Musings > 5 in 5

29th October 2020

29 Oct, 2020 · 3 min read
Only 3 out of 5 this time round. It's a process.

Politics

So we’re rapidly approaching the cliff-edge that is Brexit. Weirdly the thing that made the news this week was soy-sauce. It’s strange what we’ll latch on to, given the overwhelming lack of clarity in other places.

Against the backdrop of an uncertain relationship with the United States after their election, the House of Lords are set to throw out much Boris Johnson’s bill when it is put in front of them in a couple of weeks.

I mused to a couple of people last week that Johnson’s actions of late don’t strike me as someone who thinks they’ll run for Prime Minister at the next election. We’re still a fair way off of course, but between his handling of Brexit and COVID he’s not making any friends politically or publicly. I wonder whether his actions are more in line with someone trying to go down in history. We’ll come out of both calamities sooner or later, and when we do he will have been at the helm. Regardless of what position we’re in, that does give him some license to dictate the narrative. If his aim was to seek re-election, he’d have done well to make more friends along the way. If on the other hand his aim is to succeed against great odds, and be the consistent voice in the sea of people telling him he’s doing the wrong thing, well maybe he’s playing his part well.

Technology

An interesting story caught my eye this week regarding mobile phones. Ofcom have ruled that from December 2021, UK networks will be banned from selling locked phones. While some carriers sell unlocked as standard, some of the largest providers still require manual unlocking of the handsets.

It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, impact this has on consumer choice. Ofcom’s research says that over a third of people decide to stay with a network because it’s too difficult to unlock their phone. You’d therefore assume that the sale of “SIM only” contracts in 2022 would increase, as customers come to the end of their contracts with one provider and then take their perfectly servicable phone to another for a cheaper deal. If I were in the marketing department of O2, I’d already be planning a “get 2 months free when you bring your old phone over” on a 12 month Simplicity contract.

Mental Health

Over the last couple of months I’ve really struggled with my mental health. Struggled to the point where I’ve needed medical intervention. Unfortunately, that support was not at all easy to come by. I’ve struggled with being seen in the past - including being on a local waitlist for a therapist so long that by the time they called me I’d moved cities twice and jobs thrice. But this was a whole other level.

It’s something I navigated in part because I’ve had to navigate it before. But it wasn’t easy - and not just from a bureaucracy point of view. The number of times I had to explain my story to people left me mentally and emotionally drained. like I say, I’ve had to do it before. But with the current pandemic, and some people all over the country now more in need of emotional and mental support than ever before, I struggle to understand how many of them are going to make it through to actual support.

In lieu of anything else to do, I decided to write a letter to Matt Hancock. You can read it here.