I set off from my office in Queen Anne Street yesterday evening and walked down to Oxford Street, cut through Hanover Square and walked down Regent Street. The streets were full of people but the shops, well lit and bright, were almost empty. The people I passed seemed happy; they had the look of being happy this Christmas time. There were people of all kinds, shapes, colours and languages. This is my city today, full of people from many places and today they seemed to all be happy to be here. I crossed Piccadilly Circus, and walked down the Haymarket, were there were fewer folk. I cross Trafalgar Square into Whitehall, walking past an upright guard in uniform and sword, until I got to the Palace of Westminster, where after security checks by friendly policeman, I walked through the hall where the bodies of dead leaders and monarchs have laid in state into the Pavilion terrace where I listened to the Energy Minister, Greg Barker speak.
Like all politicians he spoke for long but did not say much. He promised that the Green Deal would start on 28th January and that the Renewable Heat incentive would be operation in the summer but he could not say when.
He was talking to people who ran or worked in businesses that produced energy on a small scale. These businesses have been decimated in the past few years by government policy. Those that were left thought and talked of the absentees, those good companies torn apart by the maelstrom of recession and incompetent leadership while the oligopolies that form the fossil fuel based and nuclear based energy companies have prospered on the fat of the lack of choice of their customers and the subsidies that the government has created or left in place.
At the end of the event I retraced my steps. London was quieter now and there were fewer people in the street and those that were around were not shopping, but looking and enjoying the London Christmas lights on a warm December evening