Wish You Were Here?
In an effort to boost tourism in these CONTRIK-69 affected days, Bridport's resourceful and energetic Municipal Bureau of Inquiries has joined forces with the Greater Bridport Recreation and Resources Authority to mount a campaign designed to attract the would be sight-seer and [even more importantly] his, her, their, zeir hard-earned currency to the otherwise eerily becalmed resort. Operation reboot, in which Bridport seeks to "fire up the engines of its economy"*, launched yesterday amidst a flurry of activity in the recently re-opened War Memorial Garden's Victoria [aka The Princess Diana] Bandstand. A socially-distanced brass band [1 flute, 1 piccolo. 1 trumpet [doubles trombone] and a cornet] played Addinsell Threadbone's once popular Variations on a Dorset Theme, after which town-crier Ivor Louden - happily recovered from "a nasty tickle" - announced the hastily thought-out and barely thought-through initiative in stentorian tones.
*Zefferelli's Ice-cream, Soda and Dorset Candy Parlour ["Pot of tea for the sands still only £18.20pp. Free paper napkin."]
The essence of the scheme - which will operate Monday-Tuesday alternate weeks in September - is to offer half price on bucket and spade hire [11am-2pm] and two for the price of one on deckchairs. With the town's own version of VAT [VST] temporarily set at only 80%, this, says local Council Leader Alderman Bigge-Lyre, brings the cost of a day out "within the reach of ordinary folks of aspirational character [combined earnings over £75k pa] whilst ensuring that, as always, we keep the riff-raff well at bay ie in Bournemouth". [The Council had considered but summarily rejected a call to reduce the tax on whelks, cockles and other vinegar-preserved comestibles by 50%, with opposition leader Alderman Pier Stalker arguing - on conservation grounds - that this might decimate the local seafood and wet fish industries whilst artificially supporting an increasingly exploitative and discredited capitalist market-based economy which was in dire need of radical restructuring in the interests of the many not the few.]
Our Economics Analyst writes:
This bold move by the enterprising folk in the Greater Bridport Region shows just how far and how rapidly economic thinking evolves at times of virus-generated crisis. Will it work? Who knows? Are the measures sufficient and likely to prove effective? Who knows? The truth is only a very skilled, sophisticated and University of Afpuddle-educated economist could give you a clear answer. And even then, he, she, they, ze could well be in two - if not three - minds. So as far as Bridport is concerned - rather like the matter of their frozen dairy-product take-away kiosk-based offerings - its a case of "suck it and see"