Firebreak Fury | Wales | Sue’s View

For God’s sake, get a grip please Barry.

My Firebreak flabber is absolutely ghasted over the fury fuelled by the failure to buy an impromptu pair of supermarket undies, a crucial Kenwood kettle, or a two for one trashy paperback treat.

Seems to me that no sooner had Welsh Government stated their non-essential shop selling stoppage that our community kicked off – and that was before the plastic wrapping was wound around the electricals.

Cue a wild weekend of scenes from supermarkets where citizens stood nearly naked to prove a point, felt the burning need to sabotage the shelves, or trash the local Tesco’s in protest. What’s that all about?

My heart goes out to the worried workers stuck in aisle seven battling savage shoppers who desperately need a pair of Peppa Pig pyjamas or a sweet-scented candle – because they can’t get them anywhere else can they?

I’m not going to lie to you, some power-mad supermarket security staff have definitely not won any customer service awards from me during this paralysing pandemic. But…all those on shift during this seventeen-day Firebreak fandango, don’t deserve abuse and angst for merely applying a political policy.

Phew, and what a policy that has proved to be. For me, it makes some sense to try to take the firm and fair approach to level the playing field for those small, independent shops who have had to scroll up the shutters. They lose over two weeks trading whilst the supermarkets stay selling.

And also, if we are to survive this short, sharp, queer quarantine, we really should be staying home and sucking it up, not pottering around like a pensioner in Asda looking at soft furnishings.

Make no mistake about it though, I am as totally tired by this latest crazy Coronavirus chapter, as you. I am precariously placed on my last nerve with this long, lingering, Lockdown life, and, anyone who knows me, knows I hate washing my own hair.

But, whilst I also hate being told what to do too, I will do absolutely anything to try to stop this virulent virus in its track, or at least slow its speed, so we can all go back to some sort of social life – no matter how rudimentary.

Truth be told, it’s not that hard, for some of us, to nip online either and order that stationery set is it. You don’t have to automatically Amazon it either as many of our small, local shops are selling on the superhighway too.

Now, before you all give me a gobfull. I’m with you especially when you say that there are those, especially carers, who really do genuinely need emergency items like bedding, and I feel the pain of those who live pay check to pay check and honestly can’t afford to stock up.

I also admit, the lack of a non-essential list, the ability to buy booze but not books, and the feeling of being dictated to, was perhaps not the best way to execute what was intended to be a fair and just decision.

But isn’t this where community comes in?

How about those of us who can access Amazon Prime helping those who can’t. Why not post in all those fabulous community groups if you need something straight away, or just be open to borrowing what you don’t need now to those who do.

We could also all spend some googling local shops that are still selling – both in person, and on-line. And then why not post these to the said Facebook groups in a bid to show that our beautiful Barry is still very open for business – in some sectors.

Be under no illusion though, I’m savvy enough to know I’m practically flying solo on this one. I’ve been blown away by the backlash of national news coverage, and that Petition that seems to be signed every second. I also know an imminent review of the supermarket selling policy is on the cards.

But, in my view, it’s not about spending energy rallying against what we can and can’t buy, it’s about all pulling together to get through what, for me, is one of the toughest times in this Corona Virus chaos.

The Firebreak is here to stay whether we like it or not. So, let’s not crack as a community, lets come together in a spirit of solidarity.

Your call.

Speak soon.

Mrs SVJ.

#Barry’s Boldest Blogger


Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.

Sue’s Views is the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day. Recently resurrected in Style Of The City Magazine, it focuses on the hot topics we are all talking about in beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad, the ugly.

This Blog is also featured in My Corona Virus Diary, Sue’s take on this pandemic palaver – the long lingering Lockdown, our queer quarantine, the isolation nation, and how our town took to these crazy Covid 19 times.

Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.