The decision by the Government to help people with energy bills is welcome. It’s also overdue. Four in ten people are believed to be in fuel poverty, where they can no longer afford to heat their homes adequately.
Issues surrounding the energy price cap have been in the public domain for a long time - as has the idea to levy a windfall tax on energy companies. It is no surprise that the day after Sue Gray’s Partygate report, in which Downing Street was deservedly panned, the announcement has been made.
Equally, it is no surprise that the tenor of the debate in the House of Commons yesterday was raucous and unpleasant. There is real antipathy towards the manner in which the present Government is being run and that manifests itself in debates that are partisan and ugly.
These are serious times. Serious times calls for serious politics. Politicians from all sides set a poor example by turning the House of Commons into a bear pit. The intelligence, understanding and willingness to listen that characterise a functioning democracy are presently absent. We should remember the consequences of that. MPs have lost their lives and been threatened. Members of the public observe the conduct of MPs and a small minority think it’s okay to behave in a similarly maladroit way.
The support provided to families on the cost of living crisis should have been forthcoming some time ago. We have a Government, however, in paralysis because of the shenanigans at Number 10. We deserve a better politics, where politicians are more mature, conduct themselves with more grace and think of the public first, rather than their own careers.
A busy airport is a great sign for the economy of the West Midlands, even if it is tiresome for those stuck in queues.
There are problems at Birmingham Airport as it struggles to get back to full capacity. Its one defence is that its issues aren’t nearly as acute as those being experienced at Manchester and Heathrow airports.
Some slack needs to be given to the industry. Freedom from travel restrictions came as suddenly as the imposition of lockdown itself. Birmingham Airport had started to train up new staff again, but it did not know when full freedom would come – and there was always the chance of a new variant scuppering its plans.
Birmingham Airport is a major employer in its own right and it is a crucial part of the West Midlands travel infrastructure.
The fact it is getting back on its feet is good news for all.