Shop and Search

So, the lockdown is being reviewed as promised but will almost certainly be extended – no surprises there, then.

As time drags on in splendid isolation, and domestic violence, obesity, and suicides spike, we will doubtless focus on the slide that we vicariously permitted when our elected representatives pushed it all through into law without so much as a squeak. China, which is now relaxing its own lockdown policy, has itself just seen a pointed upward trend in divorces.

It does all rather beg the question about the definition of ‘health’ and whether panic over the perceived crisis for physical health has ignored any wider facets of holistic health. In addition to this, an economic skydive will indubitably exacerbate the quality of both physical and mental health in the future. That is, of course, if not the elephant in the room, then the one that’s just around the corner.

Tusk, tusk.

So, back to the impact on ordinary folk and the police are never going to have strayed too far from controversy.

The Northamptonshire Chief Constable has just jumped onto the next available go-kart to Bonkersville with comments that his officers may now set up roadblocks and search shopping trolleys. Now this isn’t somebody who’s got the wrong end of the riot baton. It’s the head honcho who is proposing this latest novel episode of Supermarket Sweep.

Unexpected item in the bagging area!

What started off as a (purported) health crisis has morphed firstly into economic hari kari and then into an erosion of person liberty. Arsey behaviour by a minority then engenders a harder line on enforcement for all.

Everybody really does need to familiarise themselves with the terms ‘proportionate’ and ‘disproportionate’ and indulge in a spot of self-reflection.

For this breach of the peas, it all started to slide when scrutiny was frittered away and along with it went a family-sized chunk of personal freedom.

We are facing a system of indirect rationing. but as a shopper, it’ll be down to you to take a punt on how much of a product you think you’ll be allowed to have.

The matter may then end up being arbitrated by a copper at the roadside and may depend on his or her interpretation of the word ‘essential’. Become too vociferous in your protests, and you might end up with a further charge under s.4 of the Public Order Act. A kind of legislative BOGOF or Buy One, Get One Free.

Even the tightest of laws is susceptible of interpretation when applied to real world contexts. This is more like a game of roulette. Or a scratchcard – if you are now allowed to purchase one without also having bagged up some eggs and milk in the same transaction.

I’ll wager that you’d never anticipated that shopping in 2020 would be less about Click and Collect and more about Click and Correct.

Help is on its way!

We can only hope.

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