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Pandemic 2020 - the day after

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suze
1378652.  Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:46 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
My experience of British hotels seems different to yours in pretty well all those respects, but these would have been business rather than resort hotels and possibly in a different price bracket?


"Your" hotels absolutely are aiming at a different clientele, but I suspect the prices aren't as different as you might think.

If I had the choice between "business" hotel at £100 a night or "bucket and spade" hotel at £75 per night, well personally I'd choose the "business" hotel every time. Even if I was paying for it myself, which you mostly weren't.

But in practice, one rarely has that choice. There simply isn't a "business" hotel in Skegness, any more than there is a "bucket and spade" hotel at Heathrow Airport.

In any case, that "business" hotel will probably be bust in six months' time for want of business people needing to stay in it. What will become of it then we'll have to wait and see, but there's every chance that it will be converted into a ghastly block of flats that they won't be able to sell.


PDR wrote:
That was the very subject I broached which got heckled off the forum by the baying hoard before it could be discussed. I suspect your semi-tamed transport correspondent and I may have surprisingly similar views on the subject.


I think you do. He never was a fan of HS2 - wrong railway line in the wrong place, he always thought - so maybe he can claim a few points now that he looks to have been proved correct.

All the same, Mr Johnson and his government are determined to press on with it. It just might make sense as Keynesian economics, and Mr Johnson wants to pay one lot of people to build it and another lot of people to knock it down five years later. But unless that's the plan - and it doesn't seem a very likely plan from a Conservative government - Andy has no clue why it's still happening.


crissdee wrote:
@suze. I have to say that, while my experience of hotels in the UK is far from exhaustive, it is fairly wide ranging. Although I do recognise some aspects of your overview as being a reasonable approximation of the truth in some cases, there are many establishments which rise far above those levels.

...

It is possible my standards are not so exacting as yours, but I cannot but feel you are being needlessly harsh.


I am a demanding customer, and I make no apology for that. In part that's probably just me, and in part it may be my North American-ness showing.

At the same time, I was being deliberately hyperbolc in my earlier post. I suppose that might be seen as trolling, but I'm trying to do something to get these forums a bit more lively - and if that means being rude about hotels then so be it.

But the Grand Hotel, Scarborough still exists. Just check out its reviews!

 
barbados
1378655.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:57 am Reply with quote

Quite frankly if anyone thinks that paying £89 for a hotel named “grand” gets everything they deserve.
But there are plenty of hotels, seaside and city, that provide excellent accommodation at a reasonable price, and there is so much to see without travelling abroad, all you need to do is look.

 
PDR
1378664.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:01 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

"Your" hotels absolutely are aiming at a different clientele, but I suspect the prices aren't as different as you might think.

If I had the choice between "business" hotel at £100 a night or "bucket and spade" hotel at £75 per night, well personally I'd choose the "business" hotel every time.


As it happens our policy limit for hotels in primitive societies like Lancashire and Yorkshire is £75/night (incl breakfast), but at my grade these are (as Hauptman Sparrow's 1st mate might say) more "guidelines" than rules per se. But my usual expectation would have been no more than £85/night even in my preferred international chain of business hotels.

Quote:
All the same, Mr Johnson and his government are determined to press on with it. It just might make sense as Keynesian economics, and Mr Johnson wants to pay one lot of people to build it and another lot of people to knock it down five years later.


That's not really what Keynes espoused. Keynes recommended spending money on projects which, while possibly not supported by a fully viable business case due to a very long payback period, would actually be of value to society. It's related to the concept of "sunk investment" which actually funded the initial building of most of the UK's rail network (the initial investors lost their shirts, but the subsequent investors who bought the project out of bankruptcy at a 90% discount got a sufficient return to make continuation viable).

Quote:

At the same time, I was being deliberately hyperbolic in my earlier post.


You need to be cautious doing that - there are those in this place who insist on treating hyperbole and allusive statements rather literally.

Quote:

But the Grand Hotel, Scarborough still exists. Just check out its reviews!


The Grand Hotel in Lytham St Annes is actually quite good - not to my particular taste, but I wouldn't be overly upset to be sentenced to a week or two there (I have colleagues who stay there through choice). And it costs well under £85/night.

