What would you keep and what would you like to leave behind when all this is over? We can probably all agree that daily 5pm briefings and obsessing about the ravings of a madman about ingesting domestic cleaning products are best left in the past, but when we go back to business as usual, will it be business as usual?

There’s been a shift, or so it seems to me, in the last few days, where people are starting to visualise themselves back in a normal pattern a bit more. I’ve had more ‘hopefully we can do this in person / over a beer soon’ discussions in the last three days than I’ve had in the last four weeks. You can see it on the social meejahs too; old moans and fights coming back; people asserting that their way is the only way and that everyone else is lesser. I kind of liked it when that stuff was damped down.

There’s a sense of abstraction too – tens of thousands are dead, but that’s not enough for it to be guaranteed that you’ll know either someone who’s died or someone who has lost a loved one. That was my situation too until yesterday – now I know someone who’s lost a relative, and I can tell you that sense of abstraction goes away very quickly, though not as quickly as it does for the people directly involved.

If you were expecting a joke about the industry at this point, I’m afraid I don’t have any this week.

So will we be kinder, gentler, with extra cycling lanes and a burning desire to support local businesses? Will we walk everywhere, marvel at how far we can see without the haze and listen to the birdsong? Or will we jump right back in our vehicles, avoid public transport like the plague and try to reinsert ourselves back to, say, last summer when all we had to worry about was macroeconomics?

I don’t know, and neither do you. The predictions we all read are wishlists, in the main, from people who wished these things already. Our future state is a palimpsest of all these wishes, written on top of what went before.

I do know that people are bad at leaving things behind. I’m bad at it. I was thinking about this yesterday as – in a game stab at including at least some industry content this week – we shuttered our old Platform Directory in favour of the new one that I’ve gone on about week after week. Literally no-one would class this as a big deal, but it felt monumental to me. If I can’t manage that without getting all wistful, what chance is there of real, lasting differences on the other side of the Current Unpleasantness?

Who knows, who knows? But if we are heading into a sort of phase two / end of the beginning / beginning of the end phase, now’s the time to think about what we want, and what we don’t.


  • Big NEWS with a capital NEWS from the Beast from Bristol as pensions simian Tom McPhail disappears off to ride his bike, or at least talk about riding bikes on the breakfast news. Tom is one of the best guys and we will miss him from our daily discourse.
  • Liberty SIPP has popped out for an appointment behind the woodshed, as has Blackmore Bonds. We really need to get this unregulated stuff sorted out. There’s something we could do once all this is over.
  • We’ll still take your platform reviews for this quarter, thank you please. If you’re an AJ Bell or Nucleus user in particular we need to hear from you.
  • See you for the sixth #HomeGames at 12.30. No AfterParty this week because of the Paraplanners Howwow on vulnerable clients.
  • Your music choice this week delivers just under five minutes of pure euphoria, or it will if you let it. “We may not be brave so let’s start” sings Devin Townsend, and that’ll do for me. Please enjoy – with a magnificently barking video – Spirits Will Collide.

See you next week, we’ll maybe do some industry news then.