East Lothian Courier – 15 September 2022


Politics in Westminster, as life more generally in the country, was brought to a halt by the sad passing of the Queen. Rumours and staff scuttling about, soon saw statements made about her ill health and then her tragic passing.

A live long lived and a death mourned by so many. For most including myself she’s the only Monarch we’ve ever known, and her reigns inextricably linked with so many historical events. I recall meeting her at the opening of the Scottish Parliament and at that of QMU’s campus in Musselburgh. She was always polite and dignified and leaves an enormous gap. It is both a sad time and the end of an era.

Prior to that though the major crisis of energy costs dominated. Liz Truss has been installed as Prime Minister but her first major pronouncement on help for soaring costs and was both inadequate and a harbinger of a government lurching dangerously to the right. The cap on energy costs at £2,500 is both far from sufficient for the poor and yet generous in the extreme to the rich. An additional £500 is beyond the means of many, currently unable to meet their bills.

A complete freeze should have been invoked and funded by a windfall tax on the oil and gas producers who are making millions. Instead, the taxpayers to fund the payback over years to come. Yet major corporations will see their tax bills cut whilst ordinary citizens will have to foot and increased bill.

There was also not even a mention of current injustices such as Pre-Payment meters heaping higher standing charges and tariffs on those least able to pay. They should’ve been abolished. But instead, there was total silence.

Similarly, the plight of many, whether in rural parts of East Lothian or in the north of the country, who are dependent on heating oil or biomass remains unclear. Some help may be forthcoming but just what and to whom remains unspecified. Those fuels should have been regulated and frozen.

The cost of energy crisis still remains and the fight against them will continue.