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News And Views

News & Views

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  • 24 June 2022
  • Simon Tiernan

New blog: The Week That Was - Heading for Glatastrophe?

Heading for Glatastrophe?

Planes, trains and automobiles

It’s been a tough old week for commuters, train spotters and Glastonbury revellers on the travel front.

It’s not set to get much brighter either, with the likelihood of more delays, disruption and disputes continuing throughout the summer and that’s just at Heathrow.

The UK Government and trade union movement is locked in a communications battle to win the hearts and minds of the British public. The battle lines have been drawn – on one side expect to hear a lot about the need for Britain to modernise and look forward. The other will continue to focus on the sense of unfairness at the prospect of job cuts during a time of economic uncertainty.

Neither side has won the PR war so far. YouGov suggests that over 45% of the British public oppose the rail strikes, whilst ComRes released figures this week suggesting 58% of the British public felt the strikes were justified.

With the country’s annual pilgrimage to either Cornwall or the Balearic Islands imminent, next week expect to see the Transport Secretary on the airwaves providing reassurances that summer isn’t cancelled... yet.

Supermarket sweep

If the transport chaos didn’t make you feel like you had been transported back to the 1980’s than the constant drumbeat of economic gloom particularly with rising inflationary figures should have done the job. This week the Office of National Statistics published data indicating that inflation was now tracking at 9.1% - the highest level since 1982.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what the Chancellor of the Exchequer should do. Asda’s Chairman Lord Rose called on the Government to cut VAT and fuel duty, others are calling for the Chancellor to help subsidise rising food and energy prices and Conservative MPs continue to bang the drum for tax cuts to ease the pressure on hardworking families.

Always look on the bright side

Continuing the time-warp theme – you thought Brexit was in the past, think again. This week the Prime Minister’s Deputy Chief of Staff was overheard saying that “anyone who doesn’t think the next election is about Brexit should leave the room.”

So at least we can look forward to another two years of political argument around trade deals, freedom of movement and Northern Ireland.

Speaking of elections, last night saw the Tories lose two parliamentary seats to Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The result is seismic with rumours abounding of a fresh leadership challenge to Boris and now a more genuine belief from political commentators that the next general election is Labour’s for the taking.

As Paul McCartney will warble in the rain tomorrow night – Let it be.