Large swathes of the celebrity-stupefied and T.V. anaesthetised population hanker for the good-old-days. What they mean is a Utopia where white people could be racist without fear of criticism and it was ok to grab a woman’s bottom in the office or openly discriminate. As we are learning, many of these things never went away but they were mercifully regarded as unacceptable. However, one thing does not appear on the wish list.
Yup – while some of us feel the gains made in Britain and other parts of Europe since WWII are fragile and fast disappearing like free higher education, social conscience, decent working conditions etc, others don’t see it that way. Fear of globalisation has left some yearning for a sepia tinted faux 1950s era where – apparently – ‘political correctness’ had not “gone mad” and we were not all at the mercy of the dreaded Health and Safety brigade. Yes. Who wants to be protected from dangerous practices and exploitation in the work place?
But there is one thing that should come back. There is one thing that could positively affect social cohesion, mental health, air quality, debt, stress levels, road deaths - and that is the shop-free Sunday. Re-establish a ban on Sunday trading in the real world.
Initially when Sunday trading laws were altered to make Sunday just one more cacophony of commercial consumer hell, many resisted the pull. Folk carried on planning to avoid diving to the shop AGAIN on Sunday and tried to go for walks, avoid traffic and find somewhere quiet. Well – now – unless you go right out of town – and sometimes not even then – it is not possible.
Look at any shopping centre or roadway and there is no discernible difference from a week day. IN fact some places are busier. Some shopping centres are more clogged with miserable grey faces and children being dragged round malls or restrained in buggies – whey faced and dead behind the eyes as adults search for more ways to heat up their credit cards.
Maybe – like the introduction of seatbelt legislation – we now need saving from our own consumerism. Because society is going through the windscreen at 90mph right now while the government blindly swims around in its own slurry.
Debt and obesity are two of the main causes of unhappiness and severe illness in the UK. While shocking statistics in 2017 showed that many folk don’t walk or do any exercise for even half an hour a week – equally people never STOP buying crap they don’t need.
Yes folk can still shop online but they are doing that anyway.
Seven-day trading is one of the biggest signposts that we are consumer slaves; dumb cogs in a monstrous consumer machine.
Shop working is often exploitative and unrewarding. Initially when Sunday trading was legalised we were told that workers would be able to ‘choose’ whether or not to work on that day. What a load of bollocks that turned out to be.
It used to be the case that with the exception of essential staff such as the emergency services – everyone could rely on at least one day a week where they weren’t strapped in to the clanking, headache-inducing, speeding out of control commercial merry-go-round.
Perhaps – if the malls and supermarkets and superstores were closed SOME families might stay home and TALK to each other or go to the park and WALK together. Some people might take the time to cook a real meal rather than microwaving some processed supermarket shit.
Just think – a whole day without the air being so thick with diesel fumes you could slice it.
Sundays could save our health, improve our relationships, reduce domestic debt, improve the quality of the air we breathe and help us keep our sanity.
One of the biggest distractions during the debate about whether to allow Sunday trading (back in the 1990s) was consigning it to a religious argument. At a time when church attendance was waning that was worse than spurious – but we know the media loves a binary fight and the voices of those who wanted a one day break from the zombie march of consumerism were drowned out.
I just don’t get why – when folk are being nostalgic – they don’t think to bring back things that were actually GOOD.
WE don’t even have to call it Sunday, we could rename it Walk and Talk and Breathe and Don’t Buy Shit day!
NB In light of the New Year news that Carillion - the contractor that runs (ran) Britain – has imploded despite the billions it has mopped up in government contracts over the years, do check out the blog I wrote before Christmas.
251. Politicians have unemployed themselves - http://browngirloutsidethering.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/251-politicians-have-unemployed.html
And if you caught the ‘news’ re the deeply entrenched discriminatory practices of the BBC, review some of the comments I made many months ago re the unrepresentative and elitist/racist make-up of this public funded broadcaster
e.g. 117. Get those Darkies back in their box -http://browngirloutsidethering.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/blog-117-get-those-darkies-back-in.html
Or check out my letter from July last year published in national newspapers including The Guardian
As well as informing the UK public that in 2017 only a third of top earners at the BBC are women, would Tony Hall (director of the BBC) also do a breakdown on how many non-white, non-privileged persons are in the top percentage of wage earners there?