People in power need to get real.
The Bank of England is sticking with its view that we’re heading for a V-shaped recovery when we’re clearly not.
The Government hopes English shoppers will voluntarily wear masks when they clearly won’t.
The Mayor tells people to use alternatives to Tubes and buses when the majority can’t.
It really matters.
People in the hospitality and retail industry say the absurdly optimistic guidance from Threadneedle Street is being used as an excuse by landlords to refuse to help out on rents.
Even some of the big fund managers have been declining any meaningful assistance to tenants who have had zero revenues for months, and are staring into an abyss of takings down 70% or 80%, especially in central London.
When they show landlords their books, they’re told the economy will soon be back to normal, so no dice.
Similarly, the Government must stop muddling the masks message. If they made them mandatory it would be far easier for shop staff to ask customers to comply.
The effect will be to make shopping feel safer. And, if we’re going to save the retail sector, we have to get people confident that it’s safe to hit the High Street.
In the absence of decent leadership from politicians, businesses should take matters into their own hands. Many have been doing so; packaging giant DS Smith ignored Downing Street laissez-faire and brought in social distancing and PPE in March.
Retailers should do the same and ask people to wear masks.
Use the flipflopping Government’s advice as a bare minimum.