In fairness to the guy he was sent out to defend the indefensible ie theres no scientific basis for stopping people purchasing socks or flowers. Its clearly nonsense.
The fault lies firstly with NPHETS blanket advice (pretty baseless it seems) and secondly the cowardice of Martin and Varadkar in accepting it.
As an aside, Michael McNamara has performed admirably throughot this whole debacle and is now a de facto one man opposition in the Dail, holding them to account on the basis of sound evidence -based common sense. He was excellent again on Prime Time last night when debating English.
Firstly the “Save Christmas” is a dog and pony show for the masses. They’re pitching the same scripted logic in the UK to convince Joe public who will focus on that Christmas in the Bag feeling.
The months leading into Christmas, October and especially November are key months for retail (you have to take delivery of stock ordered it in the summer, and then display it, manage the whole thing, it takes time) during this period there is window shopping and checking availablity of stock (which might trigger some more stock purchases), crucial items for the stocking Santa will deliver, these activities lead to deposits and hard sales, then the last few weeks of impulse buys and last minute buys and the the last minute over spend just in case I need another bottle of whisky and 100 mince pies etc. etc., while December itself has only 3 weeks of the Christmas trade going for it and it varies depending on exactly when Christmas Day falls, after this come the sales, but I have no idea how that is going to pan out this year!
The idea everyone is going to make up lost time and thus lots revenue for most of the year, let alone the Christmas season trade in under 3 weeks is out of this world thinking.
If you take a wander over to retail excellence Ireland, you can see on the 19th of October the bleak vista before many a business:
Retail Excellence, the largest retail body in Ireland, representing over 2,000 retail businesses, has tonight expressed its deep disappointed with the Government’s decision to close all non-essential retail by moving the country to level 5.
Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence said; ‘Retailers have been contacting us throughout the day extremely concerned and upset at closing their business for 6 weeks at the most important trading period of the year. ‘Non-essential’ retailers generate over 70% of annual turnover over this quarter and these further restrictions will inevitably push many more businesses into insolvency’
This is a baffling decision in so many ways;
– Retailers have invested heavily in making premises safe this year and have been fully compliant with all government guidelines. Many of the largest retailers in the country have reported less than 1% of their total employees testing positive for Covid-19, suggesting the lack of transmission in the retail workplace.
– Despite far higher infection rates, retailers in Northern Ireland continue to trade relatively normally compared to their counterparts in the Republic.
– No other European country has locked down retail in the way this government has done with retailers in Ireland.
– We estimate over 60,000 retail employees will lose their jobs as a result of these new measures joining the 30,000 retail workers who have already been laid off this year.
– The anticipated 6 weeks closure, will create unprecedented pent up demand for the month of December, resulting in a frenzied shopping experience in the final weeks before Christmas.
– There will be a massive upsurge in online shopping this year and we know that 70% of this is spent with retailers based out of the country.
– Retail stores are fully stocked for the Christmas period and failure to move this stock will create cash flow issues and impact payment to suppliers and other creditors.
Retail Excellence is calling on the government to provide the following;
A ‘crystal’ clear roadmap to reopening
That ecommerce, online retailing is totally unrestricted.
The TWSS is reintroduced with immediate effect
Further supports are made available to retailers to help with legacy debts such as rent payments
There has always been the “has to be done before christmas” rush that see things like painting and decorating, furniture, carpets, white goods + seasonal domestic and work parties etc. etc.ocurring… such activity I imagine has served many business well through the leaner January period into Feb when things usually pick up mid Feb - all of that or most of it will be gone too not just retail sales - all the losses businesses have suffered since the start of the year, the general lull in trade because there is for sure a “fear factor” keeping people away during the easier restriction period, well it’s all going to add up to not a lot come end of year heading into 2021, the leading in effect here is also being missed.
Finally the Irish Gov would never have pulled off this 2nd lockdown if they did not keep the schools / child minding industrial complex open.
The net result here is the State keeps your children SAFE, under their watch under new conditions and observation systems, masks and anti-social distancing (you the parent are complaint and condone this, you in effect no longer enforcing compliance, the State is, and is now acting as parent and ultimate authority) and you are deeply thankful (credit to affects of the 1st lockdown) while you the adult are under virtual house arrest again, but it’s a little bit more manageable because you have some time away from the children, but really the children got thrown out because work moved into the home.
How children will view their parents over the longer period of time if this continues for another year will be interesting to say the least.
It’s a bit of a role reversal. The parents no longer forced to go out too to work but the children have to go to the regimentation of new-school. How will they feel as they see their parents in a more relaxed time off setting, while they must comply, as if holding down a job. Might the role reversal become solidified in the home? State programmed Alpha children dominating their Beta programmed parents? Nah, silly me, I’m being a little OTT don’t ya know…
Meanwhile the Gov push the “essential items” play this time round, another arbitrary or trivial compliance measure, while heading into winter, it is particularly diabolical. This is (simulated) rationing by another name for the purpose of calibrating the control model. For future tweaks and roll outs.
Clothes now… what next, food?
…You must understand, the level of business failure due to the impact of the virus in 2020 has deeply impacted the broader economic outlook and currently is creating greater levels of depressed demand in other sectors. Consumers having less money to spend, shops are not able to bring in as much stock, credit lines are tighter because cashflow has collapsed - so we need to ration the food, to make sure everyone gets fed, this will only be a temporary measure for 2 years, during this period ordering online will be mandatory, you may register your breakfast dietary needs with the central register as this will be your primary meal of the day…
The end game here is to have everyone on their knees in one shape or form, so you beg for relief and a return if even to a percentage of how your life was before and then the offer appears, salvation, so good in normal times it would not be considered as true, a mere mirage of madness. Yet people are willing to trade everything they have to make it stop, their liberties, even their soul, because many believe they don’t have one so what does it matter, but the pain, the suffering, the pain and suffering, that is real.
Looking at that RESET article, it’s clear that a few 1%'ers really hate the idea that their gravy train will be derailed by the “great reset”.
If it reduces the excessive wasteful consumerism with all its throwaway life limited crap, the pointless long commutes that waste huge amounts of resources etc and encourages WFH and less resource wasting living.
Then I’m all in.
But Im worried about the seeming erosion of basic civil liberties. Theres an absence of any proportionality to what is taking place currently which in turn raises its own questions.
Further, I queued up yesterday afternoon to enter the local supermarket ie the only food source in the wider suburban area. Everyone distanced and wearing face masks. It would have been deemed far fetched 8 months ago but now its the norm.
Found myself wondering what happens if these large chains become the only food sources left standing in urban areas. Thats a huge degree of power over other peoples lives. What happens if at some point thereafter they in turn have supply chain issues?
Can you give me an example from history of a grand plan of controlling the masses cooked up by a clique of dictatorial ‘utopianists’ that didn’t descend into chaos? These people are psychos and they need to be stopped before their “solutions” become a lot more sinister.
Dublin was under control with level 3, perhaps the amount of people travelling there from other counties was too much, but when measures take 3 weeks to take effect (according to NPHET) then why did we go to level 5 before the effect of level 3 was apparent, it is now!
BTW when we haven’t seen the effect of it (level 5) yet.
Your comparison to Belgium is facile, we had a fraction of their incidence and they still don’t have anything like an Irish level 5 in place, 4 people allowed to visit a house, weddings with 40 people, they had 19k cases on the day we went to level 5 with twice our population, we had 1,300.
Yeah - Michael McNamara (TD) was tweeting that NPHET were saying it would take about three weeks before we would see any signs of a drop in case numbers. They’ve been dropping steadily for the last 9 days or so - little or nothing to do with Level 5.
Also has been pointed out by David Quinn on Twitter: “I think we should remind ourselves that on September 14, Prof Sam McConkey predicted 5,000 cases a day in Dublin alone by yesterday (Oct 31). The figure was 87.”