Daily reports about the parlous state of the economy can be a little like those brief accounts of foreign conflicts, something removed from your own experience & of which you know little. That is until it affects someone in your own family. Shop Direct, formerly known as Littlewoods in Crosby, is to close with the loss of over 1,000 jobs (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/01/28/1-150-merseyside-jobs-lost-as-littlewoods-call-centre-closes-100252-22801432/ ). My sister is one of those affected.
Management say the closure is ascribed to the exponential increase in online shopping rather than the recession. That is, of course, no consolation to the staff, most of whom, like my sister, are working mothers. Local MP Claire Curtis-Thomas is busying herself with updated missives to the local media on supposed initiatives to minimise the job losses. The reality, however, is that the local economy will take a catastrophic hit. Unlike most other areas of Merseyside, Crosby got off relatively lightly during the last major recession in the early 80s; this news affects a whole generation of staff with little or no experience of unemployment.