Hard times ahead, but we are used to toughing it out

BAE Systems engineers

NEWS COMMENT: Losing these highly-skilled workers is a major concern

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It’s been a tough week for our illustrious city.

Many Pompeyites have a friend or relative who is affected by the drastic BAE cutbacks.

One of the core competencies that our city was built upon and proudly led the world in is disappearing.

We’ll never know whether the decision was political, purely economic.

Or maybe it was down to the fact that the world is a safer place and the demand for shipbuilding is now greatly diminished.

But Pompey is a tough, stoical, determined city.

It’s a tragedy that so many skilled individuals won’t have a place to ply their noble trade.

But will those people mope around, blaming the world around them for their misfortune?

No, because that’s not what Pompey people do.

Our history is rich with legends of ‘toughing it out’ and dealing with grim situations and that heritage is ingrained in the people who live here.

Head down, crack on.

Earlier this week I was in London. Whenever I sit on the Tube, I’m gobsmacked by Londoners and how they go about their daily lives.

Ironically, my visit was just off the back of Halloween, but it was like being surrounded by the living dead.

A bunch of sullen, dead-behind-the-eyes, grey, lifeless people staring gormlessly into space trying to avoid eye contact and make themselves as inconspicuous as possible.

Millions of bodies, millions of nobodies.

Jumping on the train at Waterloo, the mood continued but as the train left the smoke and trundled south, people started to loosen up and chatted amongst themselves.

The closer we came back to Portsmouth the lighter the mood, the more laughs could be heard.

Occasionally a Pompey Lil would let rip with a ripsnorting screech.

The mood changed from the dirge of a funeral to the vivacity of the wake.

Yes, there are hard times ahead for our city.

But there is nothing new in that.