Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 3rd June 2020

3rd June 2020

3rd June 2020

Although it has felt at times as though Covid-19 has subsumed every other issue, slowly but surely, other concerns are starting to surface in my inbox.

The past few days have brought an influx of emails on the perennially popular topics of animal welfare and the environment.

But it has been apparent that one international news story has resonated particularly strongly with a lot of Salisbury people – the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Geographically distant though it is and though the violence on our screens seem a far cry from the leafy villages of south Wiltshire, the themes of justice and racial equality that have been laid bare by what happened touch us all.

A lot of people have written to express their distress at the appearance of grossly disproportionate force being used against Mr Floyd, as well as the subsequent ugly scenes of clashes between protesters, police and counter protesters.

I think it is emblematic of what can occur when divisions in society are permitted to deepen and fester. As well as registering our shock, it should remind us all to nurture and treasure open and civil discourse on crucial issues of what kind of society we want to be.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for the next step in lifting the lockdown, which will hopefully go ahead on June 15th.

While I have settled into the rhythm of doing a weekly shop at Lidl, I am always mindful that this has been a very difficult time for non-essential retailers who have been closed.

I have noticed a lot of shopkeepers are hard at work this week in advance of opening, moving displays and installing one-way systems to make safe spaces for their customers and putting in screens and signage to protect employees.

I am grateful for all their hard work but I know that anxieties persist about how many customers will return once shops are able to open again.

Our independents and physical stores still offer a level of service and a social experience that cannot be equalled online and I look forward to lots of us enjoying them again in a safe and socially distanced way.

The arts in Salisbury are also keenly missed and I was delighted to take part in an online discussion forum for Wiltshire Creative at the weekend. I have no doubt at all that our treasured arts institutions will not only survive this crisis but will be at the forefront of our local recovery – both economically and psychologically.

Posted by John Glen at 3:34pm

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