Business365 editor, Simon Richardson – like so many other people on the Island – is working from home. He’s been keeping a daily blog about the experience and reflecting on the strange times we find ourselves in as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic.
I see Boris has introduced lots of new guidelines for all sorts of things in the UK. One of them relates to weddings. It seems ceremonies for up to 30 people are to be permitted, but the ban on receptions remains. No food and drink can be part of the event, and singing, shouting or playing music at a volume that means people have to raise their voices should all be avoided. Instead of singing, recordings are suggested.
Overall, it doesn’t make for a particularly joyous event; everybody sitting two metres apart – or one metre plus with extra precautions, no singing, tape on the floors and pews to remind people of social distancing, and the bride and groom must wash their hands immediately after exchanging the rings! They might as well wear full PPE and save a fortune on the dress and rented suit.
I’m relieved I don’t live over there at the moment. The bizarre and often incomprehensible guidelines emitting from number 10 don’t inspire much confidence.
That said it’s good to see that Boris can still do press-ups – really useful at the COBRA meetings, where other ministers and key personnel make their own unique contributions. Matt Hancock supplies the caramel waffles, Dominic Cummings drives them to the meetings (usually via Durham), Rishi Sunak provides the loose change for the teas and coffees, Michael Gove does Gollum impressions and Priti Patel updates everybody on the number of coronavirus tests done. At her last count it was three hundred thousand and thirty four, nine hundred and seventy four thousand. Watch it Rishi, she’s after your job.
It’s little wonder they have halted the daily media briefings from number 10. Ministers and experts were rarely reading from the same page – or book. Indeed some appeared to be using scripts from old episodes of ‘Yes Minister.
Then of course there are the travel corridors. Britain has announced it will allow movements between the UK and some European countries – those that are performing well in the battle against Covid 19 (like the UK?). They then excluded Portugal – one of the most impressive – because they had honestly declared a spike in one small area of Lisbon – which the Portuguese authorities had discovered and contained because of the country’s finely tuned contact tracing network.
Based upon all the above, and more, I think the Isle of Man has a real economic opportunity here. We could offer Health Minister, David Ashford’s services, on a consultancy basis, to help the UK prepare for the threat of a second wave. He could give one to one advice to Matt Hancock on knowing his subject, and I’m sure Dominic Raab would be up for a bit of empathy training. As for Boris himself he could learn about Minister Ashford’s ‘baby steps’ as opposed to his illogical grand gestures.
After a couple of weeks at say £10,000 plus VAT a day, David could come home to resume his ministerial duties.
I’m sure, if he asked nicely, Mr Cummings would drop him off at Heysham (via Durham).