LOCKDOWN REALITIES

Every discussion about ending the lockdowns in Britain and Australia has referred to “returning to the office”. But what percentage of workers are office workers? I don’t know but initially I had a suspicion snobbishness might underly this; specifically that blue collar workers don’t matter much.

Further thought gave me another explanation, specifically that throughout the lockdown numerous people deemed essential workers such as nurses, drivers, police and so forth, all non-office workers, carried right on and in some cases, copped the virus as a consequence. The focus went on the layabouts lolling at home, such as believe it or not, is still the case in Wellington with some government Departments.

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When the civil servants pay freeze was being talked about (what happened to that) it was presented as a kick in the teeth for them after all they’d “sacrificed” during the pandemic lock-down. Cry me a river.

The hospitals and schools were emptied and the police were just making pricks of themselves accosting people for going for a swim, the army ofrest of them were holed up at home on full pay. The teachers had a tantrum when it was suggested they open up for some pupils so the parents could get back to work – actual work. “We’re not baby sitters” they bleated.

One interesting side-effect of all this is that these work-from-homers liked it so much that there is a lot of pressure for a paradigm shift, which is making Central Planners in Councils promoting monocentric urban economies with tall buildings and a focus on rail based commuting, look even more like the hubristic fools they were anyway. They remind me of the infamous recording company executive who didn’t sign the Beatles in 1961, “I didn’t like their sound, bands with guitars are on their way out”. Trains certainly are not and have not been for 100 years “on their way in” as a predominant urban transport mode. As Sir Bob says, everyone apart from the CBD office workers are invisible people to the all-wise Planners and busybody bureaucrats. How dare any one of us want to go to and from any of thousands of different points within hundreds of square kilometers of the REAL urban economy, to make our living? By car, too, not E-bike or multiple-transfer bus rides?

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