BIMBeing: The Journey #24
#24 – The big day…
Photo by Pixabay of Pexels
Unlike most online authors, I’ve managed to consistently write almost topical content over the past few months without mentioning a particular word. Unfortunately, the day has arrived and I can no longer keep it away from my keyboard – it’s Brexit day. Has this been the most drawn-out process we’ve ever seen? The general public certainly seem to feel that way – “will it ever end?” they cry daily. Well, for those of us in the construction industry, it’s almost certainly not; three years to most of us is a fairly quick project – take a look at Crossrail for the true definition of ‘never ending’.
I’m always bemused by the public reaction to politics. People seem to look at politicians as if they’re magicians with mystical powers. They vote and expect that the outcome is completed with immediate effect; a snap of an MP’s fingers and our problems should be solved because “the people have spoken”. Well, this is simply not a reality. The AEC workers among us certainly understand that everything takes time – if you can’t be patient in this industry then you shouldn’t be here. It’s always easy for those uneducated in a subject to shout from the side-lines: “why haven’t the government fixed problem X yet?” and “why does it take 6 months to do some road works?” both fall into the same category – blissful ignorance.
Nevertheless, it’s finally time to see who was right in the Brexit argument – almost. Are we all going to ride our very own rainbow to a fresh pot of gold each morning, with wealth and prosperity beyond our measure? Or are we going to plunge into a deep, dark peril of total unemployment, redacted rights and third world poverty? For the level-headed individuals among us, we can safely say that it won’t be either. Lets not also forget that today is merely the start of an even longer process, so don’t hold your breath for anything too exciting happening just yet (unless you consider it exciting to listen to a recording of Big Ben, in which case you’re in for a real treat). Even at the end of this process the change for 99% of the population is unlikely to be more than the final swing of a faltering pendulum, in either direction; it would appear to be more of a sideways step than a leap to prosperity or a plunge into darkness. As the most over-used phrase of the 21st century suggests, no matter the outcome, we’ll probably all just carry on…
Looking beyond B-Day then, how is 2020 looking for the AEC industry? Assuming, of course, that after today (31st January 2020) the UK hasn’t imploded. If the current industry news is anything to go by, it actually looks like we’re all going to be quite busy. The quiet nattering around the HS2 project suggests that it will be getting the go-ahead in the very near future, unleashing several billion pounds worth of infrastructure spending. Reports also suggest that the infrastructure sector is set for growth this year, even without HS2 going ahead. Similar reports also predict growth across the construction sector as a whole, with around 2% this year and up to 5% in 2021. Elsewhere there are multiple reports of the apparent “Boris Bounce” taking effect on the economy, with house prices continuing to rise and previously withheld investments supposedly being released. This should support further growth across the construction sector, particularly in housing where demand is strong.
All in then it’s a fairly positive outlook. Uncertainty still surrounds the ‘post-Brexit deal’, but predictions suggest that we’re going to continue growing anyway. Looks as though there’s plenty of work to keep us all in a job then, for now…
With neither immediate peril nor the sprouting of magic money-trees to report, the press will soon be looking for new front-page news. Since the fuss over Brexit died down they started to focus on The Royals. Those stories began to fade just in time for the outbreak of Coronavirus. Eventually, hopefully soon, this too will pass and once again the hunt will be on for dramatic front page stories. Perhaps now is a good time for a renewed commitment to Health and Safety in construction then; with little else to report even a cut finger could make the papers, and that’s not the sort of attention we want to draw. Stay busy, and stay safe – let’s ensure post-Brexit AEC continues to be successful.
Have an opinion on Brexit? Please feel free to keep that one to yourself. This is the only post that I don’t wish to start a comment debate on; unless you’re an MP, it really isn’t worth arguing over politics.