Johnson has been slow to act on the cost of living crisis - Readers' Letters

Many European countries have already taken action to counteract the cost of living crisis and in particular the coming huge rise in energy bills.

By Readers' Letters
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 7:00 am
Keir Starmer would have had plans in place for the cost of living crisis
Keir Starmer would have had plans in place for the cost of living crisis

Does it matter that Boris Johnson' s government has done very little as yet? Being slow to act does lead to inefficiency because it takes time to implement changes such as a windfall tax on oil companies.

And it is not good enough for government to talk about how they have a few measures in place for the worst affected. The effect of steep rises in fuel bills is on the whole of society and will reduce consumption just as industries are desperately needing consumer support.

The problem is that Boris Johnson is a good propagandist with skills in finessing his less attractive policies and his focus is on desperately using these skills to regain popularity right now. For once the skillset of a Keir Starmer or a Gordon Brown would be exactly what we need. These leaders would have been focusing on detailed plans ages ago.

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And a focus on propaganda instead of on solid detail is a sign of insensitivity. One propagandist claim that was made during the Brexit referendum was that a Brexit-inspired government would say no to project fear. But fiscal conservatism dominates the Conservative Party so it is incapable of saying no to project fear.

Many such swashbuckling claims of Boris Johnston's team have been superficial, misleading, and therefore uncaring. By contrast the Labour government of 1945 said no to project fear when despite huge indebtedness caused by the war it brought in a massive welfare state programme.

Unlike the present Tories, Labour back then did not promise that all kinds of taxes could be cut while a huge programme of leveling up was being implemented. Those who over-promise always undeliver and deserve opprobrium for doing so.

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh

More devolution policy misguided

The Labour policy for Scotland is to offer yet more devolution powers – is this wise? Devolution has not worked well for them, nor Scotland, yet here they are pushing for more.

Do they not understand that you cannot appease the beast of nationalism – it just keeps coming back for more! Where will this end?

William Ballantine, Bo’ness

Working together?

Apparently our four nations are supposedly working on a revised intergovernmental committee structure to improve coordination of the current mish-mash of Covid restrictions across the UK.

But seriously? Does anyone, leaving aside the terminally naive, expect the SNP, with its raison d'être of UK break-up, under any circumstances, to buy into and then rigorously implement a sensible and workable, unified pan-UK approach?

Martin Redfern, Melrose

Code breakers

If I may add to the excellent points made by Otto Inglis in respect of cyclists. (Letters, 31 January) Numerous complaints have been made about changes to the Highway Code to boost protection for cyclists and pedestrians. Anything to improve road safety is to be welcomed but allowing pedestrians to walk across a junction when a vehicle is turning in is asking for trouble. The aggressive cyclist and packs of club cyclists will milk this situation.

However what is not generally known is that the Highway Code contains advice and rules for people on Britain's roads and these changes are only advisory so non-compliance will not result in a fine.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow

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