Unsurprisingly, Rishi Sunak is now Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Union. There was no way that Penny Mordaunt was going to be allowed to follow in Liz Truss” shoes and, even though there have been far more men managing to destroy what they have been in charge of, Liz Truss was the architect of her own downfall playing to the stereotype of a weak willed female incapable of making a decision and the damage has been done for many years now. Quite how quickly her premiership came to an end was shocking however and there should be many within that party examining the part that they played in the disaster that the public had to endure.
For one small moment, I did think that we would see the return of the eternally optimistic Boris and wondered just how much of a hand he had in the proceedings. Had it all been orchestrated by him as a sort of two fingers to you, you thought I was bad, well you haven’t seen anything yet strategy where he assumed he would just waltz back in, save the day and remain savior of the great nation til Kingdom come? Anecdotally, I understand that the new King is not quite so tight lipped as his mother when it comes to matters political and this should prove to be interesting going forward!
A local teenager had been on an extended October holiday and left days into a new Prime Minister having been appointed; they are incredulous that, by the time they returned, there was a new Prime Minister in place and from younger eyes, it looks so different. Their questions are how exactly can it happen? Where is the bedding in time? Where is the mentorship and training? How can you appoint somebody with absolutely no experience into one of the most important roles in the government? The very pertinent questions continued and I know that they are not the only young person looking at the political world with more interest than they have shown before so if there is one good thing to come from this shambles it is that it will not be repeated in a generation’s time. Sunak’s new cabinet does have a couple of new names in it but on the whole is a rehash of old names in new jobs and in all honesty I don’t see how anything is going to change. All as out of touch with anyone I know, to me it just highlights the differences between the political ideals of the two countries once again.
Scottish Tory Leader, MP for Moray and our very own H&I List MSP Douglas Ross was on the same flight as me to London a couple of weeks ago. Standing in the queue, head down and trying to look as inconspicuous as possible he was a marked difference to my traveling companion one week later on the train, my constituency MP and one time MSP, Jamie Stone. The behavior of the LibDem and the Tory could not have been more marked with Jamie very at ease with himself and those around him and it does make you think a bit harder about how public opinion weighs on individual people when things aren’t going in their favour. But such is the nature of the job I suppose where you can bask in adoration one day only for it to come crashing down upon you the next through no fault of your own. My return train journey also had an interesting conversation going on between some tourists and a fellow traveler. After filling them in on places to visit and things to do, the conversation turned to independence. The gentleman had been working throughout the journey and had mentioned the job that he did so I suspected the answer was going to be negative but how wrong I was. He was obviously a yesser as he had all the facts and figures but because of his job, he looked at it from a different viewpoint too and had a very positive vision of what independence will do for future generations. If someone in his position is thinking like this, then I am even more inclined to believe the reports of support for independence continually climbing and the next referendum will have a very different result.
The energy crisis continues to cause new problems and I really hope that something is done for Northern Scotland in particular. Blackouts are supposedly confirmed and despite Nicola Sturgeon’s promises that it will not affect Scotland, I wonder how it can be prevented. They will not happen in London as the impact would be catastrophic or even Glasgow; the obvious place is going to be where it affects the least people yet these are the people who live in the darkest and coldest part of the country. I have heard the argument that most people use oil and gas for heating and cooking up here anyway but they forget that these systems all rely on an electric switch to enable them to work. Years of government and environmental pressure have seen the traditional fossil fuel heating systems ripped out of highland homes with the new modern systems proving not to be adequate for the locality and many will be cold this winter that did not actually need to be. Anecdotally, the prepayment meters that many in our area are on appear to be malfunctioning since the latest energy price rise where they have suddenly started using £30 a day when before they would use £50 a week. Costs have risen obviously but when they contact the energy company, they are being told that their actual usage has doubled. With every customer being given the same reason, there has to be a glitch in the system where it is showing usage increase instead of price increase but the company swears this is not the case. The people on prepayment meters are the people who are the least able to afford these extra costs and I really worry how people will be affected. I am of the generation where we grew up without central heating and had meals prepared from seasonal produce but there is at least one generation since then who do not know what it is like. This has the potential to be a national emergency unless something is done for those living in the area where they are at greatest need of the electricity that is generated in their neighborhoods, paying the most for it and probably not getting to use it when they need it most. How wonderful it is to live in this great nation of ours and relax in the knowledge that we are all in this together.