Apprentice Achievements
Is This Our Winter of Discontent?

Is This Our Winter of Discontent?

As a child I didn’t feel the impact of the 1978/79 winter industrial action but it’s current historical comparison 42 years later fills me with a sense of sadness & dread.

There’s no doubt that we’ve been through a lot over the past two years.

A pandemic, which incidentally is still prolific throughout the world despite our rule relaxations, food shortages, toilet roll gate, climate emergencies, Brexit, energy shortages, furlough, business closures, redundancies, fuel crisis & this is only naming the ones that come readily to a mind overwhelmed with stuff.

And let’s not forget the real cost of the pandemic in lives lost!

So, what’s going on?

Are these challenges we’re facing a result of, or heightened in severity by the pandemic, or are we all so tightly wound up following 18 months of restrictions that bubbling over & bursting is inevitable?

I don’t consider myself to be overly intelligent but I’m pretty sure that our recovery relies on our collective hard work & cooperation & allowing our base emotions to spill over will only make this more difficult to achieve.

I’ve reached a point of avoiding news reports as I’m no longer able to separate the sensationalism from fact, but I know from witnessing this media race to the gutter that these reports do become our reality.

Reporting ‘potential’ shortages of food & essential supplies resulted in panic buying & an inevitable shortage of food & essential supplies & reports of ‘possible’ fuel shortages, yes you guest it, resulted in panic buying & fuel shortages!

How refreshing would it be if the media reported fact, resisting the urge of a sensationalist headline?

Witnessing people fighting over toilet rolls, pasta & petrol is sad & distressing, but it also evokes in us that feeling of self-preservation & the need to buy up our supplies to avoid those irrational consequences of not joining in.

We’re not a poor country, we’ve led the world in vaccines to fight COVID19, we’ve shown our resolve, patriotism & ability to work together, regardless of differences, throughout this pandemic for the common good.

So, what’s going wrong?

Our politicians are now resorting to vulgar mudslinging, we’re fighting each other for toilet roll & we’re no longer interested in the needs of others if they get in the way of ours!


I’m not buying it. This isn’t who we are & I firmly believe that those incidents of reprehensible behaviour reported in the media are still in the minority.

Good people can do daft stuff in the heat of emotion & we’re all guilty of putting the needs of our families first even if that involves queuing for that half tank of fuel that could wait until next week or stocking up on essential foods to avoid doing without.

Our winter of discontent will only be a reality if we allow it to be.

If there’s a shortage of HGV drivers & subsequent delays in bin collections, we can take our own rubbish to the tip.

If we can’t get fuel for a couple of days, we can walk, & we know that some of us can work remotely to avoid travel if necessary!

We know that the mainstream media are irresponsible in their reporting, but we don’t need to be irresponsible in our reaction to their reporting.

I’m going to make an effort to be less panicky & a bit more neighbourly & I’ll do my best to share a smile, although please remember I have a resting face that resembles a slapped backside!

I hope you have a good week & avoid the urge to panic.