Now I enjoy social media. Perhaps I shouldn’t, and yes it can sometimes be a distraction, but it also provides a useful way of keeping up with friends, swapping opinions, discussing the news and generally sharing in other people’s hopes, fears, achievements and setbacks.
Since last Thursday, though, dipping in to my Facebook timeline or Twitter feed has felt more like opening the pages of a badly-written novel that tells the tale an apocalyptic future where the sick and elderly are left to die in the streets and the jobless are tossed out of their homes and left to die in the gutters while a few so-called “fat cats” (we prefer the word entrepreneurs) live in luxury.
Facts have been thrown to the wind by those self-appointed guardians of democracy who were so taken aback by the idea of a Conservative victory that they quickly lost all sense of perspective and swapped reasoned argument for unreasonable hatred. This is not the place to rehearse or refute the arguments, but suffice it to say a visit to the Kent 2020 Vision LIVE event went a fair way towards reversing that dismal vision of the future.
The business exhibition, which seems to get bigger and better year on year, was an inspiring hive of activity which packed the impressive new exhibition centre at the Kent Showground. There were plenty of well-established firms, many of them taking the chance to catch up with contacts and look for new suppliers, but an impressive number of new companies keen to grow their business by getting out and meeting people.
It would be an exaggeration similar to those that have fanned the social media flames to claim that the atmosphere was ‘electric’, but it was certainly lively, with plenty of people chatting in the aisles as well as selling to stand visitors. The exhibition gave the impression that business, at least, was relieved that the country has returned to one-party government and could look forward with confidence to stable economic growth.
Kent, and the South East as a whole, has a bright future, despite what our timelines tell us, and it is business that will take us forward into that future, business that will create the wealth that will support the country and business that will create the jobs that will help more people get back into work.