Monday, 16 March 2020
The Dame first met Guy Oliver when he mounted a David and Goliath campaign to save the much-loved Art Deco cinema in Ken High St.
In the end, he was beaten by naked greed and council indifference.
May I make an appeal for a little rationality as we move through this crisis?
My own experiences feel like a lifetime ago but the same hysteria in the press that engulfs the virus of today reminds me of the hysteria that surrounded an
even deadlier virus (HIV) those many years ago.
We see so much scaremongering in the press that it feels quite disingenuous to me.
The fact is that life goes on and by fuelling mass hysteria amongst the population it just seems like we have become like those lemmings heading over the cliff.
As a London businessman, I see the results of this irresponsible reporting.
Right now the biggest issue for Londoners is the cancellation of hotel bookings and conferences and all the knock-on effects on tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops.
A friend of mine, the General Manager of a major 5 star hotel,told me that millions of pounds of cancellations in the past week means that the hotel is currently running
at an unsustainable loss. Already, non-essential staff and services are being let go and he says if this carries on they will need to “mothball” rooms.
People need to understand that if they take precautions they can go about their daily lives. Most people know that I am a stalwart supporter of Rory Stewart-who I believe
is the best man to lead London.
I am looking forward to Rory, in his usual down to earth manner, telling Londoners to pull together and support their local businesses.
These things shall pass if we cease the
hysteria, take the necessary precautions and carry on.
The Dame: A GOOD GUY TO HAVE IN A TIGHT CORNER