PDR

 
franticllama
1378666.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:13 am Reply with quote

I used to work at a 5* Country House hotel of some repute. And hot water was absolutely something that only worked if you spoke to the taps in the correct tone of voice. I'm told it was part of the character of the hotel. If the room above the posh restaurant kitchen ran a bath it was not unknown for the water to drip through the ceiling and into the cupboards. If one of the other rooms above the restaurant itself left the shower on for too long, the corner table was able to partake in the shower. Oh, and on one memorable occasion it rained heavily and all the water came through the roof into the kitchen.
But again, all part of the charm of an old building...

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1378673.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:47 am Reply with quote

I have no issue of having a Digital Vaccine Certificate to be able to attend events, showing that I have been vaccinated and have had a recent negative test. There are concerns that this will create a two tier society and divides opinion. If you are planning to attend an event in the near future you should consider yours and others safety. The Certificate may be a crude tool but what is better?

 
Awitt
1378678.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:57 am Reply with quote

In Australia we are required to register via our phones QR codes to venues. Except that not everyone has a phone with that - my neighbour doesn't. My phone has the function but not the internet facility to make full use of it.

And I've just learnt via others that their spam emails have skyrocketed since using QR codes to log in everywhere.

 
tetsabb
1378679.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:58 am Reply with quote

From what I remember of suze's accounts of visits to hotels in Eastbourne, Hastings, etc, consideration of the fixtures and fittings was the last thing on her mind
😉

 
suze
1378702.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:06 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
My usual expectation would have been no more than £85/night even in my preferred international chain of business hotels.


Your £85 may not be everyone else's £85, though. If your organisation places (placed) a lot of business with (inventing a name purely at random) Vacation Pub plc, it probably gets a special price that I couldn't get.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the rack rate for that £85 room is nearer £150. No one bar a 7pm walk up actually pays the rack rate, and 7pm walk ups are not the usual way to engage an hotel room in Britain - but if I made an enquiry I might be quoted £100 where a major corporate client gets £85.


Awitt wrote:
Except that not everyone has a phone with that.


This could very definitely be an issue in Britain.

The government's official position right now is that it is still thinking about whether vaccine passports have any place in domestic society. It's becoming fairly clear that Gove, Raab, and Zahawi are for, Gove, Hancock and Sunak are against - yes, the Beast of Surrey Heath has declared himself for both sides of the argument - no one cares what Williamson thinks because he's a moron, and Johnson himself is ideologically against but pragmatically for.

Much as he's not going to admit this in public, Johnson is also very well aware that there is a very real chance of losing any vote on the matter - and losing a vote when you have a majority of 87 is seriously embarrassing.

So the idea may never see the light of day. But even if it does, I've not heard any answer to "what about people who don't have smartphones" - and there absolutely does need to be one.

 
crissdee
1378707.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:38 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I've not heard any answer to "what about people who don't have smartphones" - and there absolutely does need to be one.


In many, many areas of human endeavour! The baseline assumption that everyone has a full-on smartphone, and the tech knowledge/inclination to download any app that is offered, and the finance/inclination to even have the phone online in the first place, is far too common these days. It's a fairly safe assumption for most people under 50, but there is a sufficient number of people outside that subset, that provision MUST be made for them.

 
CB27
1378710.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:07 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
CB27 wrote:
I can see a lot of changes to business which Governments could take advantage of to invest in infrastructure and transport.


Could, undoubtedly, but this is a Conservative government with a huge majority.

I'm certainly not expecting anything from this Government, which is why I put "s" at the end of my comment, I was talking globally, though I think most, if not all countries will follow in the same way.


suze wrote:
CB27 wrote:
But there's more to it than just tackling Covid or other variants. We need to consider why this virus came about.


The blame for that lies entirely 100% with China...


For the various reasons given, I agree, which is why I think we need a stronger global organisation.


suze wrote:
CB27 wrote:
Perhaps one way to go is to consider a global trade association that enforces certain standards and practices for all countries rather than leaving it to individual trade agreements.


That works for ten minutes, until that global trade association wants to do something that the US doesn't like. The US and China utterly refuse to engage with the climate change issue, why would they engage with anything else if they found it inconvenient?


This is where I think there's something seriously wrong with the current method of international economy, and in their need to be "relevant" and maintain some sort of inflated GDP, many countries are allowing the likes of USA and China to dominate global production to the point they can dictate to the rest of the world with little or no repercussions.

Between them, the USA and China have a landmass which is a little over 12% of the landmass of the whole planet. The figures are slightly different if you take whole area including water, but for this purpose I'm using land only.

