It's an odd weekend, this. We know that pubs are on their way. The alluring smell of your local Harvester will soon be blowing across the neighbourhood. Just not yet. This weekend, it's all about takeaways and complaining about the heat.
I promised you a full email this week, but it's been a very busy week, still a little under the weather and, well, it's really, really hot.
It's another (ever so slightly) shorter one. Apologies if it leaves you desperate to read yet more of whatever this is. Fear not, I'm sure that by time next Friday arrives a comprehensive missive will drop into your inbox with pride.
Peace and love,
Where do we go from here?
It's all happening. In most parts of the UK at least. Shortly we can head to the pub. Eat Nando's. Pop inside someone's house, but stay the other side of their kitchen table.
We're out of hibernation apparently. Like Mole emerging from his hole at the start of Wind in the Willow (that's a contemporary reference, right? Wind in the Willows is def still cool in my head.).
It won't be long before gyms are open. By August, surely, almost everything we want to do will be possible in some form or another. Maybe bowling alleys will be a little slower. Those finger holes in the balls. Yuk.
So, what does this mean? The government have been clear that this virus isn't gone. There will be 'local' outbreaks. If people misinterpret or abandon the rules over time, we will get spikes. These delicious freedoms can be snatched away.
Chris Witty finished the final Daily Briefing (sniff) by warning that this will be with us for quite some time. He suggested at least a year. Face masks, distancing, registering when you enter a pub. We'd better get used to it all.
Which just leaves the final question. Where do we go from here? Modern life is confusing at the best of times.
What happens when schools are supposed to go back in full in September?
What happens when the temperature drops and we all want to be indoors all the time?
What happens when the winter flu season starts?
What happens when the furlough scheme ends?
What happens if we really do hit a 'second wave'?
What happens at Christmas time?
I make no apologies for asking lots of questions. I know this email is pretty much supposed to be about clarifying and helping with answers. It's just that today, right now, I've got none.
Still, at least I can have a cold pint of IPA next weekend.
The week ahead...
It's the first big week back in the Commons...
House of Commons
Monday - How can all this hospitality stuff happen with the current rules? I hear you ask. That's a good question and one which the government have also thought about. Currently, they can't. What's need is a new Act of Parliament to change the rules. Which is what is happening in the House of Commons today.
The Business and Planning Bill is being sped through and so will have all it's Commons stages today.
It will do various things to ensure that everyone can use a bit more pavement space as well as car parks and terraces, thereby creating more space for 'alfresco Britain'. It will be easier for places to serve takeaway booze and meals. Mostly this is in England.
It's not just eating and drinking. We'll also be treated to planning permission free summer fairs, car boot sales and outdoor markets.
Tuesday - There is a whole lot of chat about our new immigration rules. We'll have a points-based system where you get credit for things like having a well paid job to come to, having family here and even speaking English. The details aren't finalised yet.
Today MPs will look at the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill. This doesn't introduce the new system. That will come in the Autumn, I'd imagine. What it does do is end free movement and generally set us up to make our own rules for when we're out in January.
It isn't the big one but will be a major debate in the Commons, as all the different sides of the debate lay down their vision. Most importantly, changes can be made at this point. Expect Labour, the SNP and others to lay down amendments. They will be defeated by the government, but they will be significant in the future.
Wednesday - PMQs! Boris! Keir! Ian! All very exciting.
You may remember that shortly after he became Chancellor, Rishi Sunak presented The Budget. It was all a bit last minute as there was a new man in place, but also, mostly, because Covid was just starting to take a grip. Fewer than two weeks later, we'd be in full lockdown. That meant that we didn't have the time to make it all proper and official and an Act of Parliament.
Today, the Bill is back in the Commons to get that through. Sure, it's a procedural thing, but a lot has changed since 11th March, so what would have been a formality might get a little spicier.
Thursday - The second and final day of budget bits.
Friday - Mostly getting in line for when Las Iguanas opens tomorrow.
House of Lords
At some point, presumably Monday or Tuesday, this will be ripped up and replaced with the Business and Planning Bill. It needs to be all done by Thursday teatime and has to pass through the Lords. They just have chosen not to tell us when, yet.
Monday - A recent review said that access issues stopped telecoms companies installing or sorting out telephone and broadband issues in rented accommodation - most often flats and apartments. A Bill in the Lords today looks to help them get access even if the landlord isn't being as cooperative as they might be,
Tuesday - A Bill about pensions is today's topic. It is slightly technical, but the FT refers to some of the measures as 'long-awaited'. It includes rules about pension dashboards, collective defined contribution schemes, and new powers for the Pensions Regulator.
Wednesday - More fisheries fun today. That's preparing the industry for a new post-Brexit world. There is also a look at the Bill that will ensure that murderers who don't disclose where bodies are will serve more of their sentences.
Thursday - Not so much going on.
Friday - Mostly looking up the Bella Italia menus online. In this weather, they should really go for the Gamberoni Picante.
These are hard times. We don't know what's coming, we don't know where we're going. It's no different for life at SP. Over the past few weeks, some people have been very generous with their support. We're not too far off a place where our future is looking more certain. If you can support us with a few quid a month, it would really mean the world. Thank you.