Sunday, 18 March 2012

Osborne's Emergency Olympic Shopping Directive

I know I'm supposed to love shopping. As a registered female, I'm destined to adore nothing more than browsing boutiques for over-priced handbags and ridiculous foot-crushing, spine twisting 'shoes'.
However, I find the whole thing a tedious, creativity-sapping, wallet-draining, self-loathing boost.
The vast majority of women's clothes - which appear to be made for a climate far from the British Isles - repulse and anger me. What will I do with a sleeveless chunky-knit cardigan with extra cleavage plunge?
The closest I get to shopping for fun is buying a triple pack of M&S briefs and stopping on the way home for a muffin and a copy of Private Eye.
So it is with a massive sigh that I read about possible plans to suspend Sunday trading laws during the Olympics.
Is it really that urgent that we all get shopping during the games? Is it all that terribly vital that the Korean volleyball team has a chance to slip off to Lillywhites for leisurewear of an evening? Can't we all just have a nice rest, a glass of Pernod and a slice of Fiona Bruce on Sunday evenings? Can't we just stop shopping for five seconds and have a foot massage or talk to each other or browse internet suicide forums or whatever?
We need a day of the week where, for a couple of hours, we are obliged to face the fundamental emptiness of our souls and scrub the bath and/or talk to our spouse. Surely?
No, George Osborne is expected to argue - extending shop opening hours during the Olympics may be a vital key to "boosting the economy". If I hear this phrase again I feel I may hurl my blazing knitting needles into the gas fire and rip off my sagging utilitarian maternity bra in a rage.
Will the Japanese rhythmic gymnastics team really spend enough on Burberry in Selfridges for those blasted spending cuts not to go ahead?
Former transport minister Philip Hammond gave the same argument for raising the motorway speed limit to 80 not long ago. People, he said, would be able to get to places quicker, thus creating heaps of wealth. Mmmmm. I've often thought it was my unwillingness to break the 70mph speed limit that is at the root of my failure to thrive financially.
I'm not religious or anything. Far from it, the church and its power-constructs appall me as much as the current Government. But I do think they have one thing right: keep one day special. Well, at least a couple of hours where we are saved from the lure of Homebase.

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