Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

I don’t know about you, but I have given up watching the news and listening to bulletins on the radio. I have adopted a new policy of ‘burying my head in the sand’ when it comes to world news issue’s. You see the other night when I watched channel 4 news I was left feeling completely depressed and almost in fear of tomorrow. The world economy is going into meltdown and NATO is threatening to bomb some Yugoslav general, a move that Russia is opposed to and says will ‘start the cold war all over again’. Add this to my local news bulletin that seems to carry nothing but stories of stabbings and shooting in the area, and I am left feeling that the world is a horribly depressing and dangerous place.

Perhaps it is, or perhaps nothing is different. Maybe it’s always been this way and I am only just noticing it as I get older? You see all this stuff about a ‘global economic downturn’ really puts me on edge. Having just started a company, I am concerned as to how this will affect my future and the future of my company.

Looking around, you wouldn’t know anything was different. The local kids of my neighborhood still go out playing cops and robbers. (Merseyside Police are the cops and the kids are the robbers!) Liverpool city centre is still packed with shoppers and in the evenings the pubs still fill up, the usual Liverpool tradition of drinking, fighting and shagging (in that order) still carries on unabated. So where are the signs that hard times are ahead? Where are the signs of this international monetary doomsday?

You see my feeling and my fear is that for Merseyside inner city areas such as Birkenhead, such a ‘downturn’ would reduce it to depths that I can’t even begin to imagine. I mean, looking around at what goes on in this that town, it would be hard to imagine life being worse for some. But if unemployment goes up and the prospects of better times move further into the distance, things are bound to get worse. The divide between those who ‘have’ and those who ‘haven’t’ will increase. The poor areas will sink into an even worse state as the increasing number of jobless and bored people turn to crime as a way up and out of where they are.

I can already hear the cries of disapproval for my predictions coming from Merseysiders ‘proud to be from Merseyside’. I get e-mails from ex-Merseysiders from around the world from time to time, telling me that Merseyside is a great place rich in culture and tradition, and how I am wrong about my opinions of the place. But hang on a second. What the hell does… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]