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.