Left / right hands

Two headlines from 08.04.2020

Daily Express : “SHOCKING figures have shown the amount of people shopping rose over the weekend despite the government urging people to stay indoors.”

BBC : (Statement from Tesco) “The supermarket giant said it wasn’t able to meet demand as more shoppers stay at home, despite the fact it has increased its online grocery shopping capacity by more than 20%”

As Grumpy noted in recent post http://grumpy.eastover.org.uk/pure-guardian the government continues to adopt a wholly inconsistent and conflicted stance on ‘staying home’. The message is completely at odd with reality. The fact is that as of today food deliveries are not available at Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, or Asda. Either the government are not aware of this reality, or they continue to make the ‘stay at home’ proclamations with cynical disregard for it.

A significant proportion the populace go to the shops because it is the only way to get food. What part of this does the government not understand ? If a household can only get one delivery per month, they have to buy a minimum of a month’s worth of groceries at each order, or go out to the shop, or starve. It’s a simple math fact. That”s why there has been a transient increase. If the government wished more people to observe sheltering, they should deploy the army to assist with deliveries, or pressure the supermarket giants to do better. Gove and co are on a different planet – they probably send their security guards out to shop.

Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco, stated today that Middle classes in the south of England were to blame for stockpiling. However, he clearly knows the ins and outs of procurement, since the optimisation of this is essential to Tesco profits. It’s thus particularly galling to be lectured to by him for stockpiling when it is an entirely inevitable consequence of Tesco’s inability to rise the the challenges arising from incarcerating the populace at home; he should be ashamed to describe it as ‘stockpiling’ – and this from a Harvard man.