East Lothian Courier – 19 October 2023


Parliament has only just returned from the recess for Party Conferences. But everything has been overshadowed by international events. These are frightening and depressing times. Conflict in the Middle East has seen war in Europe almost forgotten but tragically it’s still ongoing.

Atrocities perpetrated against civilians must be condemned unreservedly and by whoever perpetrates them. But what is badly required is a cease fire and de-escalation and both the UK and international agencies must push for that. Diplomacy and negotiations are what’s required and that applies in all conflicts. That is what I will seek to work for with others within Parliament and agencies and organizations without. Ultimately, there requires to be a just settlement for all. A crushing victory for one side simply leaving a legacy of hate.

It’s not just humanity dictating that with us all bleeding the same, irrespective of faith, creed or colour, we need to see an end to the killing and atrocities. There’s a self-interest as a widening of these conflicts threatens Armageddon for us all.

It’s also deeply harmful to our need to address climate change. Recent weeks have seen a turn in the weather and some areas facing rain of biblical proportions. We have been fortunate with landslips and other consequences but it’s a reminder of the urgent need to address global warming. The military is the largest polluter in the USA, and waging war anywhere immeasurably exacerbates the harm to our planet. It’s why for all our sake’s we need peace.

The turn in the weather’s also an opportunity to remind people to get a Smart Meter installed. There was rightly condemnation of forced entry and Smart Meters being installed in pre-payment mode. That was simply unacceptable.

But Smart Meters are of benefit and whilst I’d counsel against pre-payment mode some do prefer it. It’s up to the individual. But the Smart Meter itself is helpful.

That call’s supported by fuel poverty charities. Many current heating systems operate on technology that’ll be turned off. A Smart Meter’s essential to allow access to current low-cost tariffs. Ask your supplier to get yours installed.