Sunday Shopping

Ms. Frostrup shows why she may be the thinking man\’s crumpet, not the thinking man\’s guide to logic:

Nominating the most destructive changes to our quality of life, I\’d start with Sunday trading. The saddest manifestation of this buying imperative was the death of what, in my youth, was a 24-hour pause for reflection and relaxation. Now it is the second biggest shopping day of the week.

Argued for at the time on the basis that shift-workers struggled to find time to buy essentials, it has turned out as a cynical way to increase our levels of spending. Nowadays, with late-night shopping and the internet\’s 24-hour purchasing potential, there\’s little justification for a seven-day shopping cycle.

The streets and parks of Bilbao were full of families, parents and pushchairs, teenagers and grandparents all strolling about enjoying the sunny winter\’s day. If sharing quality time with those we love reduces the stress of modern life, a real day off makes perfect sense.

In the UK by midday on a Sunday, we\’re armed with plastic and ready for our next assault on the high street. Maybe it\’s time we asked why.

Why? Because we prefer it. We have the choice whether to shop on a Sunday or not. Those in Bilbao have had the choice made for them, they may not. This is known as an advance in freedom and liberty.

8 comments on “Sunday Shopping

  1. I remember Sundays as a kid. Fucking miserable time of the week, I can tell you. I hated them. Absolutely hated them. Now I can do something useful: buy the week’s food, go to the cinema, etc.

  2. It was rather a shock, quarter of a century ago, to arrive in England and find that Sunday shopping was prohibited. Things were much freer in Pictland.

  3. I bet Mariella was just the sort of person to have been complaining 25 years ago about “how boring England is on a Sunday, it all shuts down, and there’s nothing to do, and you can’t even go to the shops”.

  4. “If sharing quality time with those we love reduces the stress of modern life, a real day off makes perfect sense.”

    Does this mean we won’t be seeing her doing any live Sunday broadcasts in future? Or does this just apply to the proles?

    Tim adds: oh, very good Tim, very good indeed. Applause!

  5. I think she has her “real day off” during the week, so she can enjoy the public amenities without, you know, the bother of the public. And shop if she wants to.

  6. Er, I remember what Sundays used to be like. Unrelenting worship, tedium, eating our greens, and not playing out or getting dirty. Even the cat was bored to distraction. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness came to an absolute standstill. We would spend all morning at Mass being told how lovely it is being dead, and all afternoon reflecting on the fact that it probably bloody well was. It was like eating a big plate of damp cardigans. Then we did our blimmin homework…

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