Mark Andrews on Saturday: I've no Ikea why people would do this

By Mark Andrews | Opinions | Published:

Mark Andrews on double standards, shortlived sun and the importance of a full stop.

Queues outside Ikea in Wednesbury

Well it had to end, didn't it? After two weeks of glorious sunshine during the sunniest May on record, it's back to jumpers and umbrellas as flaming June takes hold.

Of course, we all know the fantastic weather will be shortlived, which is why we have to seize the day and make the most of every moment. So why did thousands of people spend the last day of the sunshine queuing to get into Ikea in Wednesbury?

Now I'll level with you, I've never understood the appeal of Ikea. I've been there twice, I think, and never bought a thing. Not even the Swedish meatballs which you can get much cheaper in the supermarket, providing you don't mind finishing them off at home. Which, after all, is what you have to do with Ikea furniture.

I can just about understand why the Swedes might want to go there on a cold, dark day in January, but who in their right mind would choose to spend their last day of sunshine queuing for hours to get into a warehouse full of flat-pack furniture?

Never underestimate the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Just up the road in Ludlow, council workers put up un-punctuated signs saying: "Covid 19 no parking enforcement in action". Most people, quite reasonably, understood this to mean parking restrictions had been suspended, and that they were free to park there. What the council actually meant to say was: "Covid 19: No parking. Enforcement in action," which means the exact opposite. Resulting in lots of drivers being unfairly fined.

Meanwhile, a press release from a company related to the motor industry offers 'expert comment' on the reopening of 'car dealerships'. Now what is a 'car dealership'? Is it some kind of honour or award? Because businesses that buy and sell cars are car dealers. You would expect an 'expert commentator' to know that.

I wonder how many of the people who were last week berating Dominic Cummings for breaking the lockdown, were quite happy to break all the social distancing rules during the protests in London this week?

Yes, black lives do matter, but it has been well documented since the start of the pandemic that people from black and Asian backgrounds are particularly at risk of dying from the virus. So if we really do want to protect black lives, our first priority should be observing the guidelines.


Besides, what do demos ever achieve, apart from bringing out the worst in people?

While I might respect those who made their protest in a peaceful and lawful manner, I find it hard to do so for those who clambered over the cenotaph or hurled missiles at war memorials. There is even footage on social media of yobs taunting people removing graffiti from one memorial.

How is it that while some police forces consider wolf-whistling a 'hate crime', desecrating a war memorial is not? Maybe if some of these idiots were handed stiff prison sentences, their mates might think twice before doing it themselves.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.


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