Saturday, 30 December 2006

Last chance to shop

Yesterday's Advertiser phone poll asked the question of whether or not the shops in SA should remain closed on Boxing Day. 75% of those who bothered to contact the poll said that shops should be closed.
While there is an argument to be had about whether these sort of phone-in polls are in any way statistically valid (probably not...only 108 callers of people who chose to ring in of their own volition... no randomness and no standard interviewing technique). It might at least add some further weight to the suggestion that some proper research be done about thi emotive sort of area.
Personally I have never been swayed by the argument that visitors will think we are a backwater unless shops ar open absolutely all the time.
I notice that some areas are too sensitive, no one at all suggests that sacred Christmas Day, hangover New Years' Day or the morning of ANZAC Day should be so freed up as to allow shopping. The unremitting logic of the 'backwater argument' would see everything be a potential target for unfettered shopping.
Already the walls around Good Friday are tumbling, and (as I say) the second half of ANZAC Day is probably gone...what of Australia Day and Easter Monday and any of the other public holidays.
The issue is not about the sacredness of such days, in my opinion, the issue is about how we as a community might encourage shared community life. If we do not engineer times when most people are free how on earth do we all get together. I readily recognise that most people do not want or need religious holidays....but we all should be encouraged to celebrate family and community links.
The commercial dollar will always demand, and falsely I believe, that everything be sacrificed to it lest we become a "backwater".
It's just rubbish, and we should start to articulate the positive ideas and concepts that we want to put in place...surely a couple of days when families can get together, a period when there is a more extended break and a couple of nominated days of particular not too much to ask.

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