Special Advisor

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Anyone who has read my blogs will not be surprised by an email I received recently. Actually, I probably shouldn’t share its contents yet because it’s all hush, hush. But I am sure none of you will tell anyone. It was from the top-secret UK government think tank; Scientific Planning Assessment and Management (S.P.A.M.). I had to rescue it from my overzealous junk mail filter. Of course, being a top secret quasi-governmental organisation, I wasn’t surprised they needed my date of birth, mother’s maiden name and bank details to confirm my identity.


You are probably all on the edge of your metaphorical or real seats wondering what exciting and important task our PM has asked me to do via his minions. I’ll put you out of your misery; he wants my input on the next stage of getting back to normal as the lock down lifts. Now that doesn’t surprise me at all. The PM probably read my article on hooped skirts for everyone as a social distancing measure and my suggestions for the use of light sabres. Not to mention my helpful observations on cyborgs as a parliamentary aid; after all they would be much less trouble than human ones. So, I have been working hard drawing up plans for the next stage. Before you see it announced by the PM at one his regular press briefings, I thought you’d like a sneak preview. But I would ask that you don’t share it too widely; as I said at the beginning, it is top secret.


I have been exercising my brain on the problem of small shops. How can they open if they lack sufficient space for social distance? You will not be surprised that I have the answer. They just need to move all their wares outside onto trestle tables in the middle of the road. I am getting to the problem of cars, so bear with me. I really can’t think why no one thought of selling outside before, it’s such a good idea. In fact, all the shops could do it, not just the small ones. We could set up rows of tables down the street. Don’t worry, I can almost hear your objection; the weather. Yes, it does rain a tiny bit in the UK. I have thought of that. Metal frames and plastic tarpaulins, a row of tables covered by them; did you know that you can get stripy tarpaulins? That would look nice. Who knows, people might feel free being outside, to be a bit more vocal about what they are selling, and shout out the prices; very un-British. Why hasn’t it been done before? We have online market places, this would be a… what could we call it? A street of shops outside. Not sure of a name for now; any ideas?


Traffic I hear you cry out in frustration at me. Well we have managed for three months without cars; some of us. I have a radical plan to extend that. Did you read your history at school? There was a time when everyone used to spin and weave at home. People mainly lived in villages and they didn’t travel much. Now everyone is at home baking bread and sewing clothes or at least masks, arguing with each other; hang on that’s not relevant. Cutting their own hair and pulling out their own teeth, teaching their own children. It seems to me the natural next step is a post-Industrial Revolution. Sort of come full circle, we all return to spinning and weaving in our homes; or carry on if you already are. The environmentalists will love it. No need for cars or buses or lorries or trains.


The world will take a giant leap backwards. Just think Apple will be a fruit again rather than a Tech company. The web will be what spiders spin in your attic. Zoom will be to run into the garden. Communication will be talking to people. Mobile will be when you move around. Chip and PIN will be a potato you eat and the sharp thing that pricks your finger. A bank will have grass on it, PayPal will be giving something back to a friend, DropBox will hurt your toes and the Cloud will be back in the sky. Broadband will be the width of your belt. Smart will mean clever thinking rather than technology you can’t get to work. Streaming will be what your nose does when you have a cold and kindle will be getting a fire ready to burn.


There are a few little things need ironing out before I send my plan to the PM and you hear it on the next press briefing. First local government. I am thinking for simplicity a return to a Lord and Lady of the Manor. I know that will make us all serfs, but is that really so bad? I’m sure they will only hang draw and quarter repeat offenders and the stocks will be a deterrent. Also, Horrible Histories probably over exaggerated all the bad stuff. It’s true, we will have to draw water from a well, use tallow candles for light and have open sewers, is that so bad? I’ve always thought deodorant was over used anyway. The more I think about it the more things I miss. I will miss McDonalds, and running water, electricity, modern plumbing, food from shops. Maybe it’s not such a good idea. Let’s just stick with my brilliant ideas like open air shopping. We just need to solve the problem of cars in the road…


I think it’s all coming together brilliantly. You can see why they chose me. Big sky thinker that’s me. Mustn’t forget to make that payment to S.P.A.M. when I send the email back.

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