Something I’ve not had a rant about on this page, I notice. So I may as well. Sunday trading restrictions in England and Wales. In a word “WHY?!”
Pop over the border to Scotland and, as well as all-day drinking which I won’t start on, 24-7 shopping means 24-7 shopping. Aside from, to be fair, xmas day and New Year’s day when any sensible Scot is nursing a clanging hangover.
In England, every supermarket shuts its door around 8pm on a Saturday. They then have a 6-hour window during which they can open on a Sunday (somewhere between 10 and 6, depending on the shop) then they’re closed until 8am on Monday.
What is the point? I go to Morrisons near me on a Sunday and there’s actually a queue to get in first thing on a Sunday. These days, families have so many commitments and so little time around work, that extra shopping time is a necessity not a luxury.
I can’t get my shopping done every Saturday as I go to the football. Other people will travel to see relatives. You don’t want to get your weekly groceries in on a Saturday monrning on the way there. It’s daft – your fresh fruit and veg will just be sat there for an extra day towards expiration until you return.
If I go away for the weekend, it’d suit me down to the ground to be able to swing by Asda or wherever on the way home on Sunday evening to pick up fresh milk, bread and the like. Only I can’t unless I’m getting home before 4pm.
So what’s stopping the change? As far as I’m aware, it’s politicians being scared of losing the religious vote courtesy of the ludicrously self-centred and rather ignorant “Keep Sunday Special” morons.
Why should I have my life made inconvenient because someone else wants to keep Sundays as a special day for themselves? I am not religions. By “keeping Sunday special” they are attempting to force me to live their lifestyle. Surely this is in breach of my human rights? Just as I’d not force them to drink pig blood, or have sex outside of their marriage, I’d not expect someone else to dictate when I can conveniently shop or drink alcohol.
Keeping Sunday special should surely be a choice made by an individual. While I appreciate the other problems incurred with Sunday opening by large chains (smaller neighbourhood shops closing and so forth), that’s just a change in the way society works. You can’t go around forcing people to do “nice” things on Sunday when many of them only have the one day to get stuff done. Our country has changed massively in the last 10-20 years, especially in the way people work and live.
Lives are more hectic, people work longer hours, staff are not “forced” to work Sundays but just kind of expect to, in certain jobs. I work (or at least travel) out of hours a lot with my job. It’s expected. I don’t get paid extra for it. People who work Sundays do get paid for the hours.
The “Keep Sunday Special” campaign “claims that there is no demand by consumers for even more shopping hours. Any campaign to extend Sunday hours is fired by the appetites of big stores to build even greater profits.”
If there’s no demand for extra hours, explain the 50+ people at the doors to my local Morrisons at 9:50 this morning. Don’t forget that a very sizeable portion of the UK’s population these days is not Christian. Jews and Muslims, as examples, both celebrate a different holy day. I, on the other hand, celebrate none. By restricting (or banning) Sunday trade, by making it different from any other day, you’re restricting their desire to live in a way that suits their beliefs. And surely that is a more serious offense than buying some frozen veg when I “should” be in church.