Can you explain the basis of your apathy?
Is everyone else having that conversation with colleagues, peers and friends along the lines of ‘How are things picking up? What does the new world look like for you? Sales coming in?’.
I am, and I think it is fair to say there is a positive feeling amongst my contemporaries.
Everyone is still badly scarred by the last 18 months or so and everyone has a story to tell. Most are talking about what the new normal might look like and there is a fair amount of enthusiasm about new ways of working – fewer commuting days in the working week, Zoom-free days when in the office, the excitement of having a pint after work with friends and colleagues who you have only seen in two dimensions – sometimes ever!
However, there is also a common complaint. A recurring irritation that has been shared consistently. And that is that everyone seems to be a bit too relaxed. They blame the big issues for everything: Brexit, logistics, Covid, manufacturing costs, scarcity – it rolls off the tongue so easily and people don’t even blush when it is quite clearly utter nonsense.
I went to a Chinese hypermarket in North London to buy some live lobster for a weekend treat for my wife (I know, I know but please don’t judge me. It costs less than a Chinese takeaway!). There is usually a choice of Maine or Scottish lobster – the latter generally being my preference (tastes better, hasn’t come club class from, well, Maine). It always costs two or three pounds per kilo more, but hey, this was a treat. But this time the price was about 70% higher than usual. The response to my outrage was – “Ah yes, that’s Brexit for you!” BREXIT??? What has Brexit got to do with a lobster from Scotland for crying out loud?
Apart from anything, I thought we’d secured more control over our waters post our decoupling from the European continent. No credible answer was forthcoming, but it did make me think that in our negotiations, many excuses are proffered with very little basis for them. It’s just that we tend to accept them and move on. Pushing back or questioning the basis of the other side's arguments can often be quite fruitful in either disqualifying their position or learning more about the problem they have.
In answer to your next question? Boiled…and served with home-made chips salad and melted butter.
Richard Savage, 19th October 2021