LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Losing a Queen and gaining a new PM

A FEW days ago we lost our Queen. Thinking about her reign, I was surprised to realise that despite her being our monarch for most of my life I had never actually seen her in the flesh.

I did come in contact with her mother, and once spoke to her, though whether “Yes ma’am, no ma’am, Sheffield ma’am” whilst standing to attention with a rifle at my side was a conversation I’ll leave to the reader.

Our new ruler, Charles the Third, is so far an enigma. Whilst Prince of Wales and head of the Duchy of Cornwall he made quite a reputation as the most environmentally aware Royal ever, but in his address and interviews he has said that as monarch he will have to forego some of the disciplines that he has promoted before. Whether that renders him impartial or just irrelevant we shall have to wait and see.

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In the meanwhile, as well as a new head of state, we also have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. Interesting to note that instead of electing the new PM using the first-past-the-post voting system they are insisting everyone else must use, the Conservatives used an extended form of Proportional Representation that every party except the Tories and Labour are clamouring for. Had they used the FPTP system we would be welcoming Penny Mordaunt as PM, as she polled the highest number of votes in the first round of the election. As it stands, using the PR system that they have publicly stated is not truly representational, we now have Liz Truss.

The inequality of the two voting systems was highlighted by Clive Phillips when he pointed out that the Green Party had only one MP but whilst winning that seat the party polled nationally 866,000 votes, more than the next three cross-bench parties combined, namely DUP (244,000 votes, eight MPs.), Sinn Fein (182,000, seven MPs), and Plaid Cymru (153,000 votes, four MPs). Had the General Election been held under the same system that elected Liz Truss the Green Party would now have 11 MPs!   

A couple of weeks ago a fellow subscriber to Postbag gave his opinion that we were all “going to Hell in a handcart”. Having read statements from members of our new Conservative government of Britain, I am sorry to inform him that his handcart now appears to be jet-propelled. Liz Truss’s first action on receiving confirmation of her new post was to cancel the moratorium on fracking. She also confirmed that the transportation of refugees to Rwanda would continue, and her new Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has pledged to speed up the transfers, describing the cancellation of the first flight by the International Court of Human Rights as “unacceptable”. Liz Truss has further pledged to cut taxes, scrap the National Insurance increase (including employers’ payment), the green tax (intended to help home insulation), and has pledged £150 billion to help cost of living increases and to freeze the energy cap, these to be paid for not by a windfall tax on energy companies’ excess profits but by government borrowing

(paid for later by us).

Also announced, an increase in oil and gas exploration, and a cut in support for wind and solar generation. Also, Clive Phillips and his employers will be glad to learn we now have five climate change sceptics in the Government. But for those with an interest in the future well-being of their children and future generations, the outlook is bleak.

Looks like we still live in interesting times.

Charles David Foulstone

Rotherham Green Party