I don't usually write about things like this on the blog, but this is something that has been bothering me and getting under my skin every time I hear it on the news, so I reckon it is time to express myself. If anyone else would like to comment - and I know by looking at the statistics that there are quite a few of you out there who dip into my blog from time to time, do feel free to comment - all views accepted, politely of course.
I am not a huge royalist, but not an objector either, and feel that celebrating the jubilee at this time, mainly as a way of cheering up a largely 'down in the dumps' country, due to the economic recession etc, is not a bad idea. Consequently I, like many people around the country, am involved in a jubilee event in the small Norfolk village I live in. As a village we are just having some races for the children, a village barbeque, and a lighting of the beacon at our allotted time. Nothing earth shattering, but what should be a pleasant get together, and something to enhance the community spirit. All around the land similar events will be taking place in towns & villages and hopefully a pleasant time will be had by all. However we keep hearing on the news that the price we have to pay for this event is that, because we are having the day off work to celebrate, our country will 'obviously' stay in recession for another quarter.
We are having another day off work. an extra bank holiday, in an advanced Western democracy, that has one of the fewest public holidays in the Western world, and this 1 extra day is going to keep us in recession. Now I know that we are in a very delicate situation at the moment, but what about the pluses to the economy that that politicians & economists fail to mention. As I see it the balance sheet looks a bit like this.
On the negative side - yes, the economy is going to lose a days output. This is a week, that the schools close, and many people take off anyway, and go away with their children, so some people would have taken the Tuesday off already, but yes, everyone is getting an extra days bank holiday. One day less output.
On the plus side.
There is a micro economy going on specifically for the Queens Jubilee.
A whole mass industry in paper, red white and blue cups, saucers, plates and the like for use at all the street parties. Likewise paper table cloths, plastic cutlery, red white & blue balloons, paper hats. All the pound shops are full of them. Even if not made in this country, our shops are selling them. Our supermarkets are full of produce that they are advertising for street parties. I am constantly getting flooded with advertisements for street party appropriate goods. Musicians and entertainment has been booked up for along time for the parties, as have services such as hog roasts (We found this out to our cost, when we were too late to books them). Beacon Makers must be quids in too!
Red, white and blue flower displays are being planted, plastic medals are being manufactures in their thousand, there is a jubilee catalogue of things that can be bought for the occasion, mugs are being produced and sold by the hundred, the list is endless.
Of course there will also be the visitors who come to the country just to see what all the fuss is about, because, as we all know, if there is one thing the British can do is put on a good show when it comes to pageantry.
I am pleased that there is a plus side for the economy, it will do it good to have a bit of stimulation, and I hope it gives it a bit of a push in the direction it needs - but what I will resent, is that when the next lot of figures are announced, and if the country is still in recession, the politicians look at us gloomily, and tell us it is all because we had that extra day off and enjoyed ourselves when I am very sure it was not!