Government’s purpose: justice and money

This ‘Harpers’ article demonstrates why progressing out of lockdowm will be so difficult – and the rent overhang demonstrates how recovery is unlikely to be speedy.

All this could change instantly if government understood or even suggested that money is state created and not created by the private sector …

The article says:

The quarterly rent due 24 June, just a day after PM Boris Johnson relaxed the 2 metre rule while confirming 4 July reopening for hospitality, comes as a sobering reminder that the on-trade’s woes are far from over.

As Johnson confirmed that restaurants, bars and pubs could relax social distancing to 1 metre, prominent bar entrepreneur Jonathan Downey, who has spearheaded a #NationalTimeOut campaign to pause rent for on-trade operators, was busy tweeting a rejoinder.

Pointing out that he’d been forced to close his Milk & Honey venue since 17 March, Downey’s tweet added: “We wont be reopening on 4 July because we are a small, intimate venue and 1 metre distancing makes it unviable. We’ve just received our June rent quarter bill though. It’s for £57,000.”

£57k a quarter would need some upturn…

I’m afraid on the basis that I wouldn’t be queueing up to dine out anywhere, I very much doubt that, in catering at least, the ‘upturn’ is actually going to happen any time soon.

When we are still all frightened of each others’ bugs we are unlikely to want to enhance the possibilities of encountering them – be it one metre or two – or even further away.

Time is. as they say, of the essence – though in this instance it refers to personal longevity.

And also:

“The hospitality sector is the third biggest private employer in the UK, creating 9% of all jobs, contributing £130bn annually to the economy, with tax receipts of £39bn.”

So unless the government deigns to realise that its two functions are creating justice and money – neither of which it has shown any propensity to understand – then I very much fear for our future.


  1. Helen Schofield -

    I suppose the only silver lining is all the failed business owners and their ex-employees won’t be voting an incompetent Tory government back into office.

    1. Peter May -

      We’d like to think not…

      1. Jeni Parsons -

        But can be fairly sure they will – it’s the nature of the beasts

  2. Graham -

    And how did our 6 Tory MP’s vote on the amendment, proposed by a Tory, to protect our food standards? And notice all 6 of them represent agricultural constituencies, whose interests I believe, they were elected to promote. Yes, you got it in one.

    This is the virus of party politics, MP’s defend the interests of their party, first, second and last and to hell with their constituents.

    Will they be thrown out at the next GE? I don’t know, because people have short memories.

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