Just over a year ago, before The Break Fast Show was delivered unto the world, I had spent about 10 months producing the Demolition Daily LiveStream show.
It was on that show where I knocked off at least some of the rough edges and learned the livestreaming process.
That show was born out of necessity and desperation. Because of the pandemic, I was unable to produce the demolition magazine and so I switched to the livestreaming alternative.
In one of the very early episodes, I spoke of my hope that society would retain the unity it demonstrated in protecting the NHS and in applauding the NHS workers.
Sadly, I get the impression that the lessons of COVID have been all too quickly forgotten. It might be just my advancing years. It might just be my creeping cynicism. And it might be that the lockdowns gave me a glimpse of what national unity felt like. But I actually think that people are worse now: more bitter, more quick to anger; more selfish.
As a nation, we will probably never get an opportunity for a total reset again. But the demolition industry just might.
Everything that I am hearing suggests that the Competition and Markets Authority might finally spill the beans in March on an investigation into alleged collusion that has been running since early 2019.
While I would like the findings to say that all UK demolition contractors were squeaky clean and that those companies that were investigated and – in some instances – raided have been exonerated. That is my heart talking.
My head, sadly, believes that some big names will be caught in the CMA net.
If that proves to be the case, it could change the very landscape of the UK demolition sector. Big name companies that have traditionally been among the first names on tender lists might find those tender lists a bit more difficult to access. Some individuals that have previously dictated the industry’s direction of travel might no longer enjoy the influence they once had.
And, with the industry landscape changed, the UK demolition industry might be afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the big reset button. To bounce back better; to bounce back in a more unified and representative way
But, for that to happen, the industry will need to learn from the lessons of the past and the present.
If the industry is to truly move forward in that post CMA period, it will not be sufficient to merely shuffle the pack.
The sector will need to open an entirely new deck of cards and start a fresh new game. To dispense with the systems and structures of the past. And embrace a new industry regime created in the mage of the many rather than of the few.
Sadly, as a nation, the UK squandered the chance to start anew. It failed to retain the spirit that got us all through an unprecedented pandemic and several national lockdowns.
I can only hope that the UK demolition industry will take heed of that failure and – if and when the opportunity arises – it chooses to start afresh rather than returning to its old ways.