Here’s hoping

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Doom and gloom still sweeps over the grocery trade, let's not count on the government to get us out of it any time soon



11 February 2009

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As February crunches in the Christmas holidays seem like a dim and distant memory, although at the same time, who can believe we’re only seven weeks in? We talked a lot last year about the pain to come and here it is: were we ready? This has been a rocky start for most, a period of less than comfortable adjustment and, for many, this is just the beginning.

Pay cuts, job losses and closures have littered the opening pages of 2009 but will these painful measures be enough? Well, unfortunately, that’s up to the hive of reticence and indecision that is our government.

On our banking system, failure and inaction. On our cost base and competitiveness, failure and inaction. On our public spending, failure and inaction. Maybe a general election is the last thing we need right now but of all the people holding on to their jobs at the moment, this crowd is starting to rate highest on the resentment scale.

Now more than ever we need tight controls; regulation to protect the vital organs of the economy from being squashed by more powerful entities around them, and decisive action to make sure those of us making the sacrifices now aren’t doing so in vain.

We’ve had much talk, surveying, reporting, and discussion on all of the above, yet still cost pressures on businesses are increasing not decreasing. So too are tensions rising, and conflict is breaking out across the supply-demand line. Again, where is the governing framework to prevent these conflicts and regulate business in the best interests of the economy, present and future?

At the risk of launching into Barrack Obama-style rhetoric I’ll offer the last word to him. Let’s focus on the possibility that the new American president will lead the way for us all, and give us what we all really need to get through this mire – hope.

“Hope. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.” (President Barrack Obama)





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