This article is by Charlie Mullins – founder of Pimlico Plumbers.
I recently appeared in a Channel 4 Lockdown debate, where I made it very clear that the only way through the Covid-19 calamity was to literally ‘keep going’, and that after spending so much trying to keep the UK’s economy going in eight months the option of switching off the lights on UK PLC is now an untenable option.
So far this year as a company Pimlico has completed more than 70,000 jobs, the majority of which have been inside customer’s working homes, with about 50,000 taking place after the original lockdown was declared.
We have fully embraced the new world ourselves at Pimlico, with static and handheld heat scanners in place to test visitors and adopting many of the other necessary social distancing measures to ensure staff safety and so our engineers can continue supplying their essential services.
We have been very cautious from the beginning, and we are learning all the time. But what is important to be very clear about is that we have been working around the virus for all these months, not running and hiding from it, because people need water and sanitation to survive.
When there’s no choice you find a way because you must. And having spent more than £100 billion on Covid support already this year keeping the economy running, with or without Covid, with or without a working vaccine, is becoming as essential and necessary as clean air and water.
Money really doesn’t grow on trees. Yes, as the fifth largest global economy our credit is still okay. We can borrow money, but it’s borrowed not ‘magicked’ up, and needs to go back where it came from, with interest.
There are no endless supplies of the stuff. And this is the stuff that makes our country go, including paying for the health service that we are so reliant on just now.
We need to be clear and honest here and admit that we are borrowing against the labour of our children and their children.
So, defend the vulnerable we must, but those of us who are not in the high-risk categories it’s our time to accept the circumstances we are faced with and fight on, not hide away.