POLITICS: Country has gone to pot

editorial image

No wonder politicians are the source of so much comedy.

Think back to December 2016. I had been taught from a young age to live within my means, only to be told by politicians that I was now a JAM – somebody who is just about managing – and it wasn’t good enough. I had to do better, earn more and spend more to save the economy.

If politicians and civil servants “just about managed” at anything, I would be happy, but it seems to me that everything they are involved in is a failure.

Take immigration and the Windrush generation, who were treated so unfairly. Politicians said they did not have targets to expel illegal aliens. Yes we do, says the relevant Government department .

We were promised smart gas and electricity meters would save households at least £80 per annum and the economy billions of pounds. Not quite. We are now told it will be less than £11 a year saving. Not bad when a smart meter costs £200 to fit – 20 years and they will have paid for themselves. Switching appliances off at the socket when not in use would save considerably more.

Universal Credit is an unmitigated disaster for hundreds of thousands.

Brexit talks are going nowhere, with political groups and factions fighting among themselves, while the country effectively goes to pot.

High streets are closing down. The last bank in Wooler is to close, leaving another empty unit in our High Street. There are now as many empty shops as those still trading. Are the politicians doing anything about it? I don’t think so.

Amazon has just reported record sales for the last year, while paying less tax than ever before. Meanwhile, a national firm of estate agents is likely to close because it cannot compete with online traders who do not pay business rents, rates or taxes.

If only those who run the country, and those who would like to, could just about manage to do a half-decent job, we would all be better off.

The best example is the railways. New timetables are introduced and result in utter chaos. Why? Because there weren’t enough train drivers. Did no one think to check?

Then we have HS2, and just as we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they do.

Remember HS2, the new railway from London to some shopping centre just North of the Midlands that was going to cost £30billion to build? The cost more than doubled until it came to £80billion. When the first stage was recently put out to tender they found they had still underestimated the cost. Looks like £100billion then.

At least having got to the tendering stage, it appears someone has bought a decent map of the proposed route. This shows that in the Midlands the route goes straight through a lake. How is that possible, and why have the people responsible still got jobs? It all beggars belief.

I thought nothing could be as silly. I was wrong.

Having reached retirement age, I got a letter from HM Revenue and Customs about my state pension. Needless to say, it is written in standard gobbledygook. It also appears that I now have five different tax codes.

However, the crème de la crème is the link given to check if I am still paying National Insurance contributions. It is as follows: www.gov.uk/tax-national-insurance-after-state-pension-age/stopping-paying-national-insurance

Trips off the tongue doesn’t it? Confirmation at last that the world really has gone mad.

Mel Shaw,