We are all watching helplessly as our industry edges closer and closer towards a tipping point. A tipping point that will see businesses fail in their thousands, and job losses of hundreds of thousands. The problem causing the helplessness is a global disaster, that only the government can lessen the impact from, and it is their responsibility to do so, not a choice.
The first of two equally important primary roles of government currently is healthcare, reducing the spread of Covid-19 and limiting the diabolically high death toll from it. Heath Secretary Matt Hancock seems to be always busy, which does not equate to being effective, but does indicate effort.
The second of two equally important primary roles of government currently is economics, the UK economy is at its lowest point in more than 300 years. Every day UK PLC is closed it gets worse, and hospitality is suffering immense front line casualties as a consequence.
So, only days before the Prime Minister will set out his recovery roadmap and timetable, what is the Chancellor of the Exchequer doing? Getting matey with Gordon Ramsay in a PR stunt.
Gordon Ramsay may be able to afford himself the luxury of time to indulge in such folly, but Rishi Sunak most certainly does not.
Watching the video it is evident that its objective is to sell the message of a job well done to date by Sunak, he openly invites Ramsay to tell him as much on more than one occasion, and Gordon dutifully does so. What Ramsay does is Ramsay’s choice, he does not have the livelihoods of millions of people resting on his shoulders at the moment. Sunak does.
Just like countless hospitality executives are spending countless hours trying to save their businesses and do not have time to entertain their ego’s, Sunak should be doing the very same. Facing an economic challenge never before seen, understanding it, and analysing countless alternative strategies and tactics to overcome it should be Sunak’s only undertaking. Being relentless in his approach to the task and tenacious in its execution.
The fact that the production of the meeting with Gordon Ramsay ever took place shows Sunak’s advisors do not have their eyes on the ball, and a lack of good judgement from the chancellor.
We will never know If he took advice from ministerial colleagues on this matter. There are two ministers with responsibility for hospitality within their bloated portfolio’s, that he could have asked, and should have. Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Paul Scully, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who is at the same time Minister for London.
If Dowden or Scully know anything about politics they would have laughed at the suggestion of creating the video. Likewise if they know anything about the current situation hospitality finds itself in, a reflection on the financial hardship endured to date from it via Gordon Ramsay would not have been thought of, let alone actioned.
The appointment demonstrates how when a specific issue warrants it, a ministerial post enabling the appointment of someone that understands the issues first hand is justified. Lord David Frost joins cabinet as an unelected peer, special measures for special times.
The appointment of a Minster for Hospitality with similar first hand experience is now justifiable as a special measure for a special time, now. It was already for countless reasons, those reasons alongside the actions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer make it absolutely essential.
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Hospitality & Catering News: If Rishi thinks Gordon has the answers, it really is time to appoint a Minister for Hospitality. – 21 February 2021 – If Rishi thinks Gordon has the answers, it really is time to appoint a Minister for Hospitality.
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