With one week to go to the Diamond Jubilee many people in the UK are preparing for a weekend of celebrations. It will be hard to escape what could be jubilee madness as UK TV schedules will be swamped with all things Jubilee. The festivities could be a big winner for the UK due to memorabilia sales and an increase in tourism but will the celebrations ultimately lead the UK into more debt?
British people do have a "spend" mentality these days which is almost a compulsion. All too many people follow the live now pay later premise. Gone are the days in the UK when people would budget well and stay clear of debt. From the early days of Hire purchase or as some called it "buy now pay later", to the advent of credit cards, the British journey into a love affair with debt has been swift and far reaching. Now times are tough once more many Brits are struggling to make ends meet.
Another sign of the changed face of the UK is the fact that Hospitals will be on Red Alert for the Jubilee weekend, expecting an influx of drunks and related accidents. If the weather is kind the UK is set to hold many "street parties" and celebrations such as garden parties and barbecues. Most will be an excuse to get drunk. Queen Elizabeth's coronation parties and street parties of the past have been somewhat restrained serving tea and sandwiches. In 2012 there will be some that are alcohol fuelled excuses for a blow out.
The long weekend will mean that UK workers can let their hair down big time. Workers in some areas of employment will not benefit from the extra days leave but on the whole Great Britain is about to Party. Economists expect the effects of the extra days leave to cost UK industry dearly. So much so that they believe the damge will far outweigh any positives for the economy. Currently manufacturers of Jubilee related souvenirs have been experiencing a boost in profits. Sales of these goods abroad have been improving all year.
In these times of austerity though we all need to get away from this feeling of "see it buy it". Most of us have far too many items around the home that we do not need or really want. Apart from the financial cost, the cost to the environment is often huge.
To those who are looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations, have fun. Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee is a remarkable achievement and shared only with one previous British Monarch, Victoria. We Brits do pomp and ceremony remarkably well. We should do after all these years, when all is said and done.
Times have changed though and perhaps it is not appropriate in 2012. Visitors from other countries will of course love the spectacle but they will not be footing the Bill, will they? Will the Jubilee prove a financial success or plunge the UK into yet more debt? We shall soon know.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog