February saw quite a few comings and goings, not to mention heated debates in the all-new The Lobby. Here’s a brief snapshot of what happened…
It’s been nearly a whole month since we launched The Lobby, which gave you the space you so badly wanted to discuss anything that takes your fancy. A place where nothing is off-limits (providing it adheres to our Community Guidelines, of course).
In that time, you’ve racked up over 760 comments, on topics ranging from favourite kids’ toys, a fear of blood tests to sensible alcohol consumption levels and how Which? should celebrate its 60th anniversary later this year.
Alfa even wrote a welcoming ditty.
‘Cause we got a little new convo
Rockin’ night and day
Yeah, we got a little new convo
Where we are allowed to stray
Come on and join our convo
Ain’t nothing gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this chattin’ convo
Ain’t no one got nothin’ to say?
(Chorus of Convoy for Wavechange)
In our ‘virtual coffee lounge’, we’ve learnt what hot drinks everyone needs to get them going each day.
Meanwhile, Ian’s been providing us with some delicious-sounding treats for ‘breakfast’ (along with a thought for the day) each morning.
‘Today’s thought: If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.’
Plus, as well as the regulars (you know who you are), we’ve welcomed several new faces to the community.
Here are some of the highlights:
Diesel cars in city centres
On the possibility of city charges for diesel cars being introduced to lower pollution, Vynor wanted to know if owners would be compensated:
‘If the government introduces city charges for diesel cars, this simply makes diesel motoring more expensive, it doesn’t take these cars off the road. Similarly a diesel fuel price hike does nothing to stop motorists using their cars, since these are all they’ve got…
…The problem here is that well over half of us now have diesel cars on our drives. If they suddenly become valueless scrap metal, the British public will want to know why and what compensation should be paid for bad advice in the past…
….No doubt most manufacturers today have factories geared up to producing diesel cars, since that is where the demand currently is. A turn around to total petrol and hybrid output will take time and huge amounts of cash. Who will pay for this? Will cars return to being the preserve of the rich? What will dealerships do with all the diesel cars they can’t sell?’
Others, like John Ward, discussed whether monorails or trams could be a viable alternative:
‘I like the idea of monorails, but I think they are difficult to fit into city centres as they would usually be at a height of 6 m above street level which means support structures and access points [lifts and escalators]. A two-way track would be quite wide as well… A modern system would be less cumbersome but I presume the cost and disruption of constructing it would be prohibitive nowadays. Current wisdom in the Department of Transport is that a city needs a population well in excess of 250,000 to support even a simple tramway system’
Decline of ties
A Bayko (circa 1950s) poster depicted a little boy wearing a tie and cardigan.
‘Ties were, I suppose, the main things you could use to brighten up otherwise drab male attire. Now they would be overwhelmed by brightly coloured shirts, jackets and trousers (see Michael Portillo for example – no tie necessary)’
Food industry and Brexit
On 20 February, our Director of Campaigns and Communications, Vickie Sheriff, appeared on Channel 4’s Dispatches to talk about ‘shrinkflation’ and the affect Brexit might have on food prices. Several of you, including Wavechange, gave your take on the programme:
‘We learned that some prices are likely to fall and others rise as a result of leaving Europe. We might as well wait and find out. The programme drew attention to price rises as a result of the substantial fall in the value of the pound, meaning that prices have had to go up or products decrease in size. We were repeatedly shown the ‘Dispatches Brexit basket’ containing some of the most obvious examples of shrinkflation and price rises. Perhaps manufacturers should be required to show ‘New pack size’ for a period after decreasing pack size to alert customers to the change.’
This is a round-up of what was discussed over the past month on The Lobby. The Lobby is our community’s very own virtual cafe for off-topic chatter. Comments here have been edited due to length, so be sure to read them in full by clicking on the author’s name. If you want to get involved in The Lobby then head on over add your comment.