Politicians’ misdemeanours are far more likely to be picked up, by the media, than those of ordinary people. Politician bashing has become fashionable.
Ian Berry’s letter (Free Press, January 2) was the third such letter criticising Tim Yeo since mid-December. Most of the grounds given for the criticisms were unsound and showed a lack of understanding of the framework in which MPs work.
In my last letter (Free Press January 9), I appealed for people to appraise politicians thoroughly and fairly.
There is a shortage of able people with “real world” experience who are willing to go into politics. To find and encourage the right people into politics, we need to look deeper.
Mr Yeo has been chairing the select committee on energy and climate change for most of the time the Energy Bill has been passing through Parliament.
Anyone reading the bill, and the 150-plus Hansard entries on a its passage, will realise it was a very time-consuming job.
Being an MP is not a 9am to 5pm job. MPs work at all times of day, in many modes, in many locations.
The UK needs healthy renewable and nuclear energy sectors to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing accelerating climate change; to improve energy security, by reducing reliance on imported gas, oil and coal; to improve our balance of payments (by reducing fuel imports and by exporting technology), and to provide jobs.
The Government has to encourage long-term investment in renewable and nuclear energy. A politician investing time and money in renewable energy, rather than making a quick return by investing in fossil fuels, is helping the nation.
There is a symbiotic relationship between Mr Yeo’s renewable energy industry and parliamentary roles.
Parliament needs to know how to get the right investment and the industry needs to understand how legislation will affect it in the long-term.
Mr Yeo’s trip to China, organised by the Renewable Energy Association, was to inform and promote the whole British renewable energy industry, not just firms in which he has an interest.
China is the largest market for renewable technology and also the largest manufacturer for some renewable energy products.
While obscenely large compared to median earnings, the payments to directors of renewable energy companies are trivial compared to those to directors of fossil fuel companies.
In his further letter last week, Mr Berry cited MP Brooks Newmark. I see no evidence of Mr Newmark making a significant contribution nationally, and he is no more visible on the Braintree side of the Stour than Tim Yeo is on the Sudbury side.