This column begins by thanking those who gave everything for us on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and those who continue to give everything in such unprecedented times.
What I’m Listening To: I’d sworn to myself that I wouldn’t try and consume too much (note: any) Coronavirus based material but The Next Episode’s episode on Grief in Lockdown was so beautifully put together I ended up listening to the whole thing – a really deep half hour of storytelling hosted by Linda Adey and produced brilliantly by Georgia Coan, Alicia Burrell, Sejal Asar and Jack Sud.
There’s no time like the present to try something new – so I bit the bullet and got myself a subscription to Luminary. It’s either £28.99 for a year, or £3.99 a month after a free trial, and it’s all worth it to listen to Fiasco. Regular readers to took a dive at the non COVID-radio playlist will be familiar with Slow Burn, and the same host behind those hit series – Leon Neyfakh – has created two more masterpieces, focusing on the 36-day battle for the Presidency in 2000 and then another deep dive into Iran contra. You can listen in either order, but make sure that you do.
What I’m Reading: A great timeline piece from Alan White on the UK’s scientific advice and Coronavirus actions for Buzzfeed (https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/uk-government-coronavirus-timeline?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bfsharetwitter)
A brilliant read from Simon Rowlands on how to read a race for At The Races (https://www.attheraces.com/article/598679)
& this lovely help guide on how to get through a down day in lockdown by Rachel Moss of HuffPost (https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/low-mood-coronavirus-lockdown_uk_5eac0358c5b64d644f0e9e7c)
What I’m Watching: The 2010 General Election replay (which you can still watch on BBC Parliament or iPlayer), Normal People, and Money Heist on Netflix.
My Kingdom, My Kingdom for Some Clear Messaging
Take a look at these front pages:
Now tell me, what’s the message you get there?
Anyone reading this – and we mustn’t forget how many newspaper front pages are so much more widely spread thanks to their prominence on the internet and TV – would be widely forgiven for thinking that the Govt was a 1.01 shot to end the lockdown next week.
That is of course not the case – we’re going to have some updates on what the future holds for us, which are odds on to be similar to the plans announced in Wales and Scotland already – but only six or so weeks after mixed messaging cost us so dearly it’s beyond comprehension that the Government is doing it yet again.
A penny for the thoughts of Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who rightly said it was a “matter of regret” that the Prime Minister would make a “major announcement” on lockdown without first running it past Parliament. Number 10 fired back that they had duty to set out the Government’s thinking “in a clear way to the public” – that clear way of course being to brief tabloid papers and then give clarity at 7pm on Sunday. What could possibly go wrong?
Question: Why can’t the Premier League or FA also properly help the non-league, I.E national leagues with grants or interim funding to help them through this period instead of trying to make sure their pockets and those of the premier league are kept nice and full.
Ross James, via Email
Answer: I fully agree with the sentiment, but the Premier League has already given a donation of £125 million to EFL and National League clubs – around a month ago. That said, hopefully there’s every effort thrown into keeping lower league clubs afloat.
Questions: Why is the leader of the nation with the 2nd most Covid19 deaths in hiding.
Why are bookmakers who are good at financials have no understanding how an economy works?
Have Scotland and France shown the way for what should happen in England regards football?
Mick, via Email
Answers: Three questions! Robert Peston would be proud.
1. I imagine that the PM’s recovery – and we have to remember he’s made a very quick return from intensive care – means it’ll take time for him to get back upto speed. As said earlier, clear communications are needed
2. You’d be amazed at the amount of people who work in finance who don’t understand how an economy works!
3. The Scottish and French plans are one way that English football could get out of their current predicament, although there would surely be legal challenges for an unfinished season especially regarding Championship promotion chasers.
Question: What’s the one train journey you’d most like to do anywhere in the world?
Nick, via Facebook
Answer: A brilliant question. I’d be going for the Oslo-Bergen railway. It’s the perfect compromise between destinations – you go from Norway’s capital to it’s second biggest city, or vice versa – provides exceptional views, and is also perhaps the world’s greatest engineering feat given that you travel through the Hardangervidda, the largest eroded plain in Europe. Six and a half hours is a long journey, but manageable on any trip as well.
Anything you want me to answer? Please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, keep safe and well,
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.