Taking Stock - December 14, 2015

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Last week was, perhaps, the one in which my patience with politics finally ran out.

Now, I know we’re fortunate in these parts not to have to deal with the kind of ill thought out electoral tomfoolery taking place on the other side of the Pond, where a man whose surname consistently makes me snigger is given a platform to air views which are anything but funny.

But there’s no doubt, on the evidence of the past few weeks, our democracy is not in a healthy state.

Take, for a start, the Chancellor’s early Christmas present – miraculously finding enough cash to ensure he doesn’t have to do anything unpopular at all.

What’s more, I’m in no doubt our County Hall overlords will do the same thing – having set out the worst case scenario, they’ll try to portray themselves as heroes when the libraries, bus services and trams are somehow saved.

But that’s not what’s got me genuinely fuming.

It was last week’s decision on airport expansion – or should I say indecision.

Now, I’m not particularly fussed about runways in London, frankly I think it would be good for Britain if business was forced to look beyond the south east bubble. And there’s plenty of capacity up here – I flew out of Liverpool in July and it was like a ghost town, another Blackpool in the making.

No, what got me was the way the issue was punted, once more, into the long grass. Our politicians are elected to make decisions for the national good. But all too often what happens in Westminster is done to protect the individual or the party.

Airports are controversial, they pit two strong lobbying groups – environmentalists and big business – against each other. Throw in a London mayoral election and it’s easier to do nothing at all – the good of the party taking precedent over the good of the country.

There’s a reason people turn to politicians like Trump – they promise actions and decisions, even if they are the wrong ones.

Surely there must be a middle ground?