There’s a bit of a row developing about Boris Johnson pushing white collar workers to get back to commuting and working in their offices: Boris Johnson accused of ‘threatening’ workers back to offices without science to back up plan. A row that many workers who couldn’t work from home during lockdown and were obliged to continue going to their workplaces may be regarding with some wry amusement. During lockdown, it was the food processors, distribution centre workers, delivery workers, shop workers and many others who kept the show on the road. Without the input from the working class, there would have been social and economic collapse.
Before we go any further, it would be a mistake to regard all office workers as middle class and to see their working from home as a privilege. For example, call centre workers having to do their jobs from home in often cramped conditions while being monitored and under pressure to deliver results have been having an absolute nightmare. The isolation of these workers from each other while working from home only adds to the pressures they’re under. It certainly makes attempts to organise against management more problematic. Which for exploitative management, is an ideal situation.
Those white collar workers who do enjoy a degree of autonomy in their jobs and live in properties with enough space to facilitate working from home comfortably and productively are understandably happy to forgo the commute to and from work, carry on as they are with perhaps a visit to the office once a week or so. While we don’t have a brief for well paid middle class professionals, we can understand why they would want to forgo the aggro of the daily commute, be it on overcrowded public transport or traffic choked roads.
With all of this, city centres across the country remain pretty much empty. Which means there’s no footfall for city centre shops, stores, cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars. Which is why the likes of Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Pret A Manger are desperately trying to cut their losses by closing stores and outlets, slashing jobs in the process. Property developers who were shoving up office blocks in places like the City of London and Canary Wharf are wondering if when completed, they’ll ever get enough occupancy to justify their investment. The government who backed the Crossrail project across London are probably wondering who the f**k will actually be using it when it’s eventually completed. Basically, the construction and property sectors are panicking.
In this piece: It’s not a ‘plandemic’ but…we’re getting screwed over and unity is needed we suggested that the government’s shambolic and opportunistic response to COVID-19 was down to the conflicting interests of the big corporate players trying to influence them. Big pharma and high tech would appear to have the likes of Matt Hancock doing their bidding for them. However, there are elements in the Tory government and the party at large who are now being seriously leaned on by a panic stricken construction and property sector.
It’s worth taking a look at who funds the Tories: Tories raise 26 times more than Labour from big money donors in first week of election. This quote from the article is pretty instructive: “Property developers and landlords in particular showered the governing party in cash. Electoral Commission figures show Countrywide Developments Ltd donated half a million pounds in the first week, while European Land & Property Limited gave £200,000. Others included Broadland Properties Ltd and Edwardian London Management Services, which both donated £50,000 each.” These players have been badly damaged by lockdown and know that another one would put them right on their arses. They want a return on their investment in the Tories pronto to ensure their survival. If they go under, the Tories are going to have to find another source of funding. Mind you, as we’ve mentioned previously, we suspect that big pharma and high tech may well be happy to plug the gap.
While we’re obviously gutted for the workers in city centre shops, eateries and bars who are losing their jobs, we have zero sympathy for the construction companies and property companies. These bastards have torn the life and soul out of our city centres with their glass fronted towering monuments to hubris, sterile security patrolled so called public areas and the usual ‘range’ of chain shops, cafes and bars. There’s a certain karma about the party of government they funded being the ones responsible for their likely fall and possibly, demise.