East Lothian Courier – 8 February 2024


Folk have been feeling the pressures of higher energy bills and colder weather. Damp and rain’s often harder to endure than freezing snow. Bills will be rising and yet there’s the issue of accumulated energy debt.  

With the energy crisis having been upon us for several years now debt has mounted. OFGEM reckons that in the UK its nearing £3 Billion. Yes, billion not million. In Scotland it means accumulated arrears in the region of £300 million.  

Frankly, there’s just no way many are going to manage to repay what they now owe. It’s hard enough to meet current needs, never mind cover historic debt. Yet the UK Government has no strategy to address it and is equally failing to stop the amount simply increasing through higher bills and colder weather. 

The government also acknowledges though that self-disconnection has increased. That’s the euphemism for when folk simply can’t switch it on even if they need to. In reality it’s not self-disconnection but enforced cruelty, akin to our welfare benefit system.   

It’s why we need to cap prices in an Energy Rich Country as the turbines on our hills and off our shores testify too. We also need some method of writing significant debt off, as it’s simply unable to be repaid. 

For it’s not just the cold weather but poverty that’s now biting. It’s why it’s perverse that those with more kids struggle the most. The two-child cap is both morally wrong and idiotic when we have an ageing population. Similarly, allowing bankers bonuses to be uncapped simply exacerbates inequality. It’s certainly not the case that we’re all in this together as some are getting exceedingly rich whilst the majority, whether the poor or even middle income suffer.  Both Tories and Labour should hang their heads in shame.  

But however bad it is here, it’s as nothing to the suffering in Gaza. The failure to call for an immediate ceasefire is creating a genocide. As the Palestinian Ambassador was briefing me and others the Israelis are acting to a plan and it must be stopped. The carnage shames humanity.