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The nonsense of ‘unessential work’

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Written By Michael Curzon

The nonsense of ‘unessential work’ — Bournbrook Magazine

Close up of hairdresser arms cutting and combing male hair

“What work, if it puts food on the table and draws a line between financial and mental stability and ruin, can seriously be deemed unessential?”

Of all the nonsense newspeak terms formulated over the last year, surely the silliest and most insulting is ‘unessential work’. What work, if it puts food on the table and draws a line between financial and mental stability and ruin, can seriously be deemed unessential?

In a recent column ( for The Spectator, Joan Collins described her horror when discovering two decorators (contracted by her landlord) working unmasked on her apartment’s balcony, asking ‘is this truly essential work?’ That’s easy for a retired actress to write.

The Government’s sole focus on the harm caused by the coronavirus has brought many businesses to ruin. The damage this will do to the families who rely on this now non-existent work will be realised when lockdown does finally end, and the furlough pot dries up.

One of the few MPs who has realised the destruction currently being wreaked upon this nation by endless and disproportionate restrictions, Sir Charles Walker, is right to suggest that those imposing — and those advocating for — national and regional lockdowns don’t have a proper sense of their impact:

‘It is easy for most people in this House to comply with the law. We are comfortably off, we live in nice houses, we have gardens and outdoor spaces, and we have access to family. The same is true of the journalists who fill our TV screens every night with their wisdom and wit about how people should comply with these regulations, and they sneer at those who cannot. But the next three months are going to be really hard for a lot of people – people who do not have my advantages of a monthly salary and a monthly pension payment. They will be worrying about their job, their future, their mental health and their family relationships, because they will miss people terribly. They will be living in small environs that apparently they can leave only to exercise once a day. Sadly, some of those people will break. It will be too much for them.’ – Sir Charles Walker MP

Maybe the front pages would read a little differently if written by those with a greater sense of life.


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