How sad to see yet another high street name bite the dust. Photographic retailer Jessops joins a string of casualties over the past 12 months adding the loss of 2,000 jobs to the new year misery ledger. Where will it all end I wonder?
But much as it pains me to let them off the hook, this is not down to the politicians and their inept handling of the recession, double and possibly triple dipping its way into the history books. This is all thanks to those boffins who brought us digital technology and that marvellous pain in the butt called a mobile ‘phone.
When Kodak’s Box Brownie first put photography into the hands of mass market flash bang wallopers, who would have thought the box with the hole in it would evolve into a fag-packet sized piece of kit that not only took pictures but enabled you to speak to the world at large, play games and watch television. Among many other things I gather.
As it is, with technology galloping at such a fearsomely uncontrolled pace, I suspect future generations will not thank us for unleashing the digital monster. Think about it.
First we had printed circuit boards, which did away with good old fashioned valves, cathode ray tubes, and condensers etc, making thousands of production line workers redundant in the process. Then came micro chips which made pcb’s redundant and thousands more production line workers.
We’ve already had advance notice of man-made living-gel blobs which could well end up as organic robots making the entire workforce redundant! So who’s going to buy all these wonderful new gismos then? A vicious circle if ever I saw one!
Meanwhile back at the ranch, our very own Nick Boles continues his quest to outstrip Gordon Brown’s attempts to concrete over England’s green and pleasant land by warning of a return to “Victorian values” if we don’t. (Mercury last week).
It seems to this old codger that young Mr Boles should come off it and come clean with more facts about brown field availability before confusing the issue with tear jerking rhetoric about “propping up kids and grandkids.”
It is not lack of land causing the problem – it’s an established fact there are enough brown field sites to build at least 1.5 million new homes and the area suitable for housing is increasing all the time. It’s bureaucratic obduracy holding things back so let’s not fall for these inexplicable demands to rip up the countryside, risking irreparable damage in the process. Far be it for me to suggest there might be hidden agendas hovering amid the sob stories but it makes no sense whatsoever to encroach on green fields before exhausting reclamation and redevelopment of eyesores all over the country. Government should be pushing councils, builders, banks and building societies to get together to develop disused land before embarking on a wild west land grab - another decision future generations could live to regret!