Why We Must End Sunday Trading

28/11/2016 13:02
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Another Sunday passes by with frantic Consumermas (the new name with Christmas being degraded significantly) shoppers working into a sweat- fretting, aching over the difficult decisions they have to make when buying for a second cousin on the other side of the country with a ten pound budget; or a baby not born yet with no knowledge of the sex. And yes, another unnecessary Sunday where millions of workers put aside their church attendance, Sunday roast or being around their children to serve the shopping obsessives.

Six hours on a Sunday working does not seem like too much of a tiresome task, but consider many workers put in a shift before their store opens and after it closes, it really is the whole day; a whole day away from young children who have school during the week or for the Sixth Former, a continual run of work from Monday to Sunday.

Consumers would be of course devastated but it is time we collectively, as workers and as customers who would hopefully sympathise with workers and wish for some rest from the consumerist poison, say enough is enough.

Big businesses of course, and government, would never dream of doing such a thing. Profits and ultimately tax revenues raise the rabbit ears of these actors. However the socioeconomic picture is one in which people are seeing more to life than money. In Brexit, we saw a popular uprising of workers, whether in the working class or middle class, who were fed up of being told by establishment politicians that economies will fail, living standards would be depressed and doomsday would be upon us. But voters rejected this. Time will tell whether these false prophecies actually contain truth, but ultimately, I am convinced that people are starting to wake up and see that there is something more than shopping.

There is more to life than the miserable 3.30pm dash around Tesco to get some last minute groceries in and we need a day of the week again for families to get around the dinner table to talk about their weeks, their hopes and fears; a day of the week where religious believers can go to church without having to worry about leaving the post-service fellowship to go to hang some clothes up; a day to indulge in the masses of sport that is on the copious amounts of sports TV providers; and a time to inhale the autumnal air along the beach or stride through the woods with the dogs. Sunday working is leaving families fragmented and torn apart.

The solution to this is ultimately for workers and customers to speak with their feet. Customers: refuse to go shopping on Sunday. Make Sunday trade unprofitable again. Do your groceries on a Saturday morning and if you really feel an addictive impulse to shop, do some online and wait a few days for it to arrive. Go for a walk; go and see the grandparents; just stop shopping and consider heading to church. And workers must opt-out of Sunday work. There are many insecure jobs out of there- if there was a mass movement of workers who said "no, I'm not doing it", businesses would struggle to operate on Sunday. There has been a large societal cost to Sunday trade despite the economic benefits and we all must take a stand against it.

Of course, Boxing Day is another day in the calendar which should be shopping-free. I have never understood the sales obsessed, turkey filled and hung-over people who will cure up at 4am outside Next. We cannot even give workers two whole days off at Christmas. Why the sales just do not commence on the 27th is beyond me. That to me is an indicator that this consumerist virus has swept across the West and has trapped us and lulled us into a false illusion that the more things we have especially if bought cheap, will bring us happiness. This is one of the greater fallacies of our day.

Whether this Sunday or Boxing Day, have a lie-in or sit on your arse. Just leave your purse in the handbag and enjoy yourself.

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