We're all going on a summer holiday

Posted August 09, 2011

We're all going on a summer holiday

My favourite local restaurant is closed. So is my parliament. Why?

“The restaurant staff need to take their summer break,” I was informed when I tried to book a table for this weekend. That’s great for the staff; inconvenient for the customer. But doesn’t the same principle apply to parliament? It also provides a service to the public – to you, me, the nation. And what’s more, we pay for it in taxes whether it’s in residence or not. So let’s start demanding a better return on our investment.

For starters, I want 24/7 cover. Insurance companies provide this service – the very same companies that are now dealing with the claims of the distraught residents in Tottenham, Clapham and Croydon who have seen their businesses and homes torched.  So why in this day and age should we accept that our country’s politicians all decamp on mass for their summer holidays? No other reputable business (apologies to my local restaurant – I like you, but it’s true!) would operate this way.

It’s time to change this let’s all nip off to the sun, cross our fingers and hope for the best attitude to running a country. Mind you, it’s not just the UK that operates in this way. Other European states have also been caught on the hop. Sarkozy was basking in the heat of the French Riviera and Merkel was on a hiking tour of the Italian Alps when the latest Euro crisis erupted. Not entirely unexpected given the volatile trading conditions over the last few months and yet nobody was primed to react swiftly to deal with that mess either. Seeing as they are such Eurozone pals, could they not at least have swopped diary dates before setting off?

Here’s a tip for all our politicians from my retail days: introduce a holiday rota. This requires a bit of co-ordinated activity. The rioters on our streets have proved very effective at doing this via the social networking apps on their phones so surely the finest political brains in the country can master the art too.

Perhaps Mary Portas, the retail guru, can show them how. She’s been drafted in by the Government to provide advice on how to revitalise the British high street. Ironic, considering that many of the very high streets she seeks to help are now reduced to smoking piles of rubble.




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