Grantham Journal column: We all engage in politics every day, in one way or another

Ian Selby
Ian Selby
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Warm greetings to you with my first column. With the exception of the political geeks, does anybody else actually read the political column?

If you don’t usually read such a column, what is it that actually turns you off from politics? Are politicians boring? Is politics boring? Is it that you feel that you are not represented or that your views are not listened to?

Do people really understand what politics is? Many people don’t, and that includes many politicians. In a nutshell politics is about how we live our lives and how we interact with our community and the environment we live in. We all engage in politics everyday, in one way or another.

The difference between politics, and party politics is also commonly misunderstood, even by politicians. I have heard it said many times: ‘We don’t want politics in local government’! Sorry but you can’t avoid it. What they actually mean is, we don’t want party political sniping and bickering, especially when it differs from our view.

Disagreement in politics is common, and without the debate then politics is boring. But let’s have disagreements undertaken in a constructive and civilised manner and with honesty and decency. Openness and accountability should also feature in a political arena. What should come first and foremost is the best interests of our people and our community.

Let me give an example of everyday politics that affects many people at this time of year. The school summer holiday is an opportunity for families to go on holiday abroad. However, airline companies take advantage of the school holidays to increase their prices to an extortionate level. It’s unfair on parents and also on school staff who also deserve a well earned break.

Parents are fined by schools for taking children on holiday during school time. Although parents should not be above the rules, it can still be cheaper for them to pay the fine rather than pay the airlines’ increased price.

Politicians can and should intervene to stop this unfair practice. It’s not enough for politicians just to say ‘get rid of the long summer vacation and spread the school holidays evenly throughout the year’.

Airlines will simply adjust their pricing policies. Politicians should act to force them to do it fairly.

Although we can’t guarantee the weather here in the UK, the UK still has such a lot to offer the tourist. Spend your money in the UK and help stimulate a British economy and British jobs. Proud to be British.