“We can’t tell you what you are getting for your birthday on Friday, except to say it has two wheels, pedals and is a form of solitary transport.”
”And, in fact, it is a bike.”
”Oh, that’s right; it’s a bike.”
All extended families will be gathered around their wirelesses this evening to hear our great prime minister tell us the hot news about extending the social restrictions we have been somewhat observing for a further four weeks. Journalists will scribble furiously as he speaks and headline writers who are saying today, ‘Restrictions To Last Four More Weeks’, will write tomorrow’s version; ‘Restrictions To Last Four More Weeks’.
We in the NTI newsroom wonder what Boris will say. Life as we know it is on a knife edge.
As one of the four top Government bods who has not been able to fully enjoy the weekend sun, Rishi Sunak has rejected pleas to extend the furlough scheme, according to ‘sources close to the chancellor’. The timetable for gradually withdrawing the support fund, which is due to start being wound down at the end of the month, will remain the same.
This is news, but we know it already and it will enable employers to look around their teams of people and decide if they would employ many of them if they were recruiting from fresh. How many bosses make mental sweeps around their teams over a casual beer and think, ‘Yes’, ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘I suppose’, ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Good GOD, No - what was I thinking’?
Many observers consider that it is only when the apron strings are finally cut and employers are forced to make grown up decisions about their businesses and teams, that we can really start to plan for the future and be mature and rational about the choices that must be made regarding company survival and oblivion.
Meanwhile, we must teeter along a knife edge for another few hours speculating about what Boris will say this evening about the easing of restrictions next Monday. For a full list of what he will say see every website and newspaper.