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Letter: Time we all got back to work rather than walking the dog and eating pizza

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SIR – Isn’t it about time that people got back to work? I mean real work, calling for face-to-face contact with colleagues in an office or other place of business, not playing around at it at home in between walking the dog and frequently breaking off for a full glass and a large pizza!

My hairdressing salon is struggling after losing two stylists. At least two local eateries are sorely in need of help to serve their customers. My bank is open for shorter hours because they are extremely short-staffed.

In all these instances the problem is that their workforce has not returned from being on furlough, i.e. paid holiday.

Is this 'work' for some of us?
Is this 'work' for some of us?

Whilst that scheme may well have been of great help to some, I thought it was to assist those who wanted to work but couldn’t due to lockdown restrictions, and that they would no longer be eligible for such a handout if their jobs were once again open to them and they could return to work. Silly me!

Reports in the media tell us that we need people from abroad to fill our staffing needs, but why, when we apparently have a high level of unemployment?

It would seem that we are actively encouraging “mumpers” – for the uninitiated, that is a Cockney word for those who take anything that’s freely on offer without having to work for it!

I recently watched a programme on the history of Tesco, which was started up just after World War 1 by Londoner Jack Cohen who, on leaving the army, spent the £30 issued to demobbed servicemen on buying army surplus tinned food and selling it on an East End market stall.

On receiving a knighthood many years later, he was interviewed by a reporter who asked him to comment on his success. Jack replied it was a mix of hard work, taking a risk and a bit of luck. He said: “In my younger days you couldn’t make a living sitting on your backside!”

Well, of course, he was talking of non-welfare state times when, if you didn’t work, your family went hungry.

Phyllis Inglis,
New Milton

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