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Posts Tagged ‘Licensed Trade’

The Ping Pox is killing struggling businesses whilst the only thing Test & Trace is saving is a very dangerous narrative that’s on its way to dividing us all #pingpox

There was a moment – which it’s safe to say has long since passed – when for the many, Test & Trace still offered the feel of being a security blanket. Yet with more and more events opening up to large groups of people and many more people now behaving as if lockdowns have already ended, it stands to reason that a respiratory illness – rather more like flu than the Government will admit – is circulating around the population in a way which is touching just about everyone.

That moment or silent watershed was reached when the number of vaccinations given passed the point when the most vulnerable age groups had received both of their Covid jabs. Now, the data coming from tests is flawed simply because it exceeds the ‘data-not-dates’ perimeters that the government itself set. So much so in fact, that with Monday 19th July now keeping everyone hopeful, the medical bods have gone full-circle and are now threatening more doom and gloom unless we go back to hinging our freedoms on their data – just like we were committed to by Johnson before.

The problem for the hospitality industry is that businesses that have been targeted so zealously throughout are now falling foul of what has become little more than a ping fest. One where people who may be carrying Covid or who may have just been in contact with the virus – nobody is sure which – if at all – are triggering Test & Trace and condemning what is quickly appearing to be anyone and everyone who comes within Bluetooth range.

Test & Trace – notified via your smartphone only is advisory. This means you are not obligated to act upon what it says. However, with the way that the destructive Johnson Covid narrative has rolled out creating what has become for many an artificial, yet damagingly unretractable state of fear, the end result is a ridiculous number of staff working in public facing businesses and organisations who now feel obliged to exempt themselves from work.

Being pinged has quite literally led to an imaginary illness. The ‘Ping Pox’.

Private lockdowns the only symptom of the Ping Pox. And somewhat ironically, even the NHS is now under threat because of the way this fear-fuelling app is still being treated as if it is a bomb-proof way to identify threats.

If the app must be used – and that has always been and is becoming increasingly questionable – the advice must change from immediate isolation if you get pinged to go get a test and then follow it up in a few days or something very similar. Only a positive, documented test for Covid for an employee should lead to their exclusion from work or the closure of any premises – if that is ever necessary.

Pubs and licensed premises are already skating on ridiculously thin financial ice because of the shocking and unnecessary way they have been targeted. They are being pushed to the brink by nothing more than a political choice. Livelihoods and lives are being destroyed by the pressure and influence of specialists who see life for everyone under their own myopic terms.

Pub Landlords and the staff that have stuck with them in jobs that now have very little certainty are being punished for no good reason other than that local regulation and policing of the licensed trade has made it an easy and very visible choice. The industry is having to adhere to rules that are not fit for purpose. Staff, Owners and Managers are being excluded from working and trading because of an illness they themselves are unlikely to ever be troubled with.

Learning to live with Covid is the only way. It always was. But there is a massive disconnect between saying and actually doing where the Johnson Government are concerned.

Small businesses – and in this case the industries and supply chains behind them, need to be released from all restrictions. Businesses must be allowed to get on with doing all the things that they know how to do best.

Pubs, the hospitality staff who want to help all of us enjoy our lives and many others are suffering from nothing more than an imaginary Ping Pox. It is a condition that nobody other than our self-serving politicians can actually see or in their own minds benefit from.

Rather than stick to the narrative that they are continually aiming to control, Boris and his Government need to be big enough to let us all go free. July 19th is simply not soon enough.

The talk of 5 winters worth of social distancing simply will not do either. The Government has to grow up and be big enough to realise that you cannot please the loudest voices at the cost of the silent or forgotten majority all of the time.

Covid has changed not only the political terrain, but that for business, locality and the UKs relationship with the outside world too.

Narratives are all well and good for those who believe that image or what others see is everything. But the stupendous errors and mistakes that the Government made in calling a lockdown and then following up with wholly inadequate measures to support businesses and employees then unable to work set the Government on a journey where each lie they have told has had to be covered by many more.

Policy decisions have been made not in the best interests of everyone at the time, but what is best for a Government filled with politicians who are afraid to do anything that can be interpreted as wrong by the media and used against them. They believe that by controlling the narrative in every sense, they can create a legacy that will show them as being strong.

Covid is here to stay whether we like it or not. Zero Covid is a fallacy. It’s time for everyone to start living with this endemic illness and to get back to living life – just in the way that handled differently from the start – we always should.

The Ping Pox is a fake illness created by the Johnson Government that is causing problems for more and more of us in the real world.

Perhaps It’s time for Test & Trace and the NHS Covid App to be condemned to the recycling bin. Unless it’s just used like a game to be played in an imaginary world without the real-time imaginary friends.

The new Pub rules scapegoat the Licensed Trade in an abuse of existing powers resembling the actions of a police state

April 8, 2021 2 comments

As we begin to stare Monday and the reopening of pubs and licensed premises in the face, the imbalance and general lack of fairness that the Government has applied to managing the Lockdowns is beginning to look even more sinister than it ever did before.

The way that pubs and the licensed trade have been singled out and placed right at the top of the scale of unfairness is quickly becoming a scandal. One that only fails to shock as it should because the whole Government narrative of control through fear is beginning to look completely perverse.

Not satisfied with the social distancing measures that accompanied the reopening of Pubs last summer that made many great locals feel sterile, uncomfortable and out-of-touch, the Government is now intent on ratcheting down the Pub rules even further.

They are piling on the risk of closure for countless pubs and community hubs that had already been at risk well before Covid arrived, due to the way that legislation had pushed hundreds and thousands of pub properties once owned by breweries into the hands of property speculators or ‘pubco’s’. ‘Money men’ obsessed with draining every penny of profit from bub businesses, causing countless bankruptcies and closures along the way.

However, what is about to be imposed in the coming days as part of these supposed Lockdown-loosening measures is enough to make anyone wonder if there is some kind of agenda at work, aimed at destroying what remains of the industry once and for all.

It began with the dubious requirement that has meant every pub business with outside space available and therefore able to open next week must hire marquees for what may become many months ahead. Yet there is no practical, real-world explanation telling anyone why the environment inside a temporary indoor space is safer than one that is in fact permanent.

Then it progressed to all payments having to be taken outside, when a substantial number of the pubs that can open next week don’t have payment systems that can be used or can actually function outside of the premises they are in. Let’s not forget that this news emerged yesterday, some 5 days before reopening, when there simply isn’t time to install new equipment – if it would be possible for it to work. And that’s before consideration is given to the additional cost.

Last there is what some will see as the final nail in the coffin. The requirement for customers to download and use the NHS Track & Trace app to log in at pubs at the time their visit began.

Of all the new measures, the requirement for customers to use the NHS App is the most questionable. Not least of all because the same requirement will not apply in many other settings such as supermarkets and DIY stores where anyone visiting in recent days will tell you that they have become far more crowded and create close-contact of a kind that you are unlikely to see even at 11pm at the local pub.

It is clear that pubs and licensed premises are being singled out. Pubs and restaurants are now being used in a blatant attempt to coerce everyone into signing up to and using an information gathering and monitoring system that in this basic form constitutes abuse. One that when accepted or imposed in other sectors and in other forms could easily become permanent and used for much worse.

So why is the licensed trade being hit so hard when other sectors selling direct to the public seem to be having it so much easier?

Each and every local authority that we pay our Council Tax to has a Licensing Department. District Level Authorities (Borough & Unitary too) double up as your Local Licensing Authority. They all have a team of Licensing Officers and Legal Advisors already providing a localised regulatory service that monitors and enforces Licensing Law not only for pubs and the licensed trade, but for taxis, gambling, sex shops and scrap metal dealers too.

So the apparatus and infrastructure already exists to police pubs and the licensed trade in a way that no other commercial, publicly facing business can be monitored and policed.

The Government knows this. It is deliberately abusing the power that it has available to control people wherever and however it can. We should be grateful that the Government doesn’t currently have access to the same functionality within the public sector to police other businesses and sectors – or on experience to date, you can be sure that it would be doing so.

Good leadership isn’t using the power available to you because you can. Good leadership is using restraint and doing the right thing for everyone when it appears to be the more challenging pathway to take – even when it appears there is a much easier way.

One of the greatest problems that this Country now faces is the diminishing levels of humanity and understanding that exist between people. Historically, we have learned and become adept at understanding others through the interactions that happen face-to-face within our communities.

Greed on the part of the few had already meant that many local pubs where locality and localism could reign were at risk. Now the Government wants to pursue policies that will finish them off so that it can bluff its way to the end of the Covid pandemic and to the next General Election, and somehow convince everyone else that this Conservative Government has been good for us and that it truly deserves to win.

Whilst many will refuse or will find themselves unable to believe it, we are in the position that we are today – 12 months on since the first Lockdown began, facing the things that we are, simply because stupidity in Government has been allowed to rule the day. It has been fuelled by the fear of those leading us and an obsession with saving their own necks – no matter the cost to everyone else.

The Government cannot see the damage that it is doing and how far reaching it will become. Yet we cannot get rid of them before the next general election.

By then, for pubs, the licensed trade and whatever follows next in their dangerous and disproportionate abuse of power – the damage will have already been done.

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