Between them, these two countries are responsible for 38% of global manufacturing. That's more than 3 times the amount of land they represent. It's also much higher than their population sizes.

For countries in Western Europe and elsewhere where GDP is inflated through living costs, they're happy with this arrangement for the moment because this helps keep economies of developing nations much lower as resources are often shipped from these developing nations at low cost, keeping them unable to compete properly.

If developing countries that are rich in resources received the correct type of investment to build up manufacturing in their own counties, it could lead to a much more level playing field when it comes to global manufacturing and force China and the USA to come to the table.

Going back to the discussion on transport, I see the points made about train use and costs, but we shouldn't only look at the numbers prior to the pandemic or during it, we should consider the impact afterwards.

Investment in communications is vital to allow businesses to continue trading with lower costs, but if you're considering a future where people might consider living away from the big cities, you need to consider improving more than just communications, you need to consider improving local services including health and education, and you need infrastructure to allow a greater amount of goods to come in and out. You also need to improve transport because you cannot expect people to move into an area and simply lock themselves in. They want to be able to go on breaks, visit other places, family, friends, and some work might require some occasional travel.

 
barbados
1378712.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:44 am Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
suze wrote:
I've not heard any answer to "what about people who don't have smartphones" - and there absolutely does need to be one.


In many, many areas of human endeavour! The baseline assumption that everyone has a full-on smartphone, and the tech knowledge/inclination to download any app that is offered, and the finance/inclination to even have the phone online in the first place, is far too common these days. It's a fairly safe assumption for most people under 50, but there is a sufficient number of people outside that subset, that provision MUST be made for them.

Where do you draw the line for making the provision Criss?
There are 66Million (plus change) people in the UK, of which 19Million (less change) are under the age of 15 - with a smartphone usage rate of 55 Million (plus change).
Granted there will be some under 15s without one, but there will also be some older people who will not need one.

 
crissdee
1378713.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:52 am Reply with quote

What line has to be drawn? The smartphone answer is not a universal panacea, so you provide an alternative, (and a genuine alternative, not the one I got when I tried to prove my ID on some DWP site. It asked if I had a data-enabled smartphone, when I said "no", the immediate response was "Can you borrow one from somebody?"). They should offer another alternative that does not, in any way, involve the use of electronic tech. The numbers are immaterial, the need is there, it should be addressed.

 
barbados
1378714.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 pm Reply with quote

So what happens if the alternatives available are not as efficient / more costly?
Should every alternative be made available (down to knocking on the door and physically giving the information) just to ensure that the odd person who doesn’t have access to a particular delivery method, even thought that would make the service exorbitantly expensive?

 
crissdee
1378723.  Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:19 pm Reply with quote

Not every alternative, just an alternative. There will always be people who fall through the net, but that is no excuse for leaving obvious holes.

As I believe I mentioned at the time. When the money started being siphoned from my parent's bank account, they undoubtedly had a text alert service in place. As neither of my parents had a mobile phone, the bank just kind of.......gave up. No one apparently thought of writing them a letter, or calling them on the landline, or taking any kind of action whatsoever. That bank is the only one in this town, but I will not move my account to them because of their apparent disregard for their customers. I would rather drive/take the bus to the next town to use my bank, than entrust a penny of my money to their care.

 
PDR
1378735.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:30 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
So what happens if the alternatives available are not as efficient / more costly?
Should every alternative be made available (down to knocking on the door and physically giving the information) just to ensure that the odd person who doesn’t have access to a particular delivery method, even thought that would make the service exorbitantly expensive?


Well yes, obviously anyone who doesn't have 100mB broadband and the latest iBling is a weirdo who doesn't deserve to be allowed out, let alone protected from the virus. Heck, if they just can't be bothered to spend a grand on a phone and half their household weekly budget on fibre to the house connections then clearly it's their own fault they're locked in. They're obviously people who don't matter anyway, so if we can't actually jail them we can lock them in their own homes until they do the world a favour and die.

"Digital Exclusion" - just a bunch of commie whiners who can't get with the programme so the IT fat-cats can syphon off their cash to fund another yacht or two. Have they not even heard of the 5PM (5g Profits Matter) campaign? If you ask me anyone who doesn't own a smartphone should be shot on sight, frankly. They're not the sort of people we want in our society. Strip them of their citizenship and deport them to the EU with the other smelly people...

PDR

 

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