Dwelling on trivialities means the bigger issues aren't being solved, says an enraged David Moore.
Freedom Day came and went; with the old French saying in mind: "the more things change, the more they stay the same".
There will be no change of Covid policy at Pied à Terre. Every business is making their choices and I feel we must protect our staff as best we can as they are a precious commodity in hospitality. However, while face coverings will be our preferred option, we will give staff the choice.
Moving on from Covid, here is a little-known fact: Genghis Khan used to throw his deserters and troublesome protagonists into vats of boiling oil to spread the fear of God among anyone who might disobey or disagree with him. Those heading to the boiling oil were not just "sentient" beings (able to perceive or feel things) but also conscious thinking beings. It was the anticipation of the boiling oil that really made its mark; the end could not be more than a second or two. This segues beautifully to Boris Johnson, and no, I'm not suggesting we throw him in boiling oil. No, it is his government's meddling in trivialities that is the problem while not getting the big issues sorted.
Trival issue: spending government time on lobsters and crabs. It now seems they are to be classed as "sentient". An amendment to such and such bill will take into account the feelings of the lobster and crab and it may be legislated that we can no longer boil them when we wish to dispatch them.
I know of two other ways to dispatch lobsters: one is a sharp knife blade into the middle of the head, but you can easily miss the brain and so cause them more pain; and the other is the fairly gruesome pulling apart of head from tail – again, pretty painful I'm sure. But, what about fish in general? They don't enjoy being plucked from the water and I'm sure they have feelings too. Where does it stop?
Big issue: the control of single-use plastics is due to start in the EU, but the UK has kicked it down the road. The planet is choking on plastic and we turn our backs on it – well, good luck on saving the planet.
My repeated big issue: business rates! I'm sorry to whinge yet again about this super-unfair tax that we are burdened with because we trade in a bricks and mortar world. Landlords are being pressured into turnover rents, so why can't business rates take a similar approach? A percentage of turnover would be much more fair. Next March, the eviction moratorium will end, just as assistance with business rates terminates and I do not see a bright future for the high street.
Changing subject to staff shortages, I went to the press about closing Pied à Terre for lunches due to staff shortages. I got prime-time coverage and a stack of CVs, a very unexpected recruitment drive after a lot of worry and stress. We reopened for lunch on 17 July.
I'm always asked why we can't fill our positions with home-grown talent and I say that many UK kids go to university and are not made aware of the career opportunities in hospitality. More needs to be done.
But do UK kids want to work? A 17-year-old boy wrote to me asking for a summer job, so let's try him out, I thought. He came in to meet and discuss it with me. It turns out that by a summer job he meant two weeks in August and that he could only work three days each week as he needed a rest day in between. Do UK kids want to work?
A 17-year-old boy wrote to me asking for a summer job. It turns out that by a summer job he meant two weeks in August and that he could only work three days each week as he needed a rest day in between
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