It’s not Friday. I forgot to schedule this on Thursday night and on Friday morning, got up at ridiculous o’clock (5:30am) because I couldn’t sleep and had to go into the office. Basically, I needed to clear out my locker a couple of other people’s lockers, the stationary cupboard and chivy my boss into doing the same in his office. I have never met a bunch of horders like this audit team! Anyway, I was in at 8am, left at 10am, the tube was weird, wearing a mask sucks but not as much as dying or being seriously ill with COVID-19 would and it doesn’t make asthma any worse (if you use that as an excuse I will talk about how you’re completely wrong!). So far, despite our Prime Minister’s plea today to start commuting because if the economy fails he’ll stop getting donations to the Tory party, we are still working from home but the plan for 2020 was to move offices in September, that’s still happening so things need to be moved, I don’t think our London office will be open until the new one is ready to go and I honestly can’t see myself in the office for more than the odd day until there is a vaccine. It’s really strange how everyone apart from the government is worried about a resurgence of the virus. Maybe they want it to happen to distract from the looming disaster of Brexit?
Here are this week’s links…
A high street bistro that really delivers… we were going to do Côte at Home for my birthday, I’m glad it gets Jay’s seal of approval..
End of the office: the quiet, grinding loneliness of working from home. Our team is all at the point where we’d like to redistribute our office time, so three days at home, two days in the office, even the ones with kids (although everyone is keen for schools and nurseries to re-open). But the youngest members of the team who are flat sharing are really keen to get back to the office. I’m looking at getting a desk for the living room because working in the kitchen (also the darkest room in the house) is going to be painful in the winter but I’d struggle if I needed to share my space as well!
Why it’s time to stop talking about English identity. I thought this was interesting, I’ve been arguing that the UK needs to federalise for years. All the home nations should have a parliament, with the parliament at Westminster, responsible for overall foreign policy etc. Not only would it be fair, in England it would stop the concentration of resources on London and the South East, an English Parliament should be in the middle of the country too (my vote would be Birmingham). Yes, I accept that at least at the beginning, it would mean that English govt would probably be right wing but I don’t think that would last forever, look at Scotland and the drift there as they’re had a devolved parliament. I don’t believe that everyone in England is right wing but I do think there is a sense of grievance about how we are viewed, it feels like the money comes from us, the regions don’t see the benefit and everyone hates us. This is not a formula for considered thinking but for the politics of resentment. If we had a devolved parliament and a fair financial settlement with the ability to spend that money on places other than London then I think we’d see a change. We’d have the chance to develop an English identity that includes all our history (good and bad) and all the people that live here.