The remarkable turn of events last Friday morning made the most compelling telly viewing since the return of Mad Men and the arrival of Peter Kay’s new comedy series Car Share.
I finally took myself to bed at 3.50am, by which time the enormity of the surprise Tory victory was clear.
So much for the pollsters’ predictions. As long as we do not see the usual Conservative infighting or some other unforeseen calamity, we should have a Tory government for five years. As Drapers reported on May 8, the day after the election the result was being widely welcomed by the fashion retail community. “Cracking election result” was the message from one of my chums who runs a significant regional multiple. “Shop is really busy. Good old Cameron!!!!!!” was the excitable text this week from one of our best-known womenswear independents.
Well, let’s hope retailers continue to make hay while the post-election sun shines.
Looking further ahead, there may be some clouds to contend with in this True Blue heaven. The promised in/out referendum of the UK’s membership of the EU will be a long, drawn-out and distracting debate before the end of 2017. The internecine squabbling among the ruling party will bring back unhappy memories of the final days of Mrs Thatcher and John Major’s tenure. It will not add to a feeling of stability, that’s for sure.
Matters north of the Border will also be very interesting to monitor. The SNP’s astonishing rout of its three main rivals, which were left with only a single seat each in Scotland, is one of the most remarkable performances I have seen in a general election. We will have to wait to see what Nicola Sturgeon (who has been renamed Joan McArc by a witty pal of mine) and her 56 MPs come up with. Could an independence referendum be held before the EU vote? Surely not…
I was interested to read the click-and-collect report this week. How are you finding service levels these days? I have had a bad run on this.
I am still waiting for the LK Bennett online helpline to call me back three weeks after I called them. My local dry cleaner failed to call me to tell me my evening shirt was not ready when I needed it. So why bother taking my mobile number?
After queuing for 15 minutes yesterday, I was told by the man at the rail ticket desk I could not renew my monthly season ticket until after 12 noon. Ridiculous. The lad at PC World sold me a new monitor but without the essential connecting cable, necessitating a return visit. Jessops handed over a repaired camera to me, but without the strap attached, requiring another trip to retrieve it.
And don’t get me started about how many places play music when it is neither wanted, required or desirable.
Our local country pub insists on having piped pop and rock, which rather spoils the ambience. The latest assault on my ears was having to suffer Radio 2 in my GP’s waiting room. Does any oasis of calm still exist? Is this stuff usually played to entertain the staff rather than the customers? Am I being over-demanding? Your thoughts are very welcome.
A quick reminder to the larger retailers out there to get their entries in for the Drapers Awards via Awards.drapersonline.com. The Awards dinner is on November 26 - the day before Black Friday! The entry deadline is Friday, June 19. Don’t delay, be in it to win it!
And a final reminder to sponsor me and my four colleagues in our Superhero 10km run this Sunday, May 17 in aid of trade kids’ charity FTCT. Please log on to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/victoriahart1 and be generous. Very many thanks to all those who have given already.