Bounce back Britain: who’s ready for the summer of spend?
Dare we dream that better days do indeed lay ahead?
Gone are the days of Eeyore-ish Brexit coverage, in are the sparkling predictions of spending booms and reopening frenzies in our (surprisingly) sunny (but still quite cold) isle.
The prognosis is good. We reached a big milestone on Friday, 21 April. 50% of the entire UK population has now had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine (yours truly included).
Alongside that is the news that we’re no longer technically in a pandemic, the economy is about to go gangbusters, and the whole UK is on course for meeting its timetable for opening up.
There is even a hint that summer sun getaways may not be off the cards, although only if you like islands.
Even politics is getting back into the swing of things. The London Mayoral elections, for instance, are set to go ahead on 6 May. These elections were postponed by the pandemic, giving the incumbent, Sadiq Khan, an extra year rent-free.
The polls would suggest he’s got things wrapped up already, but perhaps not with an outright win in the first round as was previously indicated – he needs at least 50% to do this and is currently running around 40% in the polls.
Funnily enough, it seems the only thing stopping him from reaching this is an agglomeration of joke candidates polling around 1%, from YouTuber Niko Omilana to Count Binface (currently polling on a par with Laurence Fox).
I particularly like Count Binface for their no-nonsense manifesto which combines a blend of ridiculous ideas (1. London Bridge to be renamed after Phoebe Waller-Bridge) with sublime satire (7. Finish Crossrail).
What really speaks to me about this whole event though is it defines a return to some sort of normality.
We live in a democracy here in the UK, a reasonably venerable one by international comparison. Cancelling an election was unheard of at the time, but emblematic of what we all lived through.
A return to it is similarly symbolic.
There’s plenty more to think about in May, over and above the usual fare. On 3 May is World Press Freedom Day. It’s also the day of Professional Pensions UK Pensions Awards finalists announcement.
On 10 May Mental Health Awareness Week starts with the theme ‘connect with nature’. The acknowledgements of the importance of mental health wellbeing have soared in the past year, so this week will be a good time to reflect on that.
On 11 May is National Eat What You Want Day so have that McDonalds you’ve been craving!
This is followed two days later on 13 May by World Cocktail Day. Excruciatingly, this is four days before we’re allowed to sit inside pubs again on 17 May.
Fortunately, we are allowed to sit outside already, so by the time we’re ready for cocktails, hopefully things will have warmed up!
On 17 May the inside of pubs is not the only liberty we’re getting back. International travel is notionally legal again, and we can stay in hotels or go to sports stadia. One can only hope at this point that the schedule isn’t knocked – but at the moment the signs are still hopeful.
On 16 May The Sunday Times publishes its annual Rich List. This year’s will most likely see some notable changes in the risers and fallers. The past 12 months have been cataclysmic, and somehow I don’t think even some of the rich were immune, even if many at the top have benefited massively.
Finally at the end of the month on 28 May is a new report from Ofcom looking at news consumption in the UK, which should have some interesting insights on how the media landscape is changing. And it’s also the Corporate Adviser Awards – adviser categories entry deadline.
From MRM and Capital City Media, here’s wishing you a very pleasant late Spring.