suspect even Boris himself knows this deep down. 